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Inside Combat Rescue

Six-Part Event Premieres Monday, February 18 10P http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/inside-combat-rescue/ \

 

The elite Combat Rescue members of the U.S. Air Force, Pararescuemen, or PJs, have one mission: rescue American or allied forces in extreme danger. Whether their targets are shot down or isolated behind enemy lines, surrounded, engaged, wounded, or captured by the enemy, PJs will do whatever necessary to bring those in peril home. For the first time in their history, the PJs allow camera crews to extensively cover their missions in Afghanistan. Inside Combat Rescue brings you into the lives of these elite airmen.

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ESA's dropship quadcopter concept may offer precise, safe landings for future Mars rovers

ESA's dropship quadcopter concept may offer precise, safe landings for future Mars rovers | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The ESA has tested a novel system that may allow the agency to safely land rovers on Mars using a quadcopter-like dropship. A fully automated, proof of concept Skycrane prototype was created over the course of eight months under the ESA's StarTiger program, with the system's hardware largely derived from commercially available quadcopter components.


The primary challenge for the Dropter project development team revolved around creating a system that could successfully detect and navigate hazardous terrain without the aide of real-time human input. This is a vital feature for any potential rover delivery system, as it is impossible to create a directly controllable sky crane due to the distance between the operator and the vehicle that creates a time lag between command and execution.


Therefore the new rover delivery method had to be designed around an autonomous navigation system. Initially the dropship navigates to the pre determined deployment zone using GPS and inertia control. Once in the vicinity of the target zone, the lander switches to vision-based navigation, utilizing laser ranging and barometers to allow it to detect a safe, flat area upon which to set down its precious cargo.


Once such a site is identified, the lander drops to a height of 10 m (33 ft) above the surface and lowers the rover with the use of a bridle, gradually descending until the rover gently touches down on the planet's surface.


The culmination of eight months of development took place at Airbus’s Trauen site, located in northern Germany, where the concept dropship was put through its paces in a 40 m (131 ft) by 40 m (131 ft) recreation of the Martian surface. During the test, the lander managed to successfully use its navigation systems to safely transport a mock rover to the chosen target zone, whereupon the delivery vehicle assessed and selected a flat, safe landing site, and deployed the rover using the 5 m (16 ft) bridle.


Now, with the concept a proven success, the agency and its partners can focus on further developing the dropship for heavier, more realistic payloads.


The video below displays footage of the prototype dropship during the test at Airbus’s Trauen facility.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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AgustaWestland/Kongsberg sign co-operation agreement - Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul - NH90 / AW101 "NAWSARH"

AgustaWestland/Kongsberg sign co-operation agreement - Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul - NH90 / AW101 "NAWSARH" | D-FENS | Scoop.it

AgustaWestland has made moves to expand cooperation with Kongsberg for the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of dynamic components for a range of AgustaWestland helicopters, including the NH90 helicopter.

The companies have signed a protocol for an overarching agreement outlining intentions to make Kongsberg a Centre of Excellence for MRO of dynamic components in Northern Europe.
 

The agreement also relates to transfer of technology that includes the establishment of advanced test equipment that will enable the full functional testing of gear boxes at Kongsberg in Norway.

The newly-signed agreement will enable AgustaWestland to satisfy its industrial participation requirements in Norway and the other Nordic countries for NH90. It will also be  a major part of its support solution for the 16 AW101 Norwegian All-Weather SAR Helicopters (NAWSARH) the company is contracted to supply to the Norwegian government. 

Harald Ånnestad, president, Kongsberg Defence Systems, said: ’We are excited that we can grow our helicopter MRO business together with AgustaWestland as a valued partner and we will establish gear box testing capabilities in Kongsberg.’

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Força Aérea: #HOTBLADE2014 @EUDefenceAgency - Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP)

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Exercise #RIMPAC14 - Helicopter Underwater Egress Training - Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment @NZArmy @NZDefenceForce

The light infantry platoon from the 1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment participated in helicopter underwater egress training at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The training was done in preparation for overwater helicopter activity as part of Exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) the world's largest maritime military exercise involving 22 nations and more than 25,000 personnel. 

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Textron AirLand - Scorpion Jet

Textron AirLand president talks to Shephard Media about the Scorpion IRS/strike aircraft
 

No other jet has the surveillance and strike capability of Scorpion. And at less than $20 million to acquire, and $3,000 per flight hour, no other jet matches Scorpion’s affordability.

Scorpion is jet fast – with the ability to get to an escalating situation quickly – yet can maneuver at much lower speeds, if the mission requires it. Quickly reconfigurable, Scorpion’s interior payload bay is provisioned for sophisticated ISR systems. Plus, Scorpion is capable of being weaponized using a variety of weapon sets, including precision guided munitions (PGMs) for precision strike.

While on mission, Scorpion brings the ability to see and exploit perishable intelligence and strike fleeting targets, bringing tactical advantage to even the most demanding situations.

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AW101 "Merlin" Mk2 helicopters complete Exercise Deep Blue

AW101 "Merlin" Mk2 helicopters complete Exercise Deep Blue | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Nine Royal Navy Merlin Mk2 helicopters have taken part in Exercise Deep Blue in the Atlantic Ocean, simulating their anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol and casualty evacuation capabilities.

Throughout the Exercise, the Merlin aircraft were embarked on HMS Illustrious. Aircrews and engineers worked round the clock alongside pilots and aircrew operating on a non-stop ‘sleep-eat-fly-sleep’ rotation to support three aircraft aloft at all times with two on ready status.

The Merlin Mk2 are fitted with advanced glass cockpits and improved aircrew consoles and avionics with advanced touch-screen displays and an improved ability to detect and track targets and share data with other aircraft and ships while airborne. These improvements enable the helicopters to carry out counter-piracy and casualty evacuation missions.




The aircraft are part of a programme being carried out to convert 30 Merlin MK1 helicopters to the Mk2 model. Lockheed Martin UK is delivering updated mission systems and training facility, while AgustaWestland is responsible for upgrading the avionics and cockpit systems. 

The first aircraft entered service and achieved full operational capability in May. Seventeen aircraft have been delivered to Naval Squadrons 824 and 820 at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, and an additional four are in trials and test at Qinetiq Boscombe Down airfield.

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Reportage: "Phantom-Fieber" - Luftwaffe -1986- Pilotenausbildung

Reportage Phantom-Fieber, etwa 1986/87

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Sikorsky S-70 Firehawk Helicopter - Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD)

Experience flight with LA County's bravest in their most powerful firefighting tool, the Firehawk.

GE T700 engines power LA County's Firehawks, a civilian version of the S-70 Blackhawk helicopter, as they deploy daily and operate a wide range of life saving missions throughout LA County.

The helicopter and its engines allow operations to run around the clock providing the speed, power, versatility, and precision necessary for fire and rescue workers to do their job in a way never thought possible.

Whether they are providing timely search and rescue service, deploying crews to fight fires on the front lines, or dropping water from their 1000 gallon tanks to aid in putting out fires quickly, these GE T700 powered Firehawks have quickly become the most valuable tool in their firefighting and rescue arsenal.

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@SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket - Summary Video

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

Christian Albrecht's insight:

Capable of landing with the precision of a helicopter!

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Updated list of participants for #HotBlade2014

Updated list of participants for #HotBlade2014 | D-FENS | Scoop.it
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One week to go until Exercise #HotBlade2014 - Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP)

One week to go until Exercise #HotBlade2014 - Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The multinational helicopter exercise supported by the European Defence Agency will kick off on July 16th at Ovar airbase, Portugal. It will gather about 3.000 military personnel and more than twenty rotary-wing aircraft from six different countries in “hot, high and dusty” training conditions.

 

Located just 40 kilometers south of Porto, the military airbase in Ovar will soon beat to the rhythm of European rotors. Only a week from today, on July 16th, participants from six different countries will gather for two weeks in the Portuguese airfield for the seventh exercise supported by the European Defence Agency under the umbrella of the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP): Hot Blade 2014.

 

Multi-role training

Six Member States will join the event with their aircraft and crews. The exercise will not only involve light, medium and heavy transport helicopters, but also tactical transport aircraft; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets in the form of a P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft; and up to ten F-16 fighter aircraft from the Portuguese Air Force.

Aimed at increasing interoperability among participants, the exercise will also facilitate the training of crews in an environment similar to that of a possible theatre of operations. Increasingly complex missions will be flown, with tactical scenarios ranging from Special Operations Aviation or Urban Close Air Support to Combat Search & Rescue and Medical Evacuation.

Christian Albrecht's insight:

Pictures of Hot Blade 2013

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SOCOM advances SOF rotary wing modernisation - US Special Operations Command

SOCOM advances SOF rotary wing modernisation - US Special Operations Command | D-FENS | Scoop.it

US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is moving ahead with key upgrades to its MH-60M,MH-47G, and A/MH-6M combat helicopters, including the Block III version of the Little Bird.

With the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme heading toward down-select at the end of July, SOCOM is also looking to ‘inject’ its requirements into the initial development and design efforts of the FVL programme, in order to minimise the need for any subsequent ‘SOF-specific’ modifications. 

