• Review: UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk MH-X

    UH-60X Stealth
    Blackhawk MH-X
    Publisher: Area 51 Simulations
    Review Author:
    Bill Stack
    Suggested Price:
    Buy Here
    UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk by Area 51 Simulations
    UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk by Area 51 Simulations UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk by Area 51 Simulations UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk by Area 51 Simulations

    Screen shots by Area 51 Simulations

    The UH-60X Stealth Blackhawk MH-X is a stealth version of the venerable Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, which is a twin-engine, four-bladed, medium-lift, utility helicopter that entered service in 1979. Other than being used in the famous Osama Bin Laden May, 1, 2011, raid in Abbotabad, Pakistan, not much is known about the UH-60X stealth model. Everything I found on the Internet was chatter, speculation, and conjecture among military and aviation enthusiasts on their various forums. Area 51 Simulations doesn't provide much information about it, either.

    Basically, this is a UH-60 Blackhawk with flat surfaces like those seen on the stealth bomber and stealth fighter, plus various noise-reducing features. Several hundred pounds of stealth materials are reported to have been added to the basic helicopter. The public knew nothing of this model until one of them crashed in the Bin Laden compound. That craft was later destroyed except for its tail section. It was one of only two that were supposedly made.

    No stock aircraft in basic Microsoft Flight Simulator® is even close to the UH-60 Blackhawk. It's more than twice as long as the Bell Jet Ranger (65 feet versus 31 feet), seven times heavier (23,000 pounds versus 3,200 pounds), and about one-third faster (183 miles per hour versus 132 MPH). It is comparable to the Augusta Westland that comes with FSX Acceleration in size and performance, but the Blackhawk carries about 50 percent more weight.

    Aircraft Specifications
    Specification UH-60 Blackhawk
    Occupants 2 pilots
    14 troops
    Maximum Take-off Weight 23,500 LBS
    10,660 KG
    Empty Weight 10,624 LBS
    4,819 KG
    Useful Load 12,876 LBS
    5,411 KG
    Maximum Speed 159 KTS
    183 MPH
    295 KPH
    Cruising Speed 150 KTS
    173 MPH
    278 KPH
    Ceiling 19,000 FT
    5,790 M
    Range 1,200 NM
    2,220 KM
    Length 65 FT
    20 M
    Rotor Diameter 54 FT
    16 M
    Power two 1,890 HP turboshaft engines
    Sources: Wikipedia

    1. highside7r's Avatar
      highside7r -
      Probably based off the usual B206 airfile. The weights are off, and we never fly at 23K, but these things happen when a developer picks a subject with little to no real world reference material. At least it's <$20 USD.
    1. biffer's Avatar
      biffer -
      Bill, I think it's fairly obvious that the "multi-color cylinder on top behind the main rotor", is a representation of what you might call a 'standard' piece of gear on today's military helicopters. It's an infra-red warning and countermeasures device - probably an ALQ-144A, or updated version thereof. This consists of blocks of heated silicon carbide that throws off heat to confuse incoming infra-red homing missiles. The device has a distinctive, highly-reflective look to it, which I imagine would be very difficult to model for flightsim. Portraying it as different coloured segments would be a good compromise.

      It makes sense to model the Stealth Hawk with this kit, although, whether this aircraft would carry something even more sophisticated is beyond my knowledge. Incidentally, I read an account of the Bin Laden raid in which the author mentions a 2nd generation Stealth Hawk; something a bit larger with more range and even more sophisticated systems on-board, which he referred to as the Ghost Hawk. He claims the 'older' Stealth Hawks were used after it was decided to scrub the provision of top-cover by Navy F/A-18s - they just couldn't risk one of the Ghosts being brought down over Pakistani territory (?).

      BTW: I'm not seeking kudos as some kind of 'stealth-copter guru'. Anyone could have found this information on good old Wikipedia - I just happened to have the time on my hands to reply first.

      Fly safe (virtual or otherwise) to all in 2013!

    1. firehawkordy's Avatar
      firehawkordy -
      I'll add this to the look of the ALQ -144 or "disco light", the reason it was probably done in different colors is that in real life the tiles have a mirror appearance. Having to help install or remove those things while I was in a Navy HH-60 unit you don't forget how they look or weigh.

      As to the bird itself, I got this the first week it came out and my impression was it's not bad. The forward view in the VC is a bit obscured so landing on a small LZ is tricky more so if it's an AI vessel. To counter that I found making an "S" approach like you would taxiing a tail dragger helps.

      I find all the negative remarks about this thing in the various forums a laugh, no one really knows what it does, for the general public this helo is a work of fiction. I doubt anyone is going to come out and say what it really feels like and it true performance. If that happened I'd take that info with a huge grain of salt.

      All in all it's a fun bird to fly, because of the cockpit visibility you have to learn some new tricks and because of it's performance you can't be lax. I've not regretted paying out the $20 for it, unlike parting with almost twice as much from another publisher for something that is totally unflyable.
      My two cents for what it's worth.
    1. 79127912's Avatar
      79127912 -
      First of all. The picture you got from "Aviation Intel" of the soldier standing next to the helicopter: This is a movie prop for the film "Zero Dark Thirty" on the account of Operation Neptune Spear and the assassination of UBL. So this is just a prop. Not the real deal. No point making it look like a reference.
      Then, I would like to address all the information you gathered. I loved your explanations and thorough analysis, but I think you needed a bit more research. The "Cylinder" behind the main rotor you refer to, is actually an infrared countermeasure system. Also, you shouldn't assume that this new Hawk has anything to do with the standard Blackhawk. In fact you shouldn't even assume that it is only Sikorsky building it. Maybe Boeing had something to do with this and picked up where the RAH-66 Comanche left off. This would change both the base frame and even the engines and number of blades on it. So this area51 thing is pure overpriced speculation. There's no point on comparing it with the real deal, because the real deal is far from being public.
      Again, I loved your thorough analysis and hope you make more and better ones, but this bird isn't worth the shot.
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