Check Out These Wicked Shots Of The Air Force’s New Rescue Helicopter In An Anechoic Chamber

No, this isn’t a scene from another Transformers movie, it’s an HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter undergoing electromagnetic interference testing.

byTyler Rogoway|
HH-60 photo


The Air Force is gearing up to put its long-awaited replacement for the HH-60G Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter, the HH-60W, into service. You can read all about this new aircraft in this past piece of ours. With hopes to begin fielding the helicopters later this year, testing is rapidly progressing. One such evolution is putting the aircraft through a battery of tests inside the very science fiction-looking anechoic chamber. 

Anechoic chambers are built to deaden any ambient electromagnetic radiation so that interactions among the aircraft's electronic systems can be closely evaluated and problems can be identified and remediated. In one of the two past stories we have written on anechoic chambers, the following description of the role of the triangular structures that line these facilities' interiors is given:

“The chamber is filled with polyurethane and polyethylene pyramids, radar absorbing material designed to stop reflections of electromagnetic waves. The size of the pyramids, which are painted dark blue or black, varies depending on the particular frequency and test procedure being conducted. Aircraft systems can be tested and verified that they work properly prior to actual flight test."

The HH-60W's anechoic chamber testing occurred over seven weeks at Eglin Air Force Base's Joint Preflight Integration of Munitions and Electronic Systems (J-PRIMES) hangar. The cavernous lab also supports the testing of guided weapons and ground vehicles, in addition to full-size aircraft. They are truly fascinating components of America's sprawling defense test and evaluation complex. 

Check out the "Whisky" getting put through its electromagnetic paces:

U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Col
U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Col
U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Col
U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Col

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