AH-1Z "Zulu Cobra"

Welcome to POST 02! We will be covering a few more helicopters, before going into the era of the HUP retriever.

If you were lucky enough this weekend, you would have been onboard the USS America for LA Fleet Week 2016. The USS America is an amphibious assault ship, host to an assortment of deadly weapons, from the V-22 Osprey to the Seahawk, to the gloriously deadly AH-1Z Viper.

The Viper’s Nest

A further evolution of the AH-1W Super Cobra, the AH-1Z Viper can trace its lineage all the way back to the Vietnam War. The Viper is a four-bladed helicopter developed by Bell for the United States Marine Corps (Oorah). Vipers feature uprated transmission, composite rotor system, and a new target sighting system compared to its older Cobra configuration. Weapons include a M197 3-barreled Gatling cannon, Hydra-70 or APKWS II rockets, and can even carry Sidewinder or Hellfire missiles, depending on mission requirements.

The Viper finished sea-trial flights in 2005, and was accepted for delivery the same year. Further development testing was done in 2006. It finally became combat ready in 2010. 

Besides the Viper, the USS America carries other helicopter platforms as well. In our next posts we will be covering them as well, to give you guys a glimpse of the sort of modern hardware our military packs. We will also go back in time in future content to trace the lineage of these mighty weapons of war. Till next time!

-Johnny Wu
Pacific Battleship Center

First Post!

I hope everyone is enjoying Los Angeles’s first inaugural Fleet Week! Thanks for reading the support blog to the HUP-2 helicopter exhibit at the Pacific Battleship Center. Here we will cover helicopters, the Korean War, and everything in between as we prepare to bring a helicopter display aboard Battleship IOWA.

As a first series of posts, we will be covering the visiting helicopters to the Port of Los Angeles, home of the Battleship IOWA. That way, we can get a taste of modern helicopters before exploring their historical development in relations to the Battleship IOWA, especially during that of the Korean War.


The Jayhawk

Our first display is the Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawk, operated by the United States Coast Guard during a search and rescue demonstration.

The Jayhawk is a twin-engine, medium-range, multi-mission helicopter operated by the USCG for law enforcement, military readiness, marine environmental protection, as well as for search and rescue. Jayhawks fly a crew of four up to 483 kilometers offshore, it can hoist up to an additional six people on board, while remaining on-scene for up to 45 minutes before having to return to base. Normal cruising speed of the Jayhawk is 155 to 161 miles per hour. It can move up to 207 mph, for short durations.

The Jayhawk is a part of the Sikorsky S-70 family of helicopters. The S-70 is a medium transport/utility helicopter developed for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, winning a competition to be designated the UH-60 Black Hawk, made infamous by the events in Somalia and immortal by the film Black Hawk Down. Jayhawks are based on the United States Navy’s version of the Blackhawk, the SH-60 Seakhawk helicopter. Jayhawks entered USCG service in 1990, production of this helicopter ends in 1996. Since then, they have seen upgrades, additions, and new designations.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this introduction post. If you’re not there for LA Fleet Week 2016, we’ll be covering the helicopters here. 

Until the next post,

-Johnny Wu
Pacific Battleship Center