YouTube – UH-72 Lakota
2 x 738 s.h.p. ea.
42 ft. 7 in.
11 ft. 9 in.
36 ft. 1 in.
On March 5, 2020 the U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded Airbus US$122,655,293 “for procurement of 15 UH-72 Lakota aircraft”. Deliveries should be finished by Aug. 31, 2022.
On August 21, 2019 Airbus delivered the 200th UH-72 Lakota to the Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Fort Rucker, Alabama. To date, the Lakota fleet has logged over 600,000 flight hours while training some 1,500 military student pilots.
The U.S. Army ordered a total of 345 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, produced by American Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters), after they won their LUH (Light Utility Helicopter) competition in October of 2006.
The UH-72 Lakota is the military version of the light civilian utility helicopter produced by Eurocopter. It is made in Columbus, Mississippi, U.S.A., and used by the U.S. Army and Army National Guard.
Civilian UH-72 Lakota helicopters are used as VIP, oil rig, and hospital transports, by police departments, and for search and rescue. The military version is an unarmed utility helicopter, performing many of the same functions as its civilian versions.
The UH-72 Lakota fuselage is made from composites which provide for low maintenance, strength and reduced weight.
Inside the all-glass cockpit are LCD displays monitoring all helicopter functions. The GPS system is available for total flight navigation. The crew have night vision goggles available. All cockpit instruments are night vision compatible. Flight systems are dual-redundant for hydraulics, electrics, and autopilot. There is even dual redundancy of transmission lubrication.
The relatively spacious cabin of the helicopter can easily be converted from troop transport to search and rescue medevac missions. In addition to large sliding doors on each side of the helicopter, big clam shell doors at the cabin rear facilitate loading and unloading.
The composite rotor blades of the UH-72 Lakota operate through a hingeless system for low maintenance, quicker response, minimal noise and vibration.
Flying the UH-72 Lakota
Flying the UH-72 Lakota is a pleasant experience. The helicopter’s main rotor turns counter clockwise, as with all U.S. Army helicopters. European helicopters have their rotor turning in the opposite direction. The hingeless rotor system is very smooth with little vibration no matter the speed or attitude of the helicopter, even while transitioning from low to high speeds and back again. Control inputs result in virtually instantaneous response while the helicopter’s behavior is steady and easily controllable.
The twin engines of the UH-72 Lakota are digitally controlled. Combined with an energy management system, they provide more than adequate power and quick acceleration. Hovering is easily accomplished. A noise reduction system that matches torque and rotor speed to demand is unobtrusive while performing perfectly.
Jan. 13, 2020: The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division awarded Airbus Helicopters, Grand Prairie, Texas, US$37,729,000 that provides “performance-based logistics support to include ground and repair maintenance of five UH-72 Lakota aircraft, sustaining engineering required to maintain UH-72 Lakota Federal Aviation Administration certification, the incorporation of U.S. Navy Test Pilot School specific modifications, and the support to provide ground and flight training for the UH-72 Lakota aircraft”. Work is to be done in the United States, and should be completed in January of 2025.
Some 440 UH-72 Lakota helicopters have been produced to date.
RC UH-72 Lakota