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I came across this helicopter and am wondering what the oblong things on either side of the helicopter are, parallel to the front-back axis, offset from the main body.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you post a better photo? Maybe some zoom & other image enhancements? $\endgroup$ – curious_cat Nov 30 '15 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ @curious_cat How's that? $\endgroup$ – andrewmh20 Nov 30 '15 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ Much better, thanks! $\endgroup$ – curious_cat Nov 30 '15 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ @andrewmh20 Can you tell when and where u came across that heli? $\endgroup$ – aeroalias Nov 30 '15 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ @aeroalias Israeli skies, and I see from the link below that Israel had some CH-53D's. $\endgroup$ – andrewmh20 Nov 30 '15 at 12:35
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The helicopter is a Sikorsky CH-53 (probably an 'E' model). According to this site, the two sponsons holding the fuel tanks are also the place where the landing gear retract.

EDIT: Probably not an 'E' model as the 'E' model has a seven-blade rotor, while the one in this picture doesn't. I'd say this is a 'D' model or an MH-53 'J' model.

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The helicopter is a S-65C-3 Yas'ur (Albatross). It is a CH-53D version similar to USAF HH-53C Pave Low. Here is a photo of the same.

CH 53

The identification is based on the following:

  • Six bladed main rotor

  • The sponsons which hold the fuel

  • The only variant of CH-53D with in-flight refueling probe in service is the Israeli version. All others (HH-53 and MH-53) have been retired. CH-53E has refueling probe, but it has 7 blades.

Israel ordered 36 of these,of which around 23 are still in service.

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