What the Secret Bin Laden Raid Helo Might Look Like

Here you have it; the artists’ renderings of what the secret helicopter that crased during the raid to kill Osama bin Laden might look like have begun to surface. Since the only photos of the beast to emerge so far show only the tail section, the drawings are pretty much based on imagination and educated guesswork, but they’re still entertaining.

The first one, found on David Cenciotti’s blog, shows a chopper (we’ll call it the Stealth Hawk) that’s so souped up it’s pretty much a brand new helo save for the size and general shape. It makes the tricked out Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk look primitive in comparison.

Here’s another image found on the militaryphotos forum. It’s a bit more conservative, sticking the stealthy-looking tail found at bin Laden’s mansion onto a fairly standard H-60 airframe.

Enjoy and please send any other renderings you can find our way.

UPDATE: Here’s yet another take on what the bird could look like via the secretprojects forum:

And here’s the first Chinese take I’ve seen:

41 Comments on "What the Secret Bin Laden Raid Helo Might Look Like"

  1. This is very very very, very very very, very very very wrong.

    Look at the wreckage photos. It looks nothing like the MH-60.

    The rear is more a straight tube.

    The rotor is at the end of said tube.

    The vertical stabilizer is like a backwards slanting triangle that is far forward of the rotor.

    It doesn’t resemble an MH-60 from the tail rotor at all.

    Just a bad shop of an MH-60, and hacked render of a modified MH-60, where the part we know of isn’t even actually modeled.

  2. swissfreek | May 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

    That first one looks a lot like an S-76 at first glance, which to me makes it plausible. I'm still shocked that this thing has stayed hidden so well, considering that we've seen pictures of things like the "Beast of Kandahar" out there on the web. I still wonder what good it does to send in a stealthy Blackhawk that's being flanked by a monster Chinook.

  3. RAH-66 tech?

  4. Rotors are backwards on the first one, plus a 5-bladed head on a blackhawk would be a HUGE undertaking, not for some one-off ship.

  5. Off topic but have you heard about the new bar drink called a Bin Laden?

    Two shots and a splash of water!

  6. This rotor either way is designed to reduce noise… if people don't know. The area with all the exposed linkages create a fair bit of extra noise. It's fair to say that this however might reduce certain aspects of performance.

    I assume the rotor should have a similar cover too, to help it reduce the noise. A lot of noise comes from the interaction of the downwash with the tail rotor… hence the thin blades used here too. This does mean though that the rotor would have to be increased in speed from the MH-60… if it is a modified one… and hence a major gearbox change.

    I still stand by a prior comment… they should have dropped a JDAM after the raid :)

  7. It probably looks like the one from China. Taken from the real thing after being delivered in the covered trucks. It wouldn't be surprising. But I hope it's like the first, that's nice!

  8. 1978 Sikorsky details of three design studies of Blackhawk fuselages modified for low radar cross section:


  9. John’s pitcher’s do make it look like the helicopter pitcher’s by defense tech.

  10. What about a new model of mh-53 pave low? The tail rotors on those are at the top of the tail like that…

  11. usa is # 1 | May 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

    looks like the h 66

  12. The Silent Hawk Concept picture looks like the best candidate. The change from a standard MH-60 (L/K/M) could be as simple as:
    New fairings
    New main rotor blades (similar to those on UH-60M or Eurocopter "Blue Edge" blades)
    New main rotor head (only half the swashplate would need redesign)
    Different reduction gearing for the tail rotor(5 shorter tail rotor blades take advantage of the higher RPM and reduce noise)
    Smoothed sheetmetal and composite surfaces with flush hardware
    New stabilator

    The only change in the Silent Hawk Concept from a standard H-60 that didn't seem to make it to production was swapping sides with the tail rotor and changing the direction of rotation on the main rotor. Those would have been larger changes in how the aircraft is controlled and powered.

  13. umm, the ny times stated that there were 79 "commandos" on 4 choppers — you can't do that with the hawk frame.

  14. Fox news just had a feature saying the DOD is 'very worried' about the survival of the tail and is pressing Pakistan to return it.

  15. Yeah…and they also said it was a downed apache. I take fox news like I eat meatloaf, with a pinch of salt

  16. 2 Modified MH-60s and 2 MH 47s flown by The 160th SOAR.

  17. Blue1 that was a Fox News correspondent receiving reports from eyewitnesses. My guess is the eyewitnesses didn't understand what they were seeing and mistakened apaches for something else. Meatloaf doesn't require salt if you undrstand or comprehend what you are tasting.

  18. Alexander | May 5, 2011 at 6:45 am |

    The helo probably wasn't designed just for this one op, so the arguments against it having low observable signature don't work. Its just their go to bird that can do *everything*, not specific to this one op.

