Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota – military multi-purpose helicopter, designed and developed in 2006 by Airbus Helicopters.
Work on the development of a military multi-purpose helicopter began by aircraft manufacturers in the early 2000s, while the model of the civil helicopter Eurocopter EC 145, carefully optimized for military tasks, served as the starting base for the creation of the aircraft. Thanks to the use of a ready-made base, military development turned out to be quite cheap, which in turn attracted potential customers, the first of which was the US Armed Forces, for which the project was very promising and low-cost.
At its core, the overall appearance of the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter has not changed much in comparison with the Eurocopter EC 145, however, in the flight technical plan, both aircraft are radically different from each other.
The first flight tests of an aircraft model Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota were made by specialists of the aircraft manufacturer Airbus Helicopters in 2006, and a year later, this aircraft was officially unveiled.
Due to the relatively compact size of the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter and the powerful propulsion system used here, the aircraft has high maneuverability and is very effective in its operational plan. This model can be used both as a means for transporting people and goods on its board, and as an independent combat unit, and as a means for carrying out special operations, including those related to the delivery of small groups of military personnel, their cover, and evacuation.
The Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter can be equipped with the following weapons:
- Large-caliber 12.7 mm. machine gun;
- 7.62 mm. machine gun;
- A set of unguided missiles.
Depending on the purpose, as well as on the modification of the aircraft, onboard, the aircraft Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota can accommodate up to 10 people, including one pilot, one gunner. If the helicopter is supposed to be equipped with weapons and 8 armed servicemen. If necessary, two stretchers can also be placed on board the aircraft, and therefore, this aircraft can also be used as a medical aircraft.
The power plant of the Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopter includes two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 gas turbine engines, which are capable of developing a total power of 1480 hp. This aircraft can cover distances at distances of 685 kilometers, with a cruising flight speed of 245 km / h, which is a very acceptable indicator.
- Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota – military multi-purpose cargo and passenger helicopter;
- Eurocopter UH-72B Lakota – an improved modification of the aircraft, created based on a helicopter of the civilian version of Eurocopter EC 145T2;
- Eurocopter AAS-72X – an armored modification of the aircraft, equipped with weapons;
- Eurocopter AAS-72X + – A modernized version of the Eurocopter AAS-72X helicopter, equipped with a more productive power plant.
According to official data for 2015, 349 aircraft of this model were built, while the production of Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota helicopters continues to this day.
- Crew: 1-2 people;
- Capacity: 8-9 people (depending on version);
- Length: 13.04 m. (Depending on version);
- Height: 3.45 m.;
- The diameter of the rotor: 11 m. (Depending on version);
- The mass of the empty helicopter: 1792 kg. (Depending on version);
- Maximum takeoff weight: 3585 kg. (Depending on version);
- Cruising speed: 245 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight speed: 270 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight range: 685 km .;
- Maximum flight height: 4020 m.;
- Powerplant: 2 × Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 (depending on the version);
- Power: 2 × 740 hp (Depending on version).