|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
The CH-46 Sea Knight is a USN, USMC carrier borne helicopter having tandem contrarotating rotors powered by two GE T58 turboshaft engines. The engines are mounted on each side of the rear rotor pedestal with a driveshaft to the forward rotor. The engines are coupled so either could power both rotors in an emergency. The rotors feature three blades and can be folded for on-ship operations.
The CH-46 has a cargo bay with a rear loading ramp that could be removed or left open in flight for extended cargo or for parachute drops. An internal winch is mounted in the forward cabin and can be used to pull external cargo on pallets into the aircraft via the ramp and rollers. A belly sling hook (cargo hook) which is usually rated at 10,000 lb (4,500 kg). could be attached for carrying external cargo. Although the hook is rated at 10,000 lb (4,500 kg)., the limited power produced by the engines preclude the lifting of such weight. It usually has a crew of three, but can accommodate a larger crew depending on mission specifics. For example, a Search and Rescue variant will usually carry a crew of five (Pilot, Co-Pilot, Crew Chief, Swimmer, and Medic) to facilitate all aspects of such a mission. A pintle-mounted 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning machine gun is mounted on each side of the helicopter for self-defense. Service in southeast Asia resulted in the addition of armor with the guns.
The CH-46 has fixed tricycle landing gear, with twin wheels on all three units. The gear configuration causes a nose-up stance to facilitate cargo loading and unloading. The main gear are fitted in rear sponsons that also contain fuel tanks with a total capacity of 350 US gallons (1,438 L).
Known colloquially as the "Phrog", and used in all Marine combat and peacetime environments since its introduction. Still regularly flown by the Marine Corps, its longevity as a reliable airframe has led to such mantras as "phrogs phorever" and "never trust a helicopter under 30".
CH-46E Sea Knights were used by the USMC during its 2003 invasion if Iraq. CH-46Es transported personnel, brought supplies to forward arming and refueling points (FARP), carried ammunition and various tasks. Marine CH-46Es and CH-53Es carried US Army Rangers and Special Operations troops in a mission to extract captured Army Private Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital on 1 April 2003.
While the United States Navy retired the airframe on September 24, 2004, replacing it with the MH 60S Nighthawks the Marine Corps plans to maintain its fleet until the MV-22 is fully fielded. In March 2006 Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 (HMM-263) was deactivated and redesignated VMM-263 to serve as the first MV-22 squadron. The replacement process is expected to continue through the other medium helicopter squadrons into 2014.
Academyís CH/HH-46D kit consists of accurately moulded parts with a precisely fitted interior forming the cabin walls. The latter was integrally moulded rib structure and is complete with the equipment fitted at various localities against the fuselage walls. The instructions come in as an A4 Booklet of 12 pages of detail steps, which are easy to follow. Construction is well illustrated and detail colouring, decal positioning and suggestions for alternative parts are clearly marked.. The kit represents a complicated helicopter of impressive size and much engineering work has gone into it to ensure a perfect fit so that there is little, if any, need for filler. The kit has five sprues of grey plastic and one in clear plastic, all neatly packed in separate plastic bags. Two large decal sheets are similarly packed.
is carried in a number of steps. Step 1 starts with the assembly of the rotor
heads with all the intricate parts they contain. Step 2 to 7 then involve the
cabin interior and a quantity of tiny decal positioning. Unfortunately, the
interior is only partially visible, even when the starboard door and ramp are
left open. Step 8 covers the cockpit, including the positioning of the three
instrument panels. Having had the opportunity to study Sea Knights on several
occasions during visits on Kearsarge, Wasp and
drilled out to a larger bore in order to give a more realistic thin annular
ere drilled out to a larger bore in order to give a more realistic thin annular section.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Carmel J. Attard
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