MillenWorks Awarded US Army Helicopter Crew Safety System Development Contract


MillenWorks, a strategic business of Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it has received an award from the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) to develop two components for an innovative Helicopter Crew Safety System (HCSS). Program work will be performed at MillenWorks' Tustin facility over an 18-month period.

MillenWorks, in conjunction with RDECOM's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD), at Fort Eustis, Va., will carry out component analysis, design work, prototype construction and laboratory testing toward development of qualification test-ready designs for two HCSS components. The goal of this program phase is to enhance the system's Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 4/5 to 6 as a step toward production.

MillenWorks will refine the active headrest and tensioning retractor system for its Continuously Resettable Aircrew Safety Harness to meet the AATD's specific military requirements. The harness system engages before a crash by predicting what the helicopter is doing and taking proactive measures, which include tightening the seatbelts and deploying an advanced headrest. Earlier testing and technology demonstrations showed its ability to significantly increase crew safety during a crash.

The contract also includes initial development of a fatigue reduction device for helicopter pilots. MillenWorks will apply its extensive experience in developing vehicle suspension systems to design and test an elastomer vibration dampening system for helicopter crash-worthy seats. The goal of this device is to significantly reduce vibrations that degrade crew performance and cause injuries.

"Over a three year period we've been applying our innovative vehicle safety and suspension systems design experience to develop Helicopter Crew Safety System components," explains MillenWorks General Manager Paul PierAgostini. "We're honored to be helping the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate fulfill its mission to transition critical technologies, such as the HCSS, into solutions that sustain and enhance Army Aviation."

Source: Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT)
Date: Jul 31, 2012