Airbus Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer – Eurocopter’s UH-72 Lakota is a twin-engine, single-rotor helicopter developed in the 1980s as part of the LHX helicopter program.
Airbus Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer
|Type||Airbus Helicopters UH-72 Lakota|
|Unit Cost||$ 5.9 million|
|Year of development||2007|
|Engine||Two Turbomeca Arriel IE2 turboshaft engines generate 738 horsepower to drive the four-bladed main rotor unit and the cowled (or open) Fenestron tail rotor unit, respectively|
|Top Speed||167 mph (269 km/h)|
Militaryezyinfo.com – The Airbus UH-72 Lakota, a small multi-purpose helicopter, was introduced to the US Army in 2007. It was derived from the Army’s LHX (Light Helicopter, Experimental) program in the 1980s, which also produced a few aircraft, but was later discontinued. Sikorsky’s RAH-66 Comanche light rocket and reconnaissance platform.
The UH-72 platform is based on Eurocopter’s EC145, which was introduced in 2002.
About 300 UH-72s have been delivered since the start of production, assembled by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter USA), and the Lakota is currently being delivered to the US Army and Navy.
The US Army’s acceptance of the EC145 makes it the first helicopter platform in the civilian-military services market.
The change is logistically based and leverages the proven capabilities of existing systems and existing spare parts to significantly reduce overhead costs.
It is designed to replace the Bell OH-58 Kiowa series of small helicopters and the Bell UH-1 Huey medium transport aircraft.
The Lakota has a distinctive European look with a rounded body and a very bright front end. The pilot’s seat and cockpit have large windows to enhance situational awareness.
The crew usually consists of two people, and the copilot’s seat can accommodate eight people or two medical stretchers (the latter for MEDEVAC). Access to the cockpit is very wide, as the raised rear bar allows for a set of clamshell doors along the rear of the fuselage.
There is also a sliding side door for normal access. The helicopter uses a launchpad rather than the more complicated removable wheeled landing legs.
The main rotor is located near the top of the cockpit, and an unshielded tail rotor is mounted along the left side of the tail.
It is powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 2 turbo engine, producing 738 horsepower per shaft, driving the four-bladed main rotor and the two-bladed tail rotor.
Its performance covers a top speed of 167mph and a cruising speed of about 155mph. It has a range of 425 miles and a maximum service ceiling of about 18,000 feet.
The ascent speed is 1,600 feet per minute. It has dimensions of 42.6 feet in length, 36 feet in rotor diameter, and 11.8 feet in height.
Apart from the U.S. Army and Navy, Thailand has ordered six of these aircraft (2015). Nine additional units have been announced for Southeast Asian countries.
The variants include the UH-72A, the military form of the EC145 model, and the UH-72B, an upgraded version of the A model with upgraded engines, improved avionics, and a new EC145 T2 based It has a fenestron canopy and tail rotor.
The AAS-72X is another model proposed as an armored light attack platform to replace Bell’s OH-57D Kaiowa Warrior; the AAS-72X+ is based on the newer EC145 T2 model but has similar objectives.
The U.S. Army plans to deploy a total of 187 Lakota helicopters as part of its new training program, with 50 already in place by 2015.
The helicopter is the successor to the Bell TH-67 light helicopter (Type 209), which was launched in the same role. The sources also said that the US military has a total of 338 Lakota helicopters and five US Navy helicopters in its fleet.