1. Zfacility

    Zfacility New Member

    Hello,
    I just saw 3 brand new looking military helicopters fly over my house, the sun behind me so it wasn't an optical illusion but there was quickly dissipating black contrails following each of the 3 helicopters. I haven't seen helicopters shoot behind contrails before. Any advice on whether this is normal for new choppers or what the government agency that oversees geo-modification programs or their contact number? I didnt't have my phone at the time when I was shoveling or I would have gotten a video. This is in Connecticut and it is just before noon and the temperature is around 38 degrees so it is not ideal for contrail formation at low altitudes. The helicopters were flying low, only 2000 ft or so. Thanks
     
  2. Chew

    Chew Senior Member

    Military helicopters flying on the weekend means they are almost certainly National Guard. Backtrack their flight path and figure out which base they came from.
     
  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Coincidently I also saw three military helicopters fly over me today. AH-64Ds. Not sure what they were doing. Suggestions were Superbowl Security, or something to do with fire damaged areas.

    12440668_10153486837289514_4901289234087120504_o.

    No trails, they seemed to be flying maybe 1000 feet above ground level.
     
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  4. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    and how do you know they were military? Did you actually see the military markings?

    THe Us latest Military prototype helicopter looks like this: [​IMG]
    so it's pretty distinctive. Did it look like this?
     
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  5. Galan

    Galan New Member

    The picture is of a experimental prototype. The one and only of it kind as far as I can tell.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piasecki_X-49

    it was used as a prototype to develop the SH-60

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_SH-60_Seahawk
     
  6. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I see military copters fairly regularly in SW Conn. But they dont look like those, they sort of look like the CH-53K on the sikorsky page except the ones i see are grey like an elephant. and i'd say 'bulkier'. and noone ( i don't think) would describe them as looking 'new'.

    But Sikorsky IS somewhat near the poster, so perhaps what he saw is "new", although why they would be testing 3 at once seems weird.

    I think the question is more 'can helicopters leave aerodynamic contrails at about 50% humidity' - which is what all the areas around here were reporting as humidity yesterday (you know those internet weather pages, so god knows how accurate they are).

    it was a very cirrusy, contraily day - i took pics about 12:00 (edit: 11:48am) - although i imagine if he could see with no zoom the helicopters were "new", theyd have to be fairly low ie. not cirrus height.
     

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  7. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    Good point. This chopper is a civilian craft belonging to Castle Air Charters and could easily be mistaken for a military craft at first glance.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Efftup

    Efftup Senior Member

    I mentioned it was a prototype but it can't have been used for the Seahawk as that first flew in 1979 and the Piasecki first flew in 2007. I understand it is a protoype for a new faster helicopter, being a compound helicopter.

    As for the quickly dissipating black contrails. Were they even contrails at all? Maybe the helicopters have quite dirty smoky engines and the light just happened to be perfect for showing them up
     
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  9. TEEJ

    TEEJ Senior Member

  10. Did any of those look like this ? This is an example of a VH - 3D Sea King. If so, then you should look for news of a presidential visit in your area at the time. It's no big secret that the POTUS travels a leg of some visits in one of a group of 2 - 5 identical copters (more than one for security reasons).
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

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  12. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

    I've seen today not three but five military helicopters; four SA 341 Gazelles chased by a SA 330 Puma:
    Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 21.59.16. Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 21.58.13.
    I did not get all of them in one frame, sorry. There are no good close-ups either, but probably they were French. The helicopters came from south and proceeded in the direction of RAF Lakenheath / RAF Mildenhall.
    Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 22.20.45.
    Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 22.19.56.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  13. TEEJ

    TEEJ Senior Member

    Nice catch!. Yes they were French Army. They were visiting RAF Benson, Oxfordshire and also made a visit to Duxford, Cambridgeshire for a refuel/lunch.

    Serials and codes

    1411 DDU Puma
    3664 GAF Gazelle
    3850 GAI Gazelle
    4019 GAY Gazelle
    4233 GFB Gazelle

    See following link from Duxford showing the French Puma and Gazelles. There was also an RAF Puma acting as a photo ship/escort.

    http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=74647
     
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  14. MikeC

    MikeC Closed Account

    Black "contrails" can also be exhaust - particularly if you are looking directly at the front or rear of the aircraft...not sure that Helo's have them much but P3 Orions and C130's (up to H) are pretty notorious for them.
     
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  15. vonmazur

    vonmazur New Member

    I flew several types of Helicopters in the US Army. The large turboshaft engines, like those used by Igor S, sometimes run a bit rich, and leave a black exhaust trail. Usually this happens under certain conditions of of Air Temp,humidity and pressure, This is caused by the way the fuel control on the engine is designed and not a nefarious plot to smoke out Stratford or Milford CT..
     
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