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May 5th, 2011
01:17 PM ET

Seals' downed helicopter uniquely designed for stealth

The remnants of the Seals' helicopter that went down in Sunday's mission at Osama Bin Laden's compound reveal a helicopter model that is unknown to aviation experts. The military likely designed the helicopter differently than other known models for stealth reasons. William Sweetman, Editor-In-Chief of Aviation Week's Defense Technology International, talks to American Morning about the never before seen helicopter.

Filed under: Military • Osama bin Laden • U.S.
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Davis Bradley

    Hi Joe:
    very interesting but there are answers:
    1. A top pilot selected to fly a secret craft clips a wall?
    2. The power and cell goes on and off. This can only be done at their source.

    Actually, there are platforms (some available for at least 20 years now) that can shutdown electric grids and phone systems. They are normally mounted on airborne platforms such as EA-6B, EF-111, and most likely in this case it was the RQ-170. Using directed electro-magnetic waves in specific frequencies, a current can be induced in transmission towers that effectively shuts off all power in a region.

    The pilot probably under-compensated when landing. This was (if reports are true) the first time these aircraft were used operationally. The thinner rotors (which are quiet) do not provide the same amount of lift so mastering this aircraft in a closed area (like near a wall) creates a very difficult landing (from increased up-draft pressure).

    May 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  2. Cpt John

    He didn't clip the wall. The helicopter for whatever reason (heat, altitude, weight are factors) was unable to hover out out of ground effect and began to settle. The emergency procedure for this is to try to move the aircraft forward into "clean" air but of course you are going down as you attempt this so your options are limited and success (ie getting flying speed) depends on how much altitude you have and what obstacles are in front of you. Given the situation this was a good landing. As all pilots know – a good landing is anything that you and your pax can walk away from.

    May 11, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  3. Ed

    To Joe –

    A top pilot chosen to fly a secret craft clips a got a problem with that? And are you even certain the cause of the downed aircraft was "clipping" a wall?

    Let's consider several other factors. A top pilot flies on a secret mission in hours of darkness, using night vision goggles, along a 100+ mile route over unfamiliar terrain toward a target that has only been seen in mock-up, based on information about it's construction that is somewhat conjectury in nature...does him "clipping a wall" or perhaps a power line or other undocumented obstruction REALLY cause you to call into question his skill??? You know so little.

    May 8, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  4. Balto Paul

    How many Seals could you fit in that thing?


    May 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  5. JJ

    In Piers' interview with Michael Moore, he should have asked Mr. Moore what he thought the reprucussions would have been if bin Laden were taken alive to stand trial. Does he think alqueda would not have kidnapped, executed, or tortured innocent people in exchange for bin Laden's freedom? Then what would he have done as President, let him go? Or just let the killings continue until the trial is over? What nerve he has to accuse the President of having this monster asassinated. It was the best thing that could have been done for the safety of every American.

    May 6, 2011 at 9:49 am |
  6. Duiwel

    The Commanche project was canceled 7 years ago, and that was the last mention of a stealth helo. The stealth aircraft programs are usually kept pretty secret, so, is anyone really that surprised about any of this?

    May 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  7. joe

    Two things about this sound interesting:
    1. A top pilot selected to fly a secret craft clips a wall?
    2. The power and cell goes on and off. This can only be done at their source.

    May 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm |