military helicopter with spear on front

What are the long poles on chinooks? In this post, we will be discussing Military Helicopter With Spear On Front models. Since 1942, the U.S. military has used thousands of helicopters for reconnaissance, transport, and combat support. Developed in the 1930s and used in warfare a decade later, the helicopter differentiates itself from the airplane by using rotors to take off and land vertically, hover, fly forward, backward, and side-to-side — providing the military with an unparalleled amount of in-flight flexibility. So What are the best military helicopters?

Between the very first Sikorsky R-4 used during World War II and the Army’s futuristic S-97 Raider, here are badass U.S. military helicopters that support troops from the skies.

military helicopter with spear on front

UH-60 Black Hawk

Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan Rivard

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A flight medic with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment (Air Ambulance, lowers from a Black Hawk helicopter on a jungle penetrator during MEDEVAC training at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Aug. 1, 2015, Jericho, Vt.The Army first began fielding Sikorsky’s UH-60 in 1978. The function of the Black Hawk is to transport troops and provide logistical support. However, it has also performed missions involving medical evacuations, search-and-rescue, and armed escort. More than 2,000 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter variants are in service with the U.S. military. It is also a subject of the 2001 modern war classic “Black Hawk Down.”

AH-64 Apache

Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Shelby R. Orozco

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U.S. Army AH-64 Apache Longbows pilots from the 1-135th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., prepare March 27, 2013, for their deployment to Afghanistan.The Apache is a twin-engine, four bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter. As of January 2015, the Army’s Apache fleet has accumulated more than 3.9 million flight hours since its initial delivery in 1984, according its manufacturer, Boeing. The Apache has a four-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor. The Apaches has also made its mark in popular culture, featured as the image in the meme called “I Sexually Identify As An Attack Helicopter.”

CH-47 Chinook

Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ryan J. Batchelder

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Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Michael Allen, a landing signal enlisted, launches an Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter assigned to Alpha Company Four, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) during deck landing qualifications aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5).Development of the Boeing Chinook began in 1956. The tandem-rotor medium transport helicopter was delivered for first use in Vietnam in 1962, and though it has seen various upgraded iterations, it is still in use by the Army, and is not expected to be retired until 2060 — which will make it the Army’s first “100 year aircraft,” according to FlightGlobal.

H-34 SeaHorse

Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan G. Coleman

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A sheet of ice covers a UH-34 Seahorse aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., on Jan. 29, 2014.The Sikorsky SeaHorse flew its first flight in 1954, and was purchased by the Army and the Navy in 1955. According to the Pacific Aviation Museum, it is one of the most recognizable aircraft in military history. It boasted an unusual shape, with the engine sitting behind the cockpit. Also called the Choctaw, it is mostly known for its multi-role use in Vietnam. Unfortunately, its manufacturers decided that future military helicopters would need more space than the SeaHorse allowed.

MH-6 Little Bird

Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Keith A. Stevenson

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The Unmanned Little Bird helicopter, a smaller variant of the larger, manned A/MH-6M can be controlled by a pilot or piloted remotely.Nicknamed “the killer egg,” the Little Bird’s primary mission is to deposit special operations forces onto rooftops or into narrow spaces. It was originally designed for reconnaissance, but has primarily been used by special operations forces, and has also proven effective in combat. Military.com reported that “the MH-6 Little Bird made its way into popular culture with the book and movie ‘Black Hawk Down,’ which portrayed MH-6 Little Birds carrying Delta Force Soldiers into the overrun city of Mogadishu.”

UH-1 Iroquois

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A UH-1N Huey gunship assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) lands at a forward arming and refueling point during an exercise in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, April 29, 2013.More fondly known as the “Huey,” this helicopter is a Bell aircraft with a single turboshaft engine and two-bladed main and tail rotors. It was first used in Vietnam to carry infantry into combat. The Drug Enforcement Administration still flies the Huey for counter-narcotics raids in Afghanistan. In addition, it spawned the design for AH-1 Cobra.

SH-3 Sea King

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The H-3 Sea King helicopter community celebrated the 50th anniversary of the aircraft’s historic first flight March 11.The Sikorsky Sea King was the first amphibious helicopter employed by the military. It was used by the Navy to detect, classify, track, and destroy enemy submarines. It consists of a boat-like hull body and pontoons with floating bags, which give the Sea King the ability to land on water. Though it is no longer in production, it still serves as the aircraft used by Marine One to fly the President of the United States.

