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MODERN AIRCRAFT


Sikorsky VH-60 White Hawk


Presidential / VIP Transport Helicopter


The Sikorsky VH-60N White Hawk - based on the ubiquitous UH-60 Black Hawk - becomes Marine One when the President of the United States is aboard.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 10/26/2018
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Specifications


Year: 1988
Status: Active, In-Service
Manufacturer(s): United Technologies / Sikorsky Aircraft - USA
Production: 9
Capabilities: Transport; VIP Transport;
Crew: 4
Length: 64.83 ft (19.76 m)
Width: 53.67 ft (16.36 m)
Height: 16.83 ft (5.13 m)
Weight (Empty): 10,624 lb (4,819 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 23,501 lb (10,660 kg)
Power: 2 x General Electric T700-GE-401 turboshaft engines driving a four-bladed main rotor and a four-bladed tail rotor.
Speed: 183 mph (295 kph; 159 kts)
Ceiling: 18,996 feet (5,790 m; 3.6 miles)
Range: 1,379 miles (2,220 km; 1,199 nm)
Rate-of-Climb: 700 ft/min (213 m/min)
Operators: United States
The Sikorsky VH-60N "White Hawk" is a Presidential ("Marine One") and government-level VIP transport operated by the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The helicopter is based on the ubiquitous Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" transport used throughout the world. More specifically, VH-60N is a UH-60A production model with elements of the SH-60B and SH-60F "Seahawk" navy helicopters added. The White Hawk first entered service in 1988 and continues in its role today (2014) while some nine total airframes have been delivered. The helicopter is only recognized as "Marine One" when the President is actually onboard and "Marine Two" designates the helicopter when the Vice President is the high-ranking member being transported. The Marine One fleet is looked after by some 800 USMC personnel and based out of MCAF Quantico, Virginia. Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) is the USMC squadron charged with the safe transportation of the United States President.

The VH-60N was initially known as VH-60D "Night Hawk". This early version was an HH-60D with 2 x General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines while its internals were appropriately configured for the VIP passenger transport role.

In service, the President's helicopter is typically flanked by other VH-60Ns to disguise the actual helicopter carrying the American Commander-in-Chief. Pilots of VH-60N are dressed in their Blue Dress uniforms (as opposed to flight suits). To protect the President's location within the airborne fleet, the helicopters attempt to fly irregular patterns. Furthermore, they are outfitted with military-grade countermeasures to combat for incoming missile threats from the ground or air-launched. The fleet is air-transported anywhere in the world where the President is visiting - allowing the familiar, well-versed transport process to be carried over from homeland to overseas and back.

Several recent helicopter programs have failed to find a suitable Presidential helicopter replacement leaving the VH-60N with several more years of service ahead of it.






Armament



None. Countermeasures are carried to protect against incoming missile threats.

Variants / Models



• VH-60N "WhiteHawk" - Base Series Designation
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