28 Aug '13, 12pm
NASA to conduct helicopter crash test at Langley: NASA researchers are planning to drop part of a mi... #airforce
HAMPTON, VA. — NASA engineers used a former Marine helicopter on Wednesday to conduct what they say is one of the most ambitious aircraft crash experiments theyve ever attempted at Langley Research Center, which will ultimately help design better and safer helicopters. The 45-foot-long fuselage of a CH-46 Sea Knight was hoisted 30 feet in the air before its cables were released, allowing the helicopter full of test dummies to free fall at a slight angle and slam into a pile of soil at 30 miles per hour. NASA officials say the impact conditions represented a severe but survivable crash. Upon impact, there was no explosion and the helicopter remained intact. There was a brief thud after the helicopter hit the ground and skipped along the surface for a few feet before coming to a rest. Still, NASA officials say they werent looking for Hollywood-style drama. They just needed...