V-22 Osprey

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An MV-22 Osprey assigned to Operational Test Squadron 21 departs the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp during testing and evaluating of the Osprey for its upgraded flight control software and its ability to conduct short take-offs and roll-on landings.Bell-Boeing’s Osprey is a multi-role combat aircraft that uses tiltrotor technology to combine the best of airplanes and helicopters into a single aircraft. Through the the tiltrotor, the Osprey can take off and land like a helicopter, but convert to a turboprop airplane in-flight, according to HowStuffWorks. The MV-22 replaced the CH-46 Sea Knight for the Marine Corps. The Air Force uses the CV-22 iteration for special operations. Overall, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations across Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Kuwait.

CH-53E Super Stallion

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The CH-53 Superstallion air lifts an armored vehicle during the Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration at the Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) sponsored 2014 Air Show aboard Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, San Diego, Calif., Oct. 5, 2014.The Super Stallion, produced by Sikorsky, is both the largest and heaviest helicopter used by the military. It has been used nearly three decades, and boasts a seven-bladed main rotor. The Marine Corps has been using them since the 1980s for heavy lifting as they can carry 73,500 pounds of cargo. The Super Stallion is expected to be in-use until 2025.

CH-46 Sea Knight

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A CH-46E from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 264 takes off from the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7).Boeing’s Vertol produced the the first Marine Corps Sea Knight and delivered it in 1964. The fleet began military service in Vietnam, where it carried troops and cargo to and from Navy ships in the China Sea. Nicknamed the “phrog,” it was a medium-lift tandem rotor cargo helicopter, used across Beirut, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan for assault transport of combat troops, supplies, and equipment. It was retired in 2014 by the Navy and 2015 by the Marine Corps.

OH-58 Kiowa Warrior

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U.S. Army OH-58 Kiowa Warrior armed reconnaissance helicopters return to Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands after a live-fire exercise during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.Produced by Bell, the Kiowa Warrior is an Army reconnaissance helicopter.The primary function of the Kiowa Warrior is scout attack. It can be upgraded to carry out transport and utility roles using equipment kits installed externally. The aircraft is a single engine, four-bladed helicopter with advanced visionics, navigation, communication, and weapons and cockpit integration systems. The Kiowa Warrior fleet has flown over 800,000 combat hours. It was meant to be replaced by the RAH-66 Comanche, which was scrapped in 2004. The helicopter is expected to be retired by the end of 2016.

AH-1 Cobra

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Pilots return to Camp Bastion in their AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter following a routine mission in Helmand, Afghanistan Nov. 28.The Cobra is a two-blade, single engine attack aircraft manufactured by Bell. It got its original design — including the same engine, transmission, and rotor system — from the Huey. The military has used it since 1967, and it was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. The Super Cobra was the first attack helicopter to qualify for both the sidewinder air-to-air missile and the sidearm anti-radiation missile, and it can be equipped with hellfire missiles. According to the Marine Corps, “Whether it’s providing cover for advancing ground forces or escorting assault support helicopters en route to a landing zone, the AH-1Z is called on when Marines need firepower from the air.”

It is an interesting time for not only space travel, but private aviation, too. While larger and larger jets are flying farther and faster, smaller personal jets and enthusiast aircraft are thriving as well. And let’s not forget the vertical takeoff and landing craft that shifted into hyperdevelopment mode. There’s never been a more exciting time to be airborne.https://3bd377ec286ee5eaccdebbfc04e8ff1a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

BUSINESS JET OF THE YEAR:
Bombardier Global 7500

Robb Report's Business Jet of the Year 2019, Bombardier Global 7500

Bombardier Global 7500. Courtesy of Bombardier

After much anticipation, the first Bombardier Global 7500 business jet entered service in December of 2018—and to positive fanfare. Since coming on the scene, the 7500 has wasted no time in breaking as many records as possible. At press time, these include distance (between Singapore and Tucson, Ariz.) and speed (between New York and Los Angeles). While performance for a private jet got an upgrade, so did comfort—the Bombardier Nuage chair with its free-floating base is the first true seat revamp in 30 years for the private aviation sector. The 7500 accommodates 19 passengers, has a range of 7,700 nautical miles (8,861 regular miles—say, from LA’s Van Nuys Airport to Dubai or San Francisco to Singapore, among many other pairs) and has a top speed of Mach 0.925. Even the crew gets a posh boost with a private seat that fully reclines for sleeping and is separated by a privacy door. The flexible cabin plan could include, for example, a master suite with queen bed with storage and an en-suite bathroom with shower; a media room with sofa that can become a bed (more stash space underneath); a dining and living/conference area (with a table that folds out for six); the crew rest suite across from the galley (with all the secret hideaway drawers and popup stow slots as well as an oven and sink for fresh preparations); and another forward bathroom. This jet really has everything you might need for that ultralong-range flight.

