Thermal Control Problems in Military Helicopters,
ROYAL AIR FORCE FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND) INST OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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The origins of thermal problems in military helicopters are discussed and compared with those of fixed wing aircraft. Some typical helicopter sortie temperature profiles are presented for hot and cold environments. The requirements for protection from chemical warfare agents are described in relation to helicopter operations and the additional thermal problems arising from chemical protective assemblies and drills are described. Potential adverse effects on aircrew performance and fatigue are considered. Thermal hazards in post-crash survival situations are also considered particularly those related to ditching in cold weather. Various approaches to the relief of thermal stress in helicopter aircrew are considered. The limitations of engine powered environmental control systems and the potential advantages of personal conditioning systems are described. The advantages of liquid-conditioned systems are compared with air systems. Cold environment protection is described in terms of insulation and water exclusion and the role of electrically heated garments is described.