Yesterday morning I looked in the sky and saw a helicopter. Nothing unusual there; helicopters fly around several times a day. But this one was big, long and military. No Defence Force exercises yet. Could this be associated with Anzac Day? A rescue from somewhere too far away for regular helicopters?
|Not my photo, but Tanya's.|
Helicopters are tricky to photograph.
Last night on the TV news there was an explanation.
It was a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter and is here with the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463, who come from the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii. These huge helicopters will be at the RAAF base for a six month rotation and come to support the 1150 US marines who are involved in a training exercise with Australian personnel.
These are the biggest helicopters in the US Defence Force and have 7, that's right 7, blades on the main rotor. The rotors are set at an angle which looks slightly odd. The CH-53E can transport up to 55 troops or more than 13 tonnes of cargo, and can carry external slung loads up to 16 tonnes. It can lift aircraft as heavy as itself. The Super Stallion has a cruise speed of 278 km/h and a range of 1 000 km. This helicopter can refuel in-flight.
I know one lady who reads this blog is interested in military matters.
So, especially for her: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_CH-53E_Super_Stallion
And also : http://www.dvidshub.net/news/122935/marine-rotational-force-darwin-2014-begins-arrive-down-under#.U1hE9fmSySo
|Photo from http://www.sikorsky.com/|