Wire strike protection system
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The wire strike protection system (WSPS) is a mechanical wire cutter designed to mitigate the risk of wire strikes while flying helicopters at low-level, particularly military helicopters and those civilian helicopters involved in agricultural work.
All small to medium [a] United States Army helicopters were fitted with WSPS in a retrofit programme that was completed in 1992. Between 1996 and 2002 the US Army had no fatal wire strike accidents.
A typical WSPS installation had a roof-mounted cutter and one fitted to the fuselage[b], a deflector is fitted to the middle of the windshield to guide the cable into the cutters. Sometime a windshield wiper protector frames is used to stop the cables from catching on wiper motor shafts.[unreliable source?]
The system is effective when the helicopter strikes the wires at angle of less than 90 degress and at speeds more than 30 knots (35 mph; 56 km/h). The system is designed to cut a 3⁄8-inch (9.5 mm) steel cable with a breaking strength of 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg).
- OH-58, UH-1, OH-6, AH-1, UH-60 and AH-64
- multiple fuselage cutters can be used
- www.helicopterpage.com - WSPS (How Helicopters Work)[unreliable source?]
- Wire Strike Accidents in General Aviation: Data Analysis 1994 to 2004 – Page 33
- Wire Strike Protection System, MDHS 500 Maintenance Manual
- Magellan Aerospace Announces New Bell Helicopter Wire Strike Protection System Development