QH-50 C Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (DASH) and QH-50D SNOOPY
The QH-50 drone was developed to provide a long range standoff weapon system against enemy submarines. Utilzed in conjuction with information provided from the SQS-23 SONAR system, the reusable DASH system enabled the hunting Destroyer to destroy an enemy submarine prior to the submarine being within attacking distance of the Destroyer.
QH-50C DASH Description
The Model QH-50C Drone is a remotely controlled rotary-wing ASW weapon carrier designed to deliver alternate weapon loads of 750 lb or 850 lb. Combat radius of the-drone is about 30 nautical miles, depending on loading condition, at a cruising speed of 80 knots. The combat mission includes a 12 minute hovering capability at the target prior to release of weapon(s). The drone incorporates two two-bladed counter-rotating coaxial rotors of the semi-rigid (see-saw) type.
The blades are of laminated wood construction, incorporating taper in planform and thickness and 12' negative twist. The machine is completely controllable through the rotors. Rotor controls are operated by the automatic stabilization and remote control equipment.
Control in pitch and roll is obtained through conventional cyclic pitch control. Control in yaw is achieved by means of rotor blade tip air (drag) brakes, which provide positive directional control in all flight regimes. Directional stability in forward flight is provided by means of two vertical tail surfaces. The power plant is the 300 hp T50-BO-8A gas turbine engine built by the Industrial Products Division of the Boeing Airplane Co.
QH-50D SNOOPY Description
Reconnaissance and surveillance with the QH-50 was developed by a inventive officer aboard the USS Blue. With WESTPAC Destroyers working on the gunline off Vietnam, these intrepid thinkers developed what would be called SNOOPY. Equipped with a real-time TV camera and flying from the same destroyer platforms it used for its ASW role, SNOOPY joined the fleet in January 1965. The SNOOPY program provided Destroyers an "over-the-horizon situational awareness" in order to more accurately target the Destroyer's 5" guns and provide immediate gunnery correction. SNOOPY was used with great success off Vietnam and began the military's use of unmanned aerial vehicles to provide intelligence. Though all SNOOPY units were lost in combat or accident, one SNOOPY QH-50D model exists aboard JPK DD850 due to the Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation which manufactured the unit from original production hardware.
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