Step inside a Black Hawk helicopter — the Army workhorse that commands wars and takes troops into battle

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

FORT BLISS, Texas – A sea of military helicopters littered the wind-swept concrete of Biggs Army Airfield, including Apaches, Chinooks – and yes, Black Hawks.

Developed by Sikorsky, the US Army’s Black Hawk helicopter first entered service in 1978 and has since been upgraded several times. Now, more than 4,000 Black Hawks are in service with 29 countries, including 2,135 in the US alone.

The Black Hawk helicopter is an incredibly versatile aircraft, able to conduct air assaults, transport troops and supplies, medivac wounded soldiers, serve as a command and control center, and more.

And we got to see the HH-60M MEDEVAC Black Hawk version up-close.

Here’s what we saw:


The army first received the HH-60M MEDEVAC variant in 2012.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

It’s operated by a four-person crew: pilot, co-pilot, flight medic, and crew chief.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

It has a top speed of nearly 162 mph.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

And a maximum range of 275 nautical miles.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Captain Shaeffer, who gave us a tour of the chopper, then showed us the Talon thermal imaging system mounted under the nose.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The Talon is used for “surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and tracking, force protection, and search-and-rescue (SAR) operations,” according to army-technology.com.


The external rescue hoist can hold up to 9,000 pounds.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Here’s a shot of the cockpit, with the four multi-purpose displays along the dash.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The MEDEVAC Black Hawk can carry six patients, and hold up to 11 troops.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

And is fully equipped with a trauma kit.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

We also got to check out an older Black Hawk version, which is used as a command and control center, seen in this short video below:


Shaeffer then let us climb on top of the Black Hawk.

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Mike Brantley

Here’s a top shot of the rotor system.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

And one of the General Electric T700-GE-701E engines.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Check out a side view of the engine.

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Daniel Brown/Business Insider