The “Black Shark” Night Thread (10/14/21)

The Kamov Ka-50 “Black Shark” is a single-seat Russian attack helicopter developed in the 1980s and produced in the 1990s. It is heavily armed, has contra-rotating main rotors, and lacks a tail rotor.

The coolest thing about it, though, is that it is the first helicopter with an ejection seat. How does that work without dismembering the pilot? Well, first, explosives in the rotor disc blow the rotors off, then the canopy is jettisoned, and finally the pilot’s seat ejects as one would expect from a fighter jet. It’s a lot like this (though this simulation is of the Ka-52, the Ka-50’s successor and a two-seater helicopter with some other design changes):

I’m not sure I’d feel great flying around knowing I’m surrounded by explosives, but that’s probably why I’m not a Russian attack helicopter pilot (well, one of many reasons). Anyway, there are 32 “Black Sharks” still in service today.

Have a great Night Thread, Avocados! Don’t forget to detonate the rotors first!