In its fiscal year 2015 budget submission to the US DoD in March, SOCOM defined a series of modifications and upgrades to enhance the capabilities of its existing Special Operations Forces (SOF) helicopters, and ensure they can be effectively integrated with future rotary platforms.

As part of the SOF modernisation effort, the A/MH-6 Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB) is undergoing a Block III upgrade that will see modifications to the platform’s airframe and rotors, as well as engine control and cockpit upgrades.

The chassis will be restored and reinforced in order to wind back a decade’s worth of battle damage. In addition, the main and tail rotor blades will be replaced with commercially available and competitively selected alternatives. 

The A/MH-6M’s cockpit avionics architecture will be redesigned to incorporate a fully integrated digital Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), with the intention of optimising platform interoperability and enhancing battlefield situational awareness.  

SOCOM is also looking to source a mission-configurable missile warning system (MWS) and infra-red countermeasures capability (IRCM) for the MELB, which does not currently exist at a suitable weight for the platform. 

As part of an effort to increase the survivability of MH-60 and MH-47 platforms flying in degraded visual environments (DVE), SOCOM is conducting a competitive source selection to procure synthetic vision systems capable of providing real-time ‘see through’ imagery, and heads-up display visual cueing for obstacle avoidance and landing zone assistance. 

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@AirbusHC EC175 Full Flight Simulator construction - Helisim Training Academy

The first Level D full-flight simulator for Airbus Helicopters’ EC175 rotorcraft has received airworthiness certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), enabling launch pilots to be trained with this high-fidelity system.

“Safety and support are of the utmost importance to Airbus Helicopters. Our introduction of these training systems responds to customers’ needs and expectations ahead of the first EC175 deliveries later this year,” said Matthieu LouvotHead of Airbus Helicopters’ Support & Services.  “Our investment in such resources will enable a rapid and smooth service entry for the EC175, followed by its successful operation for years to come.”


Located at the Helisim Training Academy adjacent to Airbus Helicopters' headquarters and production facility in Marignane, France, the motion-based EC175 full-flight simulator incorporates a state-of-the-art visual projection system with a 210-deg. by 80-deg. continuous field of view. 

The simulator was built by global technology firm Indra in close cooperation with Airbus Helicopters in its role as the EC175 manufacturer, and is equipped with the same data pack, avionics suite and automatic flight control system as the actual EC175 rotorcraft. 


Utilizing a motion system, computer-generated visual scenes and accurate representations of cockpit instrumentation, the simulator allows specific mission scenarios to be “flown,” including landings on off-shore platforms for oil and gas operations – enabling the most realistic flight conditions for immersive training.

Initial EC175 simulator sessions with EC175 customers have already begun using a fixed-base Flight Navigation Procedures Trainer (FNPT III), which will also be used for Oil & Gas training modules. Courses for mechanics and avionic technicians are also offered on a Practical Maintenance Training Device – which represents the full-scale aircraft.

In addition to the Europe-based training systems at Helisim, another EC175 Level D full-flight simulator will be located in the United States to serve the offshore oil and gas industry throughout the Americas. 

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Colbert Report: Elon Musk Interview

The Colbert Report - Elon Musk Interview - July 24, 2014 

Tesla Patents, SpaceX Rockets, Harrier Jump Jet, Ducted Fan Propulsion, Electric Aircraft Design
Christian Albrecht's insight:

Unusual post for this site, but definitely worth to watch!


"If you can explain it to Stephen Colbert, you definitely understand what you are talking about"


Enjoy!


Share the "bucket design" - great analogy!

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@LockheedMartin K-MAX unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ends Afghanistan deployment

@LockheedMartin K-MAX unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ends Afghanistan deployment | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The US Marine Corps (USMC) has concluded a two-and-a-half year deployment to Afghanistan of two K-MAX unmanned cargo helicopters but have no immediate plans to begin a cargo unmanned aircraft system (UAS) programme of record, officials said on 24 July.


Captain Patrick Smith, the US Navy's (USN's) Cargo UAS programme manager, praised the performance of the aircraft and its operators. They "excelled beyond anything I thought possible," he said during a teleconference with reporters.


The Lockheed Martin Kaman K-MAX helicopters were deployed to south-central Afghanistan in December 2011. Since then, they have flown nearly 2,000 sorties during the course of more than 2,150 flight hours and have delivered more than 4.5 million lb (2.04 million kg) of cargo. The final sorties were flown on 30 May before the systems were returned to a Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, New York for storage.