Controlling sound, movies, blinds and lights—from any seat or bed— just got easier with a state-of-the-art pop-up dial with an OLED display. This dial, named the “nice Touch cabin management system,” is part of a platform developed in collaboration with Lufthansa Technik. And it’s pretty cool—as is the Ka-band satellite communications for fast internet speeds. There’s no doubt that the world’s largest and longest-range business jet lives up to the hype.https://3bd377ec286ee5eaccdebbfc04e8ff1a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

VOTL CONCEPT:
Bell Nexus

Robb Report's Best VOTL Concept 2019, Bell Nexus

Bell Nexus Courtesy of Bell

If anyone is going to truly take a vertical takeoff and landing (VOTL) concept to market, our bets are on chopper experts Bell. With seven decades of experience as a helicopter manufacturer, and as the builder of the V-22 Osprey and the V-280 Valor tiltrotor military aircraft, Bell carries cachet among the new and established companies developing vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that also fly horizontally like an airplane. So while you can dismiss some of the recent VTOL concepts as pies in the sky, you can’t do that here. The Bell name lends credibility to the four-passenger hybrid-electric VTOL, which features six 8-foot-diameter ducted fans that tilt to make the instant transition from vertical takeoff to horizontal flight. Plans call for the Nexus to initially be flown by a pilot, but eventually it could fly autonomously. The craft will have a range of about 150 miles and a top speed of roughly 150 mph. It will be small enough to take off from and land on most helipads. Bell hopes to begin flight tests with a prototype in 2023 and have the Nexus in service by the mid-2020s.

SUPER-MIDSIZE AIRCRAFT:
Bombardier Challenger 350

Robb Report's Best Super-Midsize Aircraft 2019, Bombardier Challenger 350

Bombardier Challenger 350 Courtesy of Bombardier

For those who need their private jet to be able to cross the country (or the Atlantic) on the regular, the Bombardier Challenger 350 has been the business jet of choice, averaging more than 60 deliveries annually in its first four full years of service (2015 through 2018), many going to NetJets, Flexjet and other private-aviation companies that appreciate the reliable, workhorse nature of the Challenger 350 and see its $27 million price as a solid investment. You just couldn’t fly into airports such as Aspen or London City because of steep approaches or shorter runways. But the aircraft’s capabilities and cabin comforts seemed to outweigh that negative. It has a range of nearly 3,700 miles, a max cruising speed of 548 mph, and room for 10 passengers. The cabin is just over 25 feet long, 6 feet tall and 7 feet 2 inches wide. The standard configuration seats eight passengers in two sets of four comfy club seats. Last year, however, Bombardier enhanced the Challenger 350 so that it could receive steep-approach certification. Now it can land at (and take off from) airports that used to be off limits. The latest version of the aircraft needs less than 2,400 feet of runway to land. https://3bd377ec286ee5eaccdebbfc04e8ff1a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

MIDSIZE JET:
Cessna Citation Latitude

Robb Report's Best Midsize Jet 2019, Cessna Citation Latitude

Cessna Citation Latitude Courtesy of Cessna

The Cessna Citation Latitude was the third most-delivered business jet in 2018, behind the Cirrus Vision Jet and Bombardier’s Challenger 350. In its own midsize class, however, the Latitude was out in front, with 57 handed over last year, up from 54 in 2017. While three more wouldn’t seem like much in other sectors, when you’re talking about a $17 million piece of kit, each and every one is significant. Desire for the Latitude is growing.

Perhaps it’s because its flat-floor cabin has six feet of headroom. Or maybe it’s that 22-foot cabin’s ability to seat nine passengers. The pressurization system gives the feel of flying at 5,950 feet when the jet is actually cruising along at 45,000 feet. With four passengers, the Latitude can fly more than 3,100 miles without stopping at its 513 mph max cruising speed. Garmin’s G5000 touch-screen avionics with synthetic-vision technology give top-notch guidance in the cockpit.

