Troop transport, Medical Evacuation. The immediate removal of wounded service members from the battlefield., Combat search and rescue., Anti-submarine Warfare. The process of detecting, tracking, and in some cases–destroying, enemy submarines., Vertical Replenishment. The act of transfering supplies or ammunition between ships at sea by use of vertical-flight-capable aircraft, such as helicopters., special operations, ground attack… these are but a few of the many missions rotary-wing aircraft perform for militaries the world over, day in and day out.
But how do helicopters even fly? How difficult is it to fly them? Why do most have two pilots? In the event of total power loss can they glide to an emergency landing like some airplanes? How and why can some helicopters perform aerobatics but not others?
All this and more is discussed on this episode with US Navy Commander and H-60 Seahawk pilot Ron “Chadwick” Martin who schools the podcast host on all things helicopters. And, yes, there are confirmed cases of helicopters shooting down fixed-wing aircraft.
During the listener question segment we discuss military flight operations while transiting allied territory, carrier hopping for airwings and squadrons, and more on drones.