It’s usually pretty rare that a piece of military equipment becomes a household name. But thanks to its ubiquity in pop culture, the UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter is now known by all.
This is for good reason, too, as the Black Hawk is a magnificent piece of machinery. If you’d like to learn more about this helicopter, this brief guide will tell you everything you need to know.
The Origins of the UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter
The genesis of the UH-60 began in the late 1960s, in a sense. In the 1960s, the U.S. Army was looking for a replacement helicopter to serve as an upgrade from the standard-issue UH-1 Iroquois.
This program to upgrade the military’s helicopter came to be known as the Utility Tactical Transport System (UTTAS).
For the next decade and a half, contractors came up with helicopter models, improving reliability, survivability, and life-cycle costs. The first helicopter iteration the U.S. government considered was the YUH-60A, manufactured by Sikorsky, in 1974.
The government also considered a design by Boeing called the YUH-61A. But ultimately they went with the 60A, which eventually become the famous Black Hawk helicopter.
The Black Hawk’s Design
The Black Hawk is powered by two GE T700 Turboshaft engines and sports four-blade top and tail rotors. Despite its power, the helicopter is designed to keep a small, low profile so that it can be transported inside of the C-130 cargo plane.
Though it is relatively small, the helicopter can carry 11 people, up to 2,600 pounds of gear internally, or 9,000 pounds by an external sling.
The Black Hawk helicopter has been used by several different countries in their military operations, including Australia, Brazil, Israel, Colombia, Sweden and many more.
Of course, the Black Hawk was popularized through its use with the U.S. military.
The U.S. military’s first use of the Black Hawk helicopter in combat was during the invasion of Grenada in 1983, and again in the invasion of Panama in 1989. Then, during the Gulf War, Black Hawk’s were used in the largest air raid mission in U.S. military history.
But in 1993, Black Hawk truly became a household name during the Battle of Mogadishu. This battle was part of a small, but dangerous mission to capture members of the Habr Gidr clan.
Two of the Black Hawks involved in the mission were shot down by rebel fighters sympathetic to Habr Gidr, but many of the soldiers were heroically saved.
Need Replacement Helicopter Parts?
Hopefully, this post has given you a comprehensive look at the UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter. It’s a magnificent piece of machinery that has allowed the U.S. military to dominate on the battlefield for several decades.
If you own a Black Hawk helicopter, or any other piece of military aircraft and need replacement parts or repairs, check out the military aircraft we support.