According to Capt Smith, the USN wants to conduct additional K-MAX demonstrations next year in order to help the USMC as it develops concepts of operations for a UAS cargo system programme of record. He added that the effort is continuing through a formal requirements process so that "a concise and achievable set of requirements can go forward".


Capt Smith said an unmanned cargo asset will allow the USMC's heavy-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53, to "focus on different priorities".

Marine Major Kyle O'Connor, the officer who led the K-MAX efforts in Afghanistan with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron One, said the aircraft were flown primarily at night with their lights out to avoid any potential kinetic threat. He said he was less concerned about more sophisticated threats such as electronic warfare or cyber attacks on data links.


K-MAX and other systems are participating in exploratory efforts such as the Office of Naval Research's Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) and the army's Autonomous Technologies for Unmanned Air Systems (ATUAS) programmes.


Another serious contender for the Pentagon's unmanned rotorcraft dollars is Sikorsky with its autonomous Black Hawk. The company, a division of United Technologies, announced recently that it plans to develop retired UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters into multirole optionally piloted systems based on its Matrix autonomous technology. It is also working with Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and the US Army to demonstrate an optionally manned UH-60MU, fitted with Matrix technology, to fly the NREC's Land Tamer unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) into a 'contaminated threat environment', deploy the UGV so it can map out the area, and then co-ordinate its extraction by the Black Hawk.


Lockheed Martin similarly worked with the army to demonstrate reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions with K-MAX delivering its Squad Mission Support System UGV into a threatening environment.

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Ovar airbase commander details Portuguese Air Force role in hosting #HotBlade14 -

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NZDefenceForce - 16th Field Regiment @NZArmy -External Cargo Training- @SikorskyAircrft UH-60 Blackhawk - @SikorskyHAWKHQ #RNZDF

A 13 person detachment from New Zealand’s 16th Field Regiment are currently at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Using the lift capabilities of the US Army Black Hawk helicopters the team were able to lift an entire gun, an experience they are hoping to replicate with our NH-90 helicopters.

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Thales "Scorpion" Helmet Mounted Display - HMD

Thales spoke to Shephard Media about its Scorpion HMD


Scorpion – the world’s first, full-color Helmet Mounted Cueing System – is designed to unleash every pilot’s potential no matter the time of day. The 24/7 system, which is the most capable and lightest weight “head out of the cockpit” display fielded today, is designed, engineered and manufactured by Thales Visionix to fit any flight helmet platform and to seamlessly integrate with Night Vision Goggles, as well as protective visors and oxygen masks.

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Active Parallel Actuation Subsystem "APAS" moves towards flight tests on MH-47G "Chinook"

Active Parallel Actuation Subsystem "APAS" moves towards flight tests on MH-47G "Chinook" | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The US Army is looking to carry out a series of flight tests in early 2015 to validate a tactile cueing system that offers many of the benefits provided by fly-by-wire, according to the system’s manufacturer.


The Active Parallel Actuation Subsystem (APAS) being developed by BAE Systems in conjunction with Boeing will begin flight tests on a converted special forces MH-47G in January.


BAE Systems director of advanced displays and inceptors Chris Colston told reporters at a pre-Farnborough briefing that the two companies hope to bring the system into production as a retrofit kit for Chinooks by the end of this decade.






‘They are going to test this on a converted special forces Chinook, starting in middle of January 2015 and should conclude around May 2015. And then we are anticipating a productionisation phase that we are hoping will feed into production on the Chinook as part of the Block II programme in around 2017-2018,’ Colston said.


Any ‘productionisation phase’ will take some two years and involve lowering the weight of the system and preparing the software for certification. Eventually APAS could be incorporated into the CH-47 Block II programme.


APAS provides the benefits of tactile cueing to aircraft that are not fly-by-wire, providing synthetic force feedback to pilots and warning when the aircraft is approaching an operating limit.


The system can be installed on any aircraft with mechanically interconnected pilot stations and displacement-trim flight controls. On the CH-47F/MH-47G it interfaces with the Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS).


You simply take the old mechanical pallets off and put the new active pallets on. It doesn’t take very long to do that and there is still some intent for this design to be field-retrofitable. So unlike fly-by-wire systems which take years to develop, with APAS the idea is you take off the mechanical pallet, put the active pallet on, upload a new version of the software onto the autopilot of the Chinook. That’s the Holy Grail of where we are trying to get to,’ Colston explained.


The system alerts pilots to potential operating limits, reducing the demands on the pilot, enabling them to devote more time to looking outside the cockpit – freeing them from the task of ‘chasing gauges’ – while allowing them to get maximum performance from the aircraft.

