The decades of service for the Pave Hawk are quickly coming to an end, as the USAF is planning to replace it with something fancier, the Vietnam-era named Jolly Green II. But that doesn’t mean the aircraft will no longer take to the sky, as it still has a lot to show.
For a while now the Air Force has been running something called heritage flights, bringing together “today's state-of-the-art” aircraft to fly in formation with vintage machines for all of us to enjoy. The Pave Hawk you see here is landing after completing one such heritage flight at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia back in June.
The aircraft is deployed with the 41st Rescue Squadron, a unit of the 347th Rescue Group that has been in the business of search and rescue missions since the early 1950s. The photo shows the moments after the flight the Pave Hawk took accompanied by the Jolly Green II, a flight that required a massive HC-130J Combat King II refueling the helicopters mid-air.
The aircraft that will be replacing the Pave Hawk, Jolly Green II, should come with double the range and the latest hardware in terms of defenses, weapons, and cyber-security.