Sikorsky YUH-60A 'Black hawk'

  Base model:H-60
  Nickname:Black hawk
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1948-Present
  Basic role:Helicopter

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
73-21650 / 73-21655

Examples of this type may be found at
United States Army Aviation MuseumOzarkAlabama


Recent comments by our visitors
 Sikorsky prototype contributor
 , CT
73-21651 should be the tail number on your photo's not 73 681
12/18/2007 @ 17:02 [ref: 18956]
 John Landry
 Newport News, VA
Dear Sir,

Please incluce SN: 73-21651 and SN: 73-21652 to your listing.

SN: 73-21651 is presently at the US Army Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker Alabama.

SN: 73-21652 has had a very unique life, see the following statement from the US Army Aviation Logistics School at Ft. Eustis Virginia.

USAALS Students Help Morph a
1976 YUH-60 into a 2002 Glass Cockpit Simulator

Some aircraft have interesting “lives.” Aircraft 21652 is one of only five YUH-60 aircraft built by Sikorsky as a prototype for the Army’s UH-60 material acquisition process. This is the brief story of its “life.”

Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) legislation in Title X Code Section 2366 states”… realistic survivability testing … by firing munitions likely to be encountered in combat at the system configured for combat … with the primary emphasis on testing vulnerability with respect to potential user casualties… ” shall be accomplished. Aircraft 21652 was used in the UH-60 process in 1977. After the test, the aircraft wasn’t much use to anyone except the Battle Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) instructors and students at the United States Army Aviation Logistics School (USAALS). Bullet holes and other ballistic damage make for a great BDAR trainer, but the circa 1976 aircraft wasn’t much good for anything else. The changes made after testing but before production never made it into this aircraft. Nothing was quite right. It looked like a Blackhawk, but was not representative of what was in the field.

The current UH-60 re-capitalization program is the answer to the Army’s original plan to build a new aviation system every 20 years. Re-capitalization is another way of saying major overhaul or rebuilding. The Blackhawk re-capitalization plan is designated the UH-60M and will utilize some components from the UH-60 A and L models and some new components to give it better capabilities, more durability and 20 years more service. The Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL) has a need for a cockpit test bed for the UH-60M project. The simulator testing must be done before we can go to full production. Problem is, there are no available assets suitable as a cockpit simulator cabin. By now I’m sure you see where this is going, but keep reading because there’s more. This turns into a game of “having your cake and eating it too”. USAALS still wants the BDAR trainer, and the SIL needs the cockpit for their simulator. Just like King Solomon, we decided to cut the baby in half.

Let the planning begin. We will need manpower to strip the unneeded components, brackets, plumbing, and wiring from the aircraft. Special fixtures are required to support the two pieces after the dissection operation. Some broken parts like the green houses, chin bubbles, seat cushions and belts will need to be ordered and installed. There will be special tools needed to cut the aircraft in two and all of this is, of course, on a short schedule.

Situational Training Exercises (STX) are part of most maintenance Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) producing courses at USAALS. The students get to hone the skills they acquired at the schoolhouse in a real world environment. The cockpit removal project would make good use of many of them. A 68B (Aircraft Power Plant Repairer) class removed both GE700 engines. One class of 67Ts (UH-60 Helicopter Repairer) removed the transmission and accessory modules as well as all the hydraulics on the upper deck. Another 67T class removed flight controls from one aircraft, performed a 1000 hour inspection, and installed them on the YUH project bird. Several 68G (Aircraft Structural Repairer) classes worked on patching bullet holes, repairing doors, and removing brackets. A 68F (Aircraft Electrician Repairer) class removed all the old wiring and electrical components. All the classes STXs were highly successful training events and benefited the Army’s UH-60 SIL cockpit test bed project.

There was still some work to be done before the cockpit would suit the needs of the SIL team. The pedals and power control levers, to name a few items, needed to be changed to the current fielded versions. Some of the less intact Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) specimens at Aberdeen Proving Grounds gave their parts to the cause. Army aircraft are like organ donors…they keep giving even after they no longer fly.

YUH-60 tail number 21652 has been proving concepts, training soldiers, and now testing new equipment for over 25 years. The real trick is that it is doing it in two places at the same time. Enjoy the cockpit at Fort Rucker. We will continue to train BDAR on the rest of it here at Fort Eustis. Quite an aircraft eh?

09/19/2005 @ 16:21 [ref: 11283]


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