Monday, July 9

Kittyhawk's 35th scale MH-60L is circling ever closer in the 2nd test shot build preview...

We just got some pictures of Kittyhawk's new MH-60L Black Hawk helicopter in 1/35th scale is the second test shot build - a lot more to see then the first test we saw a month or so ago - it is looking mighty fine, and we can hear modellers clamouring for it through the rotor wash - see how it's shaping up in our preview...

The second test shot build preview from Kittyhawk

Sikorsky MH-60L "Black Hawk"
From Kittyhawk Models
Kit No# KH50005
1/35th scale
Release TBA
Price TBA
Kitthawk has released a second, much more entire test build to the public eyes, and to us, it looks just as impressive as its brother HH-60G we looked at in preview a week or so ago. The addition of people like Floyd Werner from Werner's wings on board allows them to have the intricate knowledge of helicopters that other model companies could only wish for. We are getting ahead of ourselves - what are the main characteristics of the MH-60L? we thought we might look at the real thing...
The Sikorsky MH-60L "Black Hawk"
The MH-60L Black Hawk is a special operations modification of the standard UH-60 "Blackhawk". It is used by the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) ("Night Stalkers"), based on the UH-60L with T700-701C engines. It was developed as an interim version in the late 1980s pending fielding of the MH-60K. Equipped with many of the systems used on MH-60K, including FLIR, colour weather map, auxiliary fuel system, and laser rangefinder/designator. A total of 37 MH-60Ls were built and some 10 had received an in-flight refuelling probe by 2003.
Most made famous by the  "Battle of Mogadishu" or "Day of the Rangers" (Somali: Maalintii Rangers), was part of Operation Gothic Serpent and brought into the eye of the public by the film "Black Hawk Down". It was fought on 3–4 October 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia, between forces of the United States—supported by UNOSOM II—and Somali militiamen loyal to the self-proclaimed president-to-be Mohamed Farrah Aidid, who had support from armed fighters. The battle is also referred to as the First Battle of Mogadishu, to distinguish it amongst the nine major Battles of Mogadishu during the decades-long Somali Civil War. 
The initial U.S. Joint Special Operations force, Task Force Ranger, was a collaboration of various elite special forces units from Army Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command and Navy Special Warfare Command. Task Force Ranger was dispatched to seize two of Aidid's high-echelon lieutenants during a meeting in the city. The goal of the operation was achieved, though conditions spiralled into the deadly Battle of Mogadishu. The initial operation of 3 October 1993, intended to last an hour, became an overnight standoff and rescue operation extending into the daylight hours of 4 October.
Super 68 'Razor's Edge'  from Operation Gothic Serpent is now on display at the Army Aviation Museum on Ft Rucker, Alabama
This model from Kittyhawk:
The 35th scale MH-60L is is it's second test phase build now and as you can see, there is little left to this kit to make it complete. The optional addition of an in-flight refuelling probe will help as these were an optional, but often used addition to these helos.
A fair array of weapons including Hellfire missiles, Miniguns and fixed machine guns on its stub mounted wing pylons are included. We noted several panels including the noose can be removed for display also.
A size comparison with its brother the MH-60L Little bird, also from Kittyhawk
We have mentioned this in the HH-60 preview - but this family of helicopters has a broad scope for more variants in plastic - and if not, in a resin conversion - the family goes a little like this:

Pave Hawks:
HH-60A: Prototype for the HH-60D rescue helicopter. A modified UH-60A primarily designed for combat search and rescue. It is equipped with a rescue hoist with a 200 ft (60.96 m) cable that has a 600 lb (270 kg) lift capability, and a retractable in-flight refuelling probe.
HH-60D Night Hawk: Prototype of combat rescue variant for the US Air Force.
HH-60E: Proposed search and rescue variant for the US Air Force.
HH-60G Pave Hawk: Search and rescue helicopter for the US Air Force upgraded from UH-60A Credible Hawk.
MH-60G Pave Hawk: Special Operations, search and rescue model for the US Air Force. Equipped with long-range fuel tanks, air-to-air refuelling capability, FLIR, improved radar. Powered by T-700-GE-700/701 engines.
Maplehawk: Proposed search and rescue version for the Canadian Forces to replace ageing CH-113 Labradors. The CF opted for the CH-149 Cormorant instead.
HH-60P Pave Hawk: Combat Search and Rescue variant of UH-60P, in service with Republic of Korea Air Force. The variant includes External Tank System and FLIR for night operations.
HH-60W: Combat rescue helicopter variant of the UH-60M for the U.S. Air Force to replace the HH-60G.
Black Hawks:
MH-60A Black Hawk: 30 UH-60As modified with additional avionics, night vision capable cockpit, FLIR, M134 door guns, internal auxiliary fuel tanks and other Special Operations mission equipment in the early 1980s for U.S. Army. Equipped with T700-GE-701 engines. Variant was used by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The MH-60As were replaced by MH-60Ls beginning in the early 1990s and passed to the Air National Guard.
MH-60K Black Hawk: Special operations modification first ordered in 1988 for use by the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ("Night Stalkers"). Equipped with the in-flight refuelling probe, and T700-GE-701C engines. More advanced than MH-60L, the K-model also includes an integrated avionics system (glass cockpit), AN/APQ-174B terrain-following radar, colour weather map, improved weapons capability.
MH-60L DAP: The Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) is a special operations modification of the baseline MH-60L, operated by the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The DAP is configured as a gunship, with no troop-carrying capacity. The DAP is equipped with ESSS or ETS stub wings, each capable of carrying configurations of the M230 Chain Gun 30 mm automatic cannon, 19-shot Hydra 70 rocket pod, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles, GAU-19 gun pods, and M134 minigun pods, M134D miniguns are used as door guns.
MH-60M Black Hawk: Special operations version of UH-60M for U.S. Army. Features the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) glass cockpit and more powerful YT706-GE-700 engines. All special operations Black Hawks to be modernized to MH-60M standard by 2015.
MH-60 Black Hawk stealth helicopter: One of two (known) specially modified MH-60s used in the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan on 1 May 2011 was damaged in a hard landing, and was subsequently destroyed by U.S. forces. Subsequent reports state that the Black Hawk destroyed was a previously unconfirmed, but rumoured, modification of the design with reduced noise signature and stealth technology. The modifications are said to add several hundred pounds to the base helicopter including edge alignment panels, special coatings and anti-radar treatments for the windshields.

Well, the mind boggles! We have not even mentioned coast guard and early UH-60 Models yet that could possibly be devised from this family - we will stop there and let you think about it  - it looks like a good proposition to us - proof will be in the making - and we will try and get one made up for you to show you the kit's worth when it is released in the next two months by the look of it!

Find out more about Kittyhawk's models on their website...