WA company LC ” Oceanic trialled the light-weight detachable emergency floating device Pegasus at the base last week on a life-size mock airframe.
Two large flotation tubes rapidly inflate if the helicopter submerges to a depth of 10m, lifting the craft to the surface and allowing the crew to escape.
The system is designed to fit the army’s Tiger reconnaissance helicopters but could de adapted to fit more craft ” it is designed to be able to float a 10- tonne helicopter.
It was developed after two defence personnel were killed when an army Black Hawk crashed while attempting to land on HMAS Kanimbla off Fiji in 2006.
Army technology demonstrator Colonel Anton Leshinkska said the technology could help save the lives of crews forced to ditch into the ocean.
‘It revolutionary, it is in the prototype phase,’ he said.
‘If you end up in the water, anything increasing the chances of getting out of an aircraft that is sinking gives you an edge for survival.’
No time frame was given for when it would be installed on existing aircraft.