Jump to content

Airspeed Differences: 64E vs. 64D vs. UH60


Recommended Posts

I was looking around here a few weeks ago and I remember reading someone comparing the capabilities of Blackhawks and Apaches, saying that often Blackhawks are providing their own escort as the Apaches can't keep up (although I can't seem to find that post anymore). I also talked to my buddy at my unit here who remembers riding in the back of a Blackhawk on deployment and hearing the pilots constantly saying they have to slow down so that the Apaches can catch up. I know I can read the specs for each airframe but I wanted to get info from pilots that have actually flown these aircraft.

 

Basically, my questions is this: For Apache pilots: In actual training and real world missions, does the aircraft feel "slow" to you? Also, do the E Model Apaches gain a lot of extra power with their upgraded engines or does the weight from the extra equipment offset the power gain? I'm just curious when these two aircraft work together, if there really is a noticeable difference or if it's pretty negligible. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's often the case when mixing airframe types that one helicopter is going to be faster than another. They are different enough in terms of load, drag, power available, etc. that on a given day you might have a big difference in airspeed.

 

"Slow" is a relative term. Even if another helicopter is pulling away from me, if I'm pulling all the power I have and going as fast as I can, I never feel like I'm going slow. Unless of course we're up at 10,000 feet, because up there it feels like you're not even moving :blink:

Edited by SBuzzkill
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of you 64E chumps jump in because I'm only limited here: So the 64E in addition to the better engine also has a bigger transmission, slightly larger rotor blades (~1 ft. longer than the 64D), and composite rotor blades. This makes up for the lack of power in the 64D since it's a pretty fat bird when fully loaded.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of you 64E chumps jump in because I'm only limited here: So the 64E in addition to the better engine also has a bigger transmission, slightly larger rotor blades (~1 ft. longer than the 64D), and composite rotor blades. This makes up for the lack of power in the 64D since it's a pretty fat bird when fully loaded.

Except for that whole LTE thing because they decided not to change the tail rotor at all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of you 64E chumps jump in because I'm only limited here: So the 64E in addition to the better engine also has a bigger transmission, slightly larger rotor blades (~1 ft. longer than the 64D), and composite rotor blades. This makes up for the lack of power in the 64D since it's a pretty fat bird when fully loaded.

The transmission is more efficient and puts out more torque but it's smaller in terms of height, bigger girth. I'm almost certain the Engines are the same(the deltas were running Charlie power and the echos were at delta power, with the edecu, even the deltas mostly all run d power now. The main difference is the NGB is angled differently which changes the amount or torque lost from engine to xmsn. The blades yes are like six inches longer and are composite so weigh less, provide more lift, and a lot of wire bundles are removed to reduce the weight of acft. Could be partially wrong though, I'm just a mechanic not a pilot (hopefully one day)

I'm echo model qualified but haven't worked on them since they were first introduced into our inventory. So yeah.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other big difference is mission. The Blackhawk's job when it's in a hurry is typically a) medevac b. exfil c) ass and trash. Usually that means that they are no where near their max weight and therefore have a lot of extra power to use for airspeed. The apache's job on the other hand is typically a) take off with as much gas (=equals time on station to provide fires) and ammo (=fires) leaving much less excess power to use for airspeed. So yes lift will continue outrunning their escorts and if escort is really needed that is a mistake you will probably only make once.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The other big difference is mission. The Blackhawk's job when it's in a hurry is typically a) medevac b. exfil c) ass and trash.

 

It is ash and trash...from our Vietnam lineage. Google has more if you get bored.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't speak to combat, but on one of my last flights we were clocking 140 knots and were only pulling about 85% torque if I remember correctly. So I knew it had a lot more in it. But the 64E was smooth as glass, granted we were only at around 16000 lbs, so not even close to a combat load.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I love everything about the Apache, but when I started hearing it was slow I started to get bummed. Good to hear that it's not really an issue!

 

Why would the Apache being slow bum you out? That's just weird.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No one wants to talk to the speed king?

 

I kid, I kid. There is no such thing as a fast helicopter.

Seriously, I've gone faster in a Mooney at 13 GPH than a Blackhawk pulling the guts out at over 1000 PPH.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, I've gone faster in a Mooney at 13 GPH than a Blackhawk pulling the guts out at over 1000 PPH.

 

Two completely different aircraft with two completely different roles. But yes, helicopters are slow as hell... even my beloved Chinook.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it wasn't the actual speed that bummed me out a little. It was the speed relative to other airframes that the Apache might be supporting. I've supported the infantry on the ground being heavier and moving slower than them. I just didn't like the idea of not being able to keep up in the air.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it wasn't the actual speed that bummed me out a little. It was the speed relative to other airframes that the Apache might be supporting. I've supported the infantry on the ground being heavier and moving slower than them. I just didn't like the idea of not being able to keep up in the air.

This is a weird thread.

I dunno man, maybe fly airplanes?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it wasn't the actual speed that bummed me out a little. It was the speed relative to other airframes that the Apache might be supporting. I've supported the infantry on the ground being heavier and moving slower than them. I just didn't like the idea of not being able to keep up in the air.

 

What do you mean by "I've supported the infantry on the ground"?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The 64E is faster than the 64D (I can't speak for 64D's with 701-D Power enabled). Exact airspeeds aren't really important. Unless the UH/CH is severely overloaded, the 64s always are slower than the lift aircraft. Im flying 64Es in Afghanistan right now, and we do some mixed missions with 64Ds. We generally have to slow down a little bit so they can keep up with us, and lift aircraft generally have to slow down so we can keep up. the 64Es ARE able to keep up with the preferred cruising speed of the 60s, but barely. Which is an improvement.

 

UH/CH aren't "escorting themselves because the Apaches can't keep up". They're flying without an escort because there aren't enough Apaches to go around, and the places they are flying are generally low enough risk that its not necessary. Flying from Fob to fob doesn't justify an armed escort. If the risk is high enough, they will have an escort, and they'll fly slow enough so the escort can keep up. I have never heard of an escort being cancelled because the apaches are too slow.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What do you mean by "I've supported the infantry on the ground"?

Before getting selected for aviation, I was an LLVI team leader and we linked in with and directly supported the infantry on the ground with a very unique and powerful capability, but our rucks were always so heavy with extra gear that we had to work hard just to keep up on patrols.

 

The 64E is faster than the 64D (I can't speak for 64D's with 701-D Power enabled). Exact airspeeds aren't really important. Unless the UH/CH is severely overloaded, the 64s always are slower than the lift aircraft. Im flying 64Es in Afghanistan right now, and we do some mixed missions with 64Ds. We generally have to slow down a little bit so they can keep up with us, and lift aircraft generally have to slow down so we can keep up. the 64Es ARE able to keep up with the preferred cruising speed of the 60s, but barely. Which is an improvement.

 

UH/CH aren't "escorting themselves because the Apaches can't keep up". They're flying without an escort because there aren't enough Apaches to go around, and the places they are flying are generally low enough risk that its not necessary. Flying from Fob to fob doesn't justify an armed escort. If the risk is high enough, they will have an escort, and they'll fly slow enough so the escort can keep up. I have never heard of an escort being cancelled because the apaches are too slow.

This is pretty much exactly what I was wondering about. Answered my question perfectly! Thanks again everyone for all the responses!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...