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Compared to many a warbird, the Air Force’s newest helicopter seems positively peaceful. It carries no Hydra rockets or Hellfire missiles, just a pair of .50 caliber machine guns—you can’t float about totally unarmed, after all. That’s because this chopper prioritizes saving lives over taking them. Sikorsky’s HH-60W is a flying ambulance, a medical evacuation aircraft designed to dip into combat zones, pick up the injured, and whisk them to safety. Instead of using precious lifting capability for missiles and rockets, it hauls extra fuel, configurable stretchers, and a hoist to pluck wounded fighting men and women out of areas the helicopter cannot land.
The new Combat Rescue Helicopter, as the Air Force dubs it, comes with a suite of improvements over the HH-60 Pave Hawk it’s replacing, some of them long needed. It will be able to fly farther and protect itself better. It contains new mission-planning hardware that allows crews to better coordinate their efforts better and be more efficient while searching for injured comrades. Its mission-planning hardware provides multifunction displays not just for the pilots, but for the crews in back, who help coordinate and execute rescue missions.
Lot - Times - Flight - Engineer - Back
“A lot of times the flight engineer in the back wants to know altitude, airspeed, direction, and other data, or look at the infrared displays, but requesting that information from the pilots takes precious seconds away from their ability to safely fly,” says program director Greg Hames. Now, the folks in back can take on some of that workload. The crew in the rear also get newly configured seats that swivel to face either those multifunction displays, inside toward patients on stretchers, or outside to fire the window-mounted machine guns. The seats can also be collapsed and stowed up at the ceiling in seconds, to generate more room. Stretchers can be...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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