Boeing originally awarded BAE Systems an initial two-year development contract to produce a number of APAS units in December 2012.


The potential introduction of APAS is only one modernisation effort US Special Operations Command(SOCOM) is considering for its MH-47G and A/MH-6M helicopters.


Others include active noise cancellation technologies and a new engine barrier filter for the MH-47G as well as the A/MH-6 Mission Enhanced Little Bird Block III effort.

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Pilot Report: Flying the Airbus A400M "Atlas"

Aviation Week's chief test pilot was the first journalist to fly Airbus Military's A400M airlifter.

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@SpaceX Falcon 9 Reusable #F9R 1000m Fin Test Flight | Onboard Cam and Wide Shot

Video of Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) during a 1000m test flight at our rocket development facility in McGregor, TX.


This flight was our first test of a set of steerable fins that provide control of the rocket during the fly back portion of return. The fins deploy approximately a minute and 15 seconds into the flight, and return to their original position just prior to landing.


The F9R testing program is the next step towards reusability following completion of the Grasshopper program last year. Early flights of F9R will take off with legs fixed in the down position, however we will soon transition to liftoff with legs stowed against the side of the rocket with leg extension just before landing.


Future test flights of F9R at our New Mexico facility will include higher altitudes, allow us to prove unpowered guidance and to prove out landing cases that are more flight-like.

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@usairforce certifies @SpaceX Falcon 9 flights - Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program - #EELV

@usairforce certifies @SpaceX Falcon 9 flights - Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program - #EELV | D-FENS | Scoop.it

The Air Force has certified SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch system as having conducted three successful flights, a prerequisite for companies seeking to win business from the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Program.

Under Air Force standards, SpaceX is already qualified to compete for EELV missions, but SpaceX must also be certified by the Air Force before any contract can be awarded to the company. Meeting the criteria for successful flights is a key milestone in the certification process.

SpaceX expects to satisfy the remaining certification requirements later this year.

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#hotblade2014 Teaser Video

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'Flight Testing' the Bell 525 Relentless

'Flight Testing' the Bell 525 Relentless | D-FENS | Scoop.it
For a helicopter that hasn’t had its first actual flight, the Bell 525 Relentless sure is undergoing a lot of flight testing. Announced at Heli-Expo 2012, the “clean-sheet” 525 will employ of some of the most advanced systems ever incorporated into the first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter.
As a brief reminder, the 525 Relentless will be in the 20,000-pound gross weight class, and will be composed of a roughly equal combination of metal and composites. General Electric CT7-2F1 engines will be driving a five-bladed main rotor system. With a standard seating configuration for 16 passengers, plus two pilots, the 525 is expected to reach cruise speeds in the 155-knot-plus realm, and cruise distances of over 500 nautical miles. 
Bell invited Vertical to its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, to see how the aircraft’s development was progressing first-hand. My visit began with a return to the 525 flight simulator to see what has changed since I flew in it for my last program update over 18 months ago. Bell 525 lead pilot, Troy Caudill, would be my guide through the “flight.” And as I observed during my first visit to the 525 sim, it rivals many of today’s non-motion sims in terms of clarity, field of view and realism of the flight scenario.
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Investigation blames birdstrike for HH-60 "Pave Hawk" crash -56th Rescue Squadron - 48th Fighter Wing - Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath

Investigation blames birdstrike for HH-60 "Pave Hawk" crash -56th Rescue Squadron - 48th Fighter Wing - Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath | D-FENS | Scoop.it

Geese penetrated the windscreen of an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during evening training mission in January, disabling the pilot and co-pilot and leading to the crash that killed four Air Force crewmembers, a military investigation revealed Wednesday.


The helicopter crashed on the eastern coast of England while practicing nighttime rescue mission scenario for a downed F-16 pilot. The Pave Hawk was flying over grass-covered marshland near Cley next the Sea when geese, likely startled by the noise rose in flight and hit the helicopter flying at about 110 feet above ground level.


Investigators concluded that at least three geese hit the windscreen, disabling the pilot, co-pilot and the aerial gunner. All three were rendered unconscious. One goose also hit the nose of the aircraft, disabling the trim and flight path stabilization systems.


With both pilots unconscious, and stabilization systems disabled, the helicopter banked left to the point it had no vertical lift. It crashed about three seconds after being struck by the geese, investigators said.


The Pave Hawk was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing and based at the Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath.


A modified version of the better-known Black Hawks, the Pave Hawk is mostly used for combat search-and-rescue missions, such as recovering downed air crew members in hostile situations. They practice flying low, and have been deployed in military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Christian Albrecht's insight:

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT 

INVESTIGATION BOARD REPORT

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