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Airbus | Avionics | Helicopters & Rotary | Testing & Evaluation | USA

UH-72 Lakota: Hot n’ High

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UH-72A LUH(click to view full) The UH-72A Light Utility Helicopter is modified commercial EC145 helicopter adapted for military use. To date, it has represented several things. A key spinoff of the canceled RAH-66 Comanche program, representing an acknowledgment that the quantity of birds in the air has a quality all its own. A major breakthrough for European defense giant EADS in the American market, to complement Eurocopter’s pull away lead over Bell and Sikorsky (but not Robinson) in the civilian sector. A big win for Mississippi’s lobbying contingent. A model of on-budget, on-time delivery. Perhaps even the next Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter as well, given Bell’s issues with the ARH-70A’s price? Unfortunately, the LUH has just encountered its first spot of trouble. The Associated Press reports that during flight tests in Southern California in 80-degree weather, cockpit temperatures in the UH-72A Lakota rose above 104 degrees, the designated critical point for communication, navigation and flight control systems… A July 2007 report to the Army said that no cockpit equipment failed during testing, but the aircraft is considered “not effective for use” in hot environments until the military adds air conditioners to the helicopters. Civilian helicopters like the EC145 from which the […]

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