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Who knows about AH-64D stores suspension angles

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Posted (edited)

Looking at photos, there are two suspension angles for stores attached to the AH-64 pylons.  Most common is a “flat” angle, where the stores are parallel to the ground when the Apache is parked on the ground.  This appears to be common with Hellfire racks and rocket pods (except for Spike NLOS, which always seems to be mounted “nose high”).  The second angle is “nose high” when on the ground.  This seems to be used with tanks.  The Israeli Sarafs almost always carry two of the big 230 gallon tanks, and they are always “nose high” on the ground.  The short tanks used on the British AH Mk.1s also seem to be mounted “nose high”.  Normally, the rocket and Hellfire racks on the same helicopters are loaded “flat”, even when “nose high” tanks are fitted.  

All that said, I’ve seen a few pictures recently showing Hellfire racks and rocket pods also mounted “nose high”. This photo of an AH Mk.1 shows an extreme example with ‘flat” on one side and “nose high” on the other side.




Anyone know the ins and outs of the different suspension angles, especially for the Hellfire racks and Rocket pods?  As a note, all of the pylon in the Takom kits are “flat”, even the ones in the Saraf kit, which is wrong for the tanks.


My guess is that the reason the tanks are set “nose high” is for drag reasons, since in horizontal flight they are 

fairly level.

Edited by Dave Williams
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There is a vertical strut in the rear of the pylon that pushes the rear of the suspension rack downward.  The video shows that it’s movable in flight between the two positions, not fixed in one position or the other.  The WWP book shows the rear pushed down on all of the in flight pictures when carrying rails or pods.  Also, looking at the tank setup, I suspect the main reason they are normally always down is to allow access to the fuel connections, which are on a small extension added onto the rear of the suspension rack (or maybe the fuel lines prevent the rack from being set horizontal).  So, that makes sense for the tanks.  

What isn’t clear is my question about why the rocket/Hellfires are sometimes in the nose high positions when parked.  I assume that the “flat” position makes it easier to load missiles on the Hellfire rails, and maybe load rockets into the pod too.  But I’m not sure the advantage of setting them nose high on the ground.

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