Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 9 years ago

What is the surviveability rate of fighters vs. helicopters?

I know helicopters are much so susceptible to fire but how much so? Is being a helicopter pilot much more dangerous? Please only real answers, no 'call of duty' type guesses

4 Answers

  • Hayley
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Well, it depends...

    Most military helicopters have redundant systems so that if you're hit in a critical system, backups start up and you can try and make it home for repairs. Also, the nature of helicopters make them capable of landing if you lose engine power. You can land a helicopter with the engine dead as long as there is some flat enough terrain to make a landing and have enough starting altitude.

    In a jet, you need to have a long enough strip to touch down, which usually is your air base (which might be too far to get to), or if you're lucky to find one, a high way. Of course, you can always eject if the aircraft is incapable of making it back home. If you're in a V/STOL aircraft, forget about doing a vertical landing with battle damage. That's just asking to crash and die with not enough altitude to eject before you hit the ground.

    Now, if you're an enemy commander and you see a squadron of jets coming into your territory and a squadron of helicopters coming in, who do you suppose he will target?

    Sure, a helicopter is slow compared to a jet and is probably easier to take out...but if that enemy commander only had a few surface to air missiles, he would launch them against the jets because jets carry a lot more firepower. A helicopter can hide behind terrain or trees to mask their radar signature...a jet obviously can't hover and stay still or it will drop out of the sky. Even the Harrier is incapable of hovering for very's engines would overheat and blow up once it's water tanks are empty. They only have enough water to spray into the engines for seconds at a time (just enough to take off or land vertically).

    Then again, a jet is capable of releasing flares/chaff and performing high G maneuvers to make the missile miss. Helicopters don't fly fast enough or turn hard enough to avoid most surface to air missiles. Helicopters are also more susceptible to MANPADs than jets since they do fly lower to the ground. Most MANPADs have a short range and a jet flying at 30,000 feet even if it's directly above you would be too far for something like a Stinger to get at.

    Being shot down with an RPG, like what happened in Mogadishu, Somalia, was pretty rare. First, those RPGs are horribly inaccurate. Two, the Black Hawks were loitering around too long and too low to the ground, they became ducks in a shooting gallery.

    Both have inherent risks associated with them. In a helicopter, you're more likely to receive small arms fire. In a jet, you're more likely to get a SAM or an air-to-air missile shot at you. Some of the newer Russian made missiles are VERY good and do not fall for chaff or get confused with flares so easily. And they can be fired from a LONG distance away...beyond visual range.

    Don't worry, if you become a pilot for either, the military will teach you exactly how to respond to each threat and how to avoid them. Most times, they will try to remove those threats so that doing your job is easier. The Air Force likes to fly SEAD missions whenever enemy air defenses are up. You can't gain air superiority if your jets can't fly over, right? Guess what those guys do on those missions? They search for enemy air defenses and then blow them up, hopefully without getting shot down themselves.

    @ Matthew

    An F-15E Strike Eagle went down over Libya from MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION at the beginning of the enforcement of the UN no-fly zone. Pilots ejected, both are safe. But just because it's a jet does not mean it's more reliable. In fact, jets go down ALL the time in training. Why? Because there's still a human on board flying it. People make mistakes no matter the vehicle, whether flying it or maintaining it.

  • 7 years ago

    you can shoot down a helicopter with a 45

  • BigB
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Well on a helicopter the wings are traveling faster then the aircraft itself therefor inherently more dangerous

    as for survive-ability rate? the survive-ability rate of what? a crash? ejection? taking bullets?

  • 9 years ago

    Helicopters are death traps and any kind of jet is considered very safe (unless war broke out with another industrialized nation).

    Source(s): How often do you hear about a jet being shot down? How often do you hear about a helicopter getting shot down or just breaking in mid air?
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