Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Running Air Cover for The Fighting Hellfish

Thanks to Marc Webster, the Tacoma Titan, for sending the link to this story -

The Telegraph reported this week that the U.S. Army's Apache helicopters are unable to fire their Hellfire anti-tank missiles because debris from the launch would damage the tail rotor. I guess the Pentagon must have lost their big rubber stamp that says "DESIGN FLAW." The Army has, of course, responded to this problem by going ahead with plans to buy 67 Apaches at a cost of over $38 million each. They're designed to normally carry four Hellfires on each side, so to compensate, "the US has restricted its Apache helicopters to firing missiles only during wartime and to launching them only from the right-hand side of the aircraft to try to ensure that the debris does not hit the tail rotor." Pilots are also instructed to lean slightly to the left and giggle the clutch while firing.

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