"Pave Low Leads" - 551st SOS
Tribute to H-53's 1979 - 2008 (De-comission 2008)
(More videos on "ThePaveCave.com Pave Low un-official site)
"That Others May Live" - Para Rescue
About The Helo's
The MH-53J Pave Low III heavy-lift helicopter was the largest, most powerful and technologically advanced transport helicopter in the US Air Force inventory. The terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, forward looking infrared sensor, inertial navigation system with Global Positioning System, along with a projected map display enable the crew to follow terrain contours and avoid obstacles, making low-level penetration possible.
Under the Pave Low III program, the Air Force modified nine MH-53Hs and 32 HH-53s for night and adverse weather operations. Modifications included forward-looking infrared, inertial navigation system, global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, APQ-158 terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, an on-board mission computer, enhanced navigation system, and integrated avionics to enable precise navigation to and from target areas. The Air Force designated these modified versions as MH-53Js.
The MH-53J's main mission was to drop off, supply, and pick up special forces behind enemy lines. It also can engage in combat search and rescue missions. Low-level penetration is made possible by a state-of-the-art terrain following radar, as well as infrared sensors that allow the helicopter to operate in bad weather. It was equipped with armor plating. It could transport 38 troops at a time and sling up to 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg) of cargo with its external hook. It was capable of top speeds of 165 mph (266 km/h) and altitudes up to 16,000 feet (4,900 m).
The MH-53M Pave Low IV was modified from the MH-53J configuration with the addition of Interactive Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical Terminal or IDAS/MATT. The system enhanced the defensive capabilities of the Pave Low. It provided instant access to the total battlefield situation, through near real-time Electronic Order of Battle updates. It also provided a new level of detection avoidance with near real-time threat broadcasts over-the-horizon, so crews can avoid and defeat threats, and replan enroute if needed.
The MH-53 Pave Low's last mission was on 27 September 2008, when the remaining six helicopters flew their last combat missions in support of special operations forces in Southwest Asia. These MH-53Ms were retired shortly thereafter.
I bought 2 Revell 1/48th CH-53G (HH-53) for quite sometimes (in 1998). After few years on the shelf, I started to sub assemble and dry-fitting some of the parts and admiring how big this kit would be on my display shelves. Couldn't resist the temptations I started with the fuel tanks and side sponson, and unpatiently starting to glued the main rotor together. Big mistakes with the assemblies of the main rotor when the rotor warped and breaks when i leave it in the car for few days when shifted to new home. Discourage and start to lose the initiative (rotor looks like a peace symbol!!) i put the kit away back in the box for dust collecting process for period of time.
I believe this kit was discontinued. With more advanced kit from Academy on E version in 1/48th scale (Sea Dragon & Sea Stallion) this older version was forgotten. Luckily i managed to get 2 of these kits on hand before it was discontinued and decided to built the Jolly Green Giant (Special Ops - Pave low III) and hopefully manage to get Cobra Company or Cutting Edge conversion kit which been released for quite sometimes. There's another company (HighFlight) which produce the upgrade conversion but i reckoned this is reproduction from either earlier companies that i mentioned. (my thoughts was wrong... this is a new set altogether) This would helps a lot and I don't have to do much work to convert the later twin-engine variants the Pave Low III.
While this kit is currently out of production at the moment, they are still available at kit swaps and even eBay, and Revell tends to reissue this kit once in a while anyway. My focus will be definitely on the interior cabin, cockpit and some exterior detailing to enhanced this old kit. Cross my fingers that this project would take no longer than 2 months to complete (especially the interior!).
well...let's get started... I have 2 options to achieve this: Option 1: To complete the panels & ribs column on 0.01 plastic sheet. This would be easier to for the panels to be install but will require 3 plastic panels (both sides starboard/portside and top panels). However there will be a waste of resources especially for the plastic sheet (which very hard to come by) Option 2: Typical installation directly to the kit. However surface preparation need to be complete before paneling took place. Measurements, however need to be precise and would be a challenge due to the contour of the surface.
I opted option 2.
Hi again... progress on the interior cabin:
Detailing Interior Cabin - Taking shape...
Forward cabin, Bulkhead etc..
The bulkhead was modified to replicate details of actual helos. More details to be added.
I'm running out of plastic strip, on my way to the art store to get some... tbc...
added 0.03 strips for the paneling.
Today i received a parcel from states and without further delay went and collected it from post office and... here it goes...i'm so excited!!
It seems HighFlight set was actually a totally new mold altogether differ from either Cutting Edge or Cobra company sets. the only setback is subtle details such as panel lines and rivets would easily wipe out during surface preps. Antenna templates were given and you have to scratch built using plastic cards. Instruction sheet is fairly understand for experience modeler with clear drawings to pin point the location. however, sufficient references required on the placement since there will be a guesstimation require on the placement of the accessories.
The contents... the fuel tanks was solid and heavy.
Some surgery needed for the tail rotor... the "blob" was removed and scratch build a new one...
the real thing (photo by Sherman Collings)
|The cabin ceiling in another section|
|An idea how it would looks like...|
|without piping and wiring...|
the sketch of the electronics rack...
the rack ...