Feature story A Lakota “family photo” underscores the mission diversity for EADS North America's UH-72A


May 17, 2010

The UH-72A Lakota’s growing mission applications are highlighted by this impressive photo, which brings together aircraft that represent four different configurations of the Light Utility Helicopter.

In the foreground is one of five H-72As delivered to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland, for the training of test pilots from the U.S. military and allied countries.  The H-72A uses the same airframe, engines and basic systems as the UH-72A Lakota, with configuration changes for its training role that include jettisonable cockpit doors for rapid egress, a cargo hook weighing system and a traffic advisory system. 

In addition to its distinctive Navy Test Pilot School white and orange color scheme, the H-72 also incorporates voice and flight data recorders, an underwater locator beacon and an enhanced mast moment indicator.

Standing out in the second position of this Lakota photo lineup is one of the UH-72As that will be stationed at the Pacific Ocean’s Kwajalein Atoll.  A total of four helicopters will be used for transport and support missions at the U.S. Army’s missile test range, replacing aging UH-1s.  Painted in high-visibility orange, these UH-72As are equipped with skid-mounted floats, a life raft and jettisonable cockpit doors.

A green Lakota in the third position is one of the aircraft being delivered to Army National Guard units as well as the active duty U.S. Army units throughout the United States.  These aircraft are utilized for transport, MEDEVAC and support missions from coast to coast, demonstrating high operational availability rates. 

Completing the UH-72A lineup is one of the Lakotas being deployed to the U.S. Army’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Germany.  This aircraft is one of the Lakotas configured in an “opposing force” camouflage paint scheme.  Light Utility Helicopters are used by the JMRC in training pilots for combat engagements, as well as for support missions that include carrying observers to oversee war game scenarios performed against “aggressor” aircraft.


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