IAF website answers some of the more interesting questions that have been asked via the IAF Facebook page
Do the “Yanshuf” (Blackhawk) and “Yasur” (CH-53) Helicopters have machine guns?
The primary mission of these transport helicopters is the evacuation of the wounded, transportation of forces and to transport supplies, and as such these helicopters don’t possess any weapons. Despite this, these helicopters need to be able to protect themselves. In the past, some of these helicopters were equipped with multi- barrel mini-guns, but due to the low accuracy of the weapons and the additional weight, it was decided to remove them. Nowadays, the helicopters are able to protect themselves by firing off flares and with other independent self-defense measures attached to the crafts. Additionally, these transport helicopters are able to fly in formation with combat helicopters, which are able to use their weapons to protect the transport helicopters.
Is it true that when a plane lands that pilots are unable to move their bodies due to the G-force?
When planes maneuver at high speeds, they are subjected to large G-forces, and as a result, their body weight increases. If a pilot were to try to move their body upwards while experiencing high G-force, it would be very difficult if not impossible to move.
Can a fighter jet land at Ben Gurion Airport?
From the purely technical side, a fighter jet would be able to land at a civilian airport such as Ben Gurion Airport, as the runways at these airports is longer than the minimal requirement that jet fighters need in order to land. The main difference is that the IAF runways have built in safety measures to aid a pilot in the event that there is a problem with the plane they are landing. One of these measures is the Brake Cable, which can be used to stop a landing plane if there is a malfunction with the planes brakes. These cables are laid out about every 400 meters and are able to bring a plane to a complete stop. At the end of the runway there is also a net that serves as an additional emergency braking measure.
Can a Combat Helicopter evacuate wounded soldiers from the field?
Even though they are not meant for this mission, in rare events and as a last option, combat helicopters can evacuate soldiers from the field. Even though combat helicopter pilots are not certified to carry out these missions, in the past there have been situations where they have evacuated the wounded. In 1986, a “Cobra” attack helicopter rescued the pilot of a “Phantom” fighter jet who had ejected over Lebanon after his plane experienced technical difficulties. The helicopter flew through incredibly dangerous territory, and upon reaching the pilot, had him grab onto one of the helicopters landing skids. With the jet pilot hanging on, the helicopter then flew him back to Israel safely.