12/18/12 SEE UPDATE AFTER READING THE CONTENT BELOW!: http://aviationintel.com/2012/12/18/new-footage-and-info-emerges-regarding-stealth-black-hawk-helicopters-used-in-zero-dark-thirty/
David Cenciotti over at the TheAviationist.com has a great piece today on a picture that was randomly put up on the net of a soldier standing in front of what appears to be a stealth transport helicopter, and by the tail it would be the same type of stealth helicopter used in the raid that killed Bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout over a year ago. This aircraft looks very much how I explained it would probably look in the past, and at first glance it looks like the real deal (with some major reservations), yet in a recently published trailer for the upcoming film “Zero Dark Thirty,” made by the same team that brought us “The Hurt Locker,” it appears that the aircraft and the hangar pictured here are featured in it. Upon further examination of the craft’s features such as the rotor blades joints, cockpit instrument panel, F-117 pitot tubes (bad novice aviation “expert” add), width of the fuselage, lack of gold plating on the windows, intake filters and especially the paint look suspect. Additionally, the aircraft really should look a bit more flowing in design if it was really produced within the last decade. This thing looks like it should really belong in the early 1990s as best, if it they were produced at that time it would make sense (claims of two generations of stealth H-60s do exist, look at older posts to read more). Also the appearance of this picture on an open-source site at the same time that the trailer was released raises some eyebrows. Viral marketing is a huge part of film promotion these days, and nothing sparks folks fancy like pictures of secret black helicopters, which have become somewhat of a Loch Ness Monster of conspiracy theorists and technology geeks alike. Yet at the same time I have to say that I believe the helicopter pictured in this photo is fairly close to what the real thing looks like and the producers went to the right folks to get these aircraft mocked up.
UPDATE: Reader “GoldenGun” sent this over to me, apparently a guy on the AR-15 forums is claiming this to be the prop for the “Zero Dark Thirty” movie that he was also an extra on: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/1323766_.html
Also you can see that this is the exact aircraft (and the hangar) used in the movie trailer after manipulating screen captures from the youtube video:
For complete linear Aviationintel coverage on the stealth Blackhawks and the Bin Laden raid please click here: http://aviationintel.com/category/stealth-blackhawk-bin-laden-raid/
Be sure to check out Dave’s site TheAviationist.com on a regular basis, he really stays on top of the aviation news arena!
*Big thanks to Alex for shooting over that trailer, always much appreciated.