Marine One and Two
July 7, 2005 11:49 AM   Subscribe

In follow-up to this question, the president usually flies in a VH-3D helicopter (at least that's what most pictures show). But the Marine unit that flies him around also has a VH-60N, which this seems to suggest is always accompanying the VH-3D. Anyone know why? What is the VH-60N used for? Are they interchangeable? Is one just for staffers/aides? Why not use two VH-3Ds?
posted by BradNelson to Law & Government (3 answers total)
It's my understanding that the second chopper is a backup in case the primary has problems. Can't have the Prez sitting at 7-11 waiting for a ride. I don't know why it's a different type, my assumption is that it's what's available.
posted by o2b at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2005

I always thought he flew around in a CH-53. apparently not.

It might have to do with the ground treatment... They are very different weights, and the velocity of the down wash is probably very different from one model to another. The VH-60 can probably operate from fields with much less preparation than the VH-3. Just a guess...
posted by Chuckles at 12:22 PM on July 7, 2005

Well, since they work as each other's backups, it makes sense to have two different types since a single type of problem does not ground them as easily. For example, VH-60:s could be grounded due to faulty equipment in all of them, so if you were flying just those, you'd be in trouble. Also, as Chuckles said, different birds gives mission-flexibility too. Of course, it's pretty expensive to do maintenance on 2 types of choppers, but I suppose that does not matter in this case.
posted by lazy-ville at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2005

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