Live Stream: NASA Crashing Helicopter in Safety Test

    NASA's Langley Research Center engineers are scheduled to crash test a former Marine helicopter at the historic Landing and Impact Research facility. The fuselage is painted in black polka dots as part of a high speed photographic technique. (NASA Langley/David C. Bowman)

    NASA is purposely crashing a helicopter on Wednesday to test safety measures and learn from how the aircraft takes the impact.

    The helicopter being crashed is a former Marine helicopter, a CH-46 Sea Knight, that has been outfitted with cameras and other hardware.

     “Almost 40 cameras inside and outside of the helicopter will record how 13 crash test dummies react before, during and after impact,” said lead test engineer Martin Annett, according to NASA. “Onboard computers will also record more than 350 channels of data.”

    Using high speed photography, which film at 500 images per second, the researchers will track dots inside the craft to see how the fuelage buckled, bent, cracked, or collapsed during the crash.

    The researchers also installed a Xbox Kinect inside the helicopter to see if it can be used to track the dummies movements.

    The helicopter will be lifted about 30 feet into the air and will hit the ground at about 20 miles an hour. 

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