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Lakota!

4 May 2016
UH-72A Lakota U.S. Army image by Jeff Lenorovitz, EADS Photographer

Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota—U.S. Army image by Jeff Lenorovitz, EADS Photographer

The U.S. Army is replacing the OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Huey/Venoms (an evolved Huey) with the Airbus Helicopter UH-72A Lakota as its light utility helicopter. Eurocopter had been the most recent manufacturer until acquired by Airbus Helicopter—the original design firm was Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). These have often been seen as medevac helicopters for EMS as well as hospitals for two decades. Essentially unmodified civilian helicopters, the Army is purchasing the Lakotas to free up UH-60 Blackhawks for combat missions. Clamshell doors at the rear admit two litters as well as easy cargo access. The twin Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines, of 738 shp each, provide reliability. Cruise speed is 153 mph over 370 miles. Crewed by two its troop capacity is nine (optimistically, perhaps) or two litter cases and medical personnel.

Kevan of the bloc on preserved aircraft Pickled Wings has this interesting note: “…the UH-72 is a development of the Eurocopter EC-145. The EC-145 was developed from the MBB BK-117, itself a development of the BO-105.” As he later sums up, the Lakota is a grandchild of the BO-105. Thank you Kevan for the description of the Lakota’s esteemed lineage 🙂

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Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota—U.S. Army image

The new UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter sits on the tarmac at the National Guard’s Eastern Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. The facility will provide all aviator and aircrew training on the new aircraft. Photo by Army Pfc. Coltin Heller see: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=50543

The new Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter sits on the tarmac at the National Guard’s Eastern Aviation Training Site at Fort Indiantown Gap PA—U.S. Army photo by Pfc Coltin Heller

An UH-72A Lakota assigned to “A” Company, 2-151st Security and Support Aviation Battalion, S.C. Army National Guard, flies over South Carolina’s major hurricane escape routes, Beaufort, S.C., June10, 2015. The helicopter provided air support to local, law enforcement and police, agencies and the S.C. Emergency Management Division, during a hurricane evacuation exercise. (US Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Di Giovine/Released)

Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota assigned to “A” Company, 2-151st Security and Support Aviation Battalion, S.C. Army National Guard, flies over South Carolina’s major hurricane escape routes, Beaufort SC on 10 June10 2015—U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Di Giovine

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Eger, a pilot with the Colorado Army Natioanl Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, left, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Troy Parmley, a pilot with the Colorado Army National Guard's D Company, 3rd Battalion, 148th Aviation Regiment, fly a UH-72 Lakota helicopter over flooded areas as part of relief and recovery operations near Fort Collins, Colo., Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. More than 750 guard members have been working with local, state and federal authorities in response to flooding in central Colorado as a result of heavy rains in the area. Colorado Guard members have evacuated about 700 people by ground and military aerial evacuations currently total 2,394. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy)

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Mike Eger, a pilot with the Colorado Army Natioanl Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, left, and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Troy Parmley, a pilot with the Colorado Army National Guard’s D Company, 3rd Battalion, 148th Aviation Regiment, fly a Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter over flooded areas as part of relief and recovery operations near Fort Collins CO on 18 Sept 2013—U.S. Army photo by Sgt 1st Class Jon Soucy

 

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