HELICOPTER:
Airbus ACH135 Helionix

Robb Report's Best Helicopter 2019, the Airbus ACH135 Helionix

Airbus ACH135 Helionix Courtesy of Airbus Corporate Helicopters

Quick urban hops and jaunts to remote areas that don’t necessarily have an airstrip got a lot more luxe—and safe—last year. ACH, the Airbus corporate helicopters division launched in 2017 that’s dedicated to corporate and personal choppers, delivered the first ACH135 Helionix in September. The initial example features a five-seat configuration (plus pilot) with ACH’s sports car–inspired Line series interior. Most noteworthy is the bird’s avionics system, which was designed to improve situational awareness and to reduce the complexity of the system and number of displays pilots have to keep track of. It also has a more advanced autopilot system to make flying simpler and safer, including an auto hover “pause” button (ideal when faced with low visibility or busy environments), a “go-around” button (the ACH135 will automatically fly around and reposition itself on the best landing approach) and automated engine management (ensuring a smooth and safe flight even if one of the two engines fails). Two turboshaft engines power the agile aircraft to a maximum cruise speed of 137 knots and a top endurance of 3 hours and 39 minutes. The cabin offers up large windows for great visibility, as well as its corporate jet–style finishing, such as hand-sewn soft leather seats. https://3bd377ec286ee5eaccdebbfc04e8ff1a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

LIGHT AIRCRAFT:
Embraer Phenom 300E

Robb Report's Best Light Aircraft 2019, the Embraer Phenom 300E

Embraer Phenom 300E Erich Shibata Nishiyama

The most-delivered light jet for each of the past seven years became even better in 2018, when Embraer began producing the Phenom 300E, giving the popular plane a tech and comfort makeover. Embraer redesigned the interior and installed, among other features, a new cabin-management and inflight-entertainment system by Lufthansa Technik. The system is housed in a panel that runs along the centerline of the aircraft’s ceiling and includes two 7-inch swing-down displays. Reading lights and fans have been moved into the panel to create more headroom above the seats. The panel also includes new ambient lighting. The redesign creates more space, specifically more aisle room (in addition to the extra headroom), while adding larger seats, which now have broader backs and extendable head and leg rests. The 300E, which is usually configured to seat six passengers behind the cockpit (but can seat up to nine plus pilot), has the same range and high cruising speed as its predecessor: 2,270 miles and 521 mph. (Base price: $9.45 million.)

INTERIORS:
Winch Design

Robb Report's Best Aviation Interiors 2019, Winch Design

Winch Design Courtesy of Winch Design

Founded in 1986 by Andrew and Jane Winch as a yacht-design company—both exterior and interior—London-based Winch Design has made a name for itself by creating bespoke aviation, yachting and land-based masterpieces, inside and out. This year, we applaud the studio for its custom-interiors concepts for Boeing Business Jets and Airbus Neo aircraft.

By employing irregularly shaped spaces within the cabin, with molded paneling and movable (but securable) furniture, the Winch team creates compelling, adaptable and livable spaces that inspire relaxation in flight but are at the ready to do business when the time is right.

Soft leathers, light-colored marble, natural shells, cream-silk carpets, rosewood accents and mother-of-pearl accessories—not to mention artwork—set a residential tone for the serene aircraft interior. Full-size bathrooms give the feel of home. Dare we bring the kids?https://3bd377ec286ee5eaccdebbfc04e8ff1a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

SPACECRAFT:
Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic's First Flight Into Space

VSS Unity MarsScientific.com/Trumbull Studios

“It was intense and magical and serene and almost unlike anything anyone can imagine.” That’s how Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor, described her trip as a passenger aboard VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic’s rocket-fueled space plane that, in late February, traveled beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into space for the second time—and for the first time with a passenger. If all goes as planned, anyone who can afford a $250,000 ticket won’t have to imagine what Moses described; he or she will be able to experience it. So far, more than 600 people have reportedly purchased tickets to fly aboard a Virgin Galactic space plane. It’s doubtful any civilians will make the trip by July 18, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 and the date by which Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson has said he hopes to make his first space flight. However, the February flight was certainly more than just a small step for the company, which Branson established 15 years ago; it was a giant leap for space tourism. After flying VSS Unity 51.4 miles above sea level (NASA places the border between the Earth’s atmosphere and space at 50 miles above sea level) and landing it safely in the Mojave Desert in December, Virgin Galactic’s two pilots were joined by Moses for the February flight, which reached an altitude of 55.87 miles and a speed of Mach 3.0. Moses was on board to evaluate the space-flight passenger experience: the intense, magical and peaceful sensation of weightlessness and the sights of the curve of the Earth and the star-filled sky.

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