  19. tribulationtime | May 5, 2011 at 10:07 am |

    Really you can do a low observable helo? With Big rotor blades, air intakes, and the tail itself. I doub it

  20. Bunch a freaks | May 5, 2011 at 11:02 am |

    Dude you fail. Check back on the foto on the wired article: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/05/aviation-
    If this is the COMPLETE cabin this thing held either one drone computer or one dude.
    These short metal blade thingies they stuffen ontop? prolly couldnt even make it hop if it wanted. AND WTF are these wing type things underneath it? This "helo" was prolly made by his neighbour and test-flown that day.

  21. Gabbar Singh | May 5, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    Folks working at Loral in the 80's said they had seen a demo chopper that was practically silent 25 years ago. That would have had to rely on analog damping mechanisms. Imagine how much better things should be now.

  22. "We now have nearly 3,000 soldiers serving in our ranks, keeping us on track to meet our current approved growth of 3,600 by 2015. We anticipate our MH-47G model Chinook fielding to be complete next spring, and our MH-60M model Black Hawk fielding to be complete in 2015." source: AirWarrior, dec. 2010. Col. John. W. Thompson cmdr 160th SOAR.

  23. Looks like a awesome helo that can get troops to LZs more soundly due to stealth tech. BUT now with Pakistan letting Russian and Chinese personnel swarming the crash remains they can now catch up.

  24. Who knows what type of really cool stuff they're cooking up at Area 51 these days. Have Blue was 11 years old before we saw our first F-117 in photos.

  25. The side that the tail rotors are on don't match from picture to picture….this is BS.

  26. Technology obvious is the same as the RAH-66 with advanced tail rotor. This would account for the stealth and sound suppression. I can't tell about the size, but it could fit. The RAH-66, AKA as the Comanche series was cancelled because of cost, but prototypes did exist with an unknown number of variations.

  27. Maybe they just leaked that its a an MH-60 variant……could be something else entirely.

  28. uncle gene | May 5, 2011 at 7:46 pm |

    The Marine One you are talking about doesnt have the same back tail rotor as these images, it's just as loud as your average helicopter as seen from the video Anon posted above me.

  29. none of this remotely resembles the Stealth chopper that crashed according to the pictures published, if they are indeed legitimate. It appears to be a very tiny chopper /plane 2-4 man combo, it obviously has technology way beyond what they have made public. I bet it can go into the lower atmosphere as well, above 50 000 ft. It almost resembles a space ship. It had small, short, wide blades. They were chased by a larger chopper or two no doubt, but perhaps this particular stealth chopper was on a first official mission. What I want to know is how many Billions does one cost?

  30. Artist's rendition. Check this out.


  32. just thinking outloud….if this "secret helo" is so secret, then why is it all over the media???

  33. It is probably based on the blackhawk airframe, but beyond that it is an entirely new design and manufacturer. Not a bolt-on kit or modification. Judging by the only real evidence, the tail assembly and rotor, it must have a very low radar, infared and accoustic signature. Thank god the SEALs atleast had time to destroy the majority of the chopper, including the real guts of the machine. They probablty used incendiary grenades. The concern now is what remains and whos hands it ends up in. The Pakistanis are very close with the Chinese. Think about the cooperation in building the JF-17 fighter among dozens of other major defense systems they purchase from them. It is not hard to imagine that the Chinese are already looking at it. Hopefully the intelligence agencies are keeping an eagle eye on the wreckage and can somehow sabatoge or collect the remains somehow. Althought at this point the radar absorbant material used, the design and way it is put together, rear avionics, and other secrets of the chopper are already probably in enemy hands. This reminds me of back in 1999 when an F-117 was shot down in Serbia and remains were send by Belgrade to Moscow for examination. Although compared to the RAM we use now the F-117 material was a much older generation.

  34. Based on the scale of the rear rotor with person in frame I saw; looks more like a stealth version of a 53. That would also account for the possibility of high number of operators arriving on two birds. Don' t really know if that would be the Task Force boys or maybe the Air Forces 1st Air wing flying. That airframe has been there platform in the past.

  35. jim anderson | May 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm |

    It could be nothing more than a planned hoax.

  36. They werent even navy helicopters, they were army special operations helicopters

  37. anonymous | May 9, 2011 at 1:17 am |

    Man, the amount of ******** that comes out of the rumor mill is insane. Do a little research before you guys start saying it’s this, or that. I’ll listen to armytimes.com over any of you ******** any day of the week. In fact, there are dozens of credible sites all stating the same information as I listed below.

    It was a Lockheed & Beoing designed chopper people. Stop debating on what it was.



  38. Was it Airwolf?

  39. this is a ploy to distract you from the fact bin laded killing was faked..and the copter in the photo was small and looked like a drone

Comments are closed.