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Gyrodyne Model QH-50D DASH

Michel Van

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i found Little Homepage about


the Gyrodyne Model QH-50D
http://www.gyrodynehelicopters.com/qh-50d1.htm
(of course also the Other model QH-50 A to Nite Panther)

A Navy Drone from 1966

original used as Sonar detection Drone

later ARPA's weaponization of the QH-50D; program ATTACK DRONE and GUN SHIP!

look a very nasty Bug ...

... with Gunporn


the big Remote control
 

Rickshaw

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Interesting. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the reason why the Dash helicopter drone was abandoned was because of its rather alarming propensity of returning to the ship that launched it, inverted because of some sort of glitch in the control system. I understand the JSDF-Navy however adoped the system and ironed out the kinks. Or have I got the story wrong?
 

Grey Havoc

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An early example of the problem with relying on COTS. From what I've heard, the (very reliable) airframe and engine were built to military specification, but, in what was in hindsight an extremely bad idea, in order to save money the avionics were constructed using cheap commercial of the shelf components. The result was that far too many drones were lost to control/ guidance failures and any cost savings on using those components were easily erased.

Correction: The engine was modified to military requirements.
 

Mike OTDP

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Training was also a big issue. DASH could be unforgiving, the mishap rate got to the point where the Navy went to LAMPS. The Japanese operated the DASH for many years, but had better-trained crews.
 

500 Fan

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Can anybody explain what the yellow-and-red "barber's pole" device is that hangs under the skids on some versions of the QH-50, particularly the later ones? If you click on the link in the first post and scroll down the page, look at the first photo in the "What about surveillance" section. I believe it is some kind of sensor to assist in landing. There is at least one video on youtube that shows a QH-50 landing with the sensor deployed. It seems to be some kind of telescoping device that closes as the helicopter lands. It closes similarly to how an ASP extendible baton is closed. Thanks for any information anyone can share on this query.


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AeroFranz

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altitude contact switch?
unlikely, but could also it be a harpoon to engage a grid on the ship's deck. Does anyone know how the DASH was secured upon landing?
 

500 Fan

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From what I can see, there was no automatic system to secure the QH-50 when it landed. After it touched down, the rotors were slowed to flight-idle speed and two sailors ran out, crawled under the rotor disc and manually tied the airframe down with straps. One or two QH-50s were lost after touch-down as they slid of the heli-deck.


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Avimimus

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I understand the idea of dumping a couple homing torpedoes (and especially - a nuclear depth charge) at a distance from a destroyer using remote control. It makes a great deal of sense.

However, what were the rockets and guns for? How were they to be aimed?
 

500 Fan

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Further to my earlier query about the spring-loaded "pole" that extended down below the skids, it appears this item was an antenna. Presumably it was some kind of up-link antenna. Some of the "special" QH-50s used in Viet Nam were fitted with two antennae and they were fitted with cameras and other sophisticated electronic gear - one up-link and one down-link antenna maybe.

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