In a groundbreaking joint announcement, Black Widow Helicopters and XP Services Inc proudly unveiled the next-generation Black Hawk helicopter: the Lima+. This UH-60 Black Hawk variant, born out of extensive experience and innovation, promises to redefine industry standards worldwide.
Black Hawks have long held the gold standard for aerial firefighting and utility operations. The Lima+’s market appeal is built upon the Black Hawk’s remarkable track record of over 15 million flight hours, its established legacy support infrastructure, and a host of upgrades and design enhancements in avionics, engines, and mission equipment.
The Lima+ features upgraded -701D engines and an IDGB gearbox, boasting an impressive 9000 lbs lift capacity. It is equipped with a cutting-edge FAA IFR Certified Genesys NVG digital glass cockpit, complete with HeliSAS autopilot for seamless navigation. The newly reconfigured cabin can accommodate up to 13 occupants and their equipment during emergency operations. Additionally, it incorporates the Aerometals Inlet Barrier Filter, lightweight exhaust system, and the GPMS Foresight Predictive Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS). This integrated HUMS system provides operators with a significant advantage by maximizing dispatchability while minimizing downtime and maintenance costs. After each flight, it offers precise diagnostics and early problem detection, allowing for preventive maintenance measures before any catastrophic failures can occur.
The Lima+ comes in three distinct build models tailored to specific mission requirements: Commercial Utility, Public Safety, and MILSPEC.
“The UH-60 is a robust and dependable platform for military and special mission operators. By revitalizing these legacy aircraft and incorporating the latest innovations such as a three-axis autopilot, synthetic vision (SV), highway in the sky (HITS), improved datalink weather, and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches, we elevate their utility and reliability to a level that rivals, if not surpasses, new helicopters,” stated Rod Allison, CEO of XP Services.
The substantial enhancements of the Lima+ variant enhance its performance across various missions while reducing pilot workload. XP Services will obtain type certification for commercial restricted category operators.
“We are excited to introduce a leading-edge and cost-effective upgrade to the Black Hawk, a demand the market has long awaited,” said Todd Dunphy, Chief Operating Officer of Black Widow Helicopters. “We will showcase a Lima+ technology demonstrator at HAI 2024 in Anaheim, CA. In collaboration with XP Services and Primehawx, we are prepared to commence Lima+ model production immediately, benefiting from our fleet of 28 Sikorsky UH-60L helicopters available for modification,” Dunphy added.
With the Lima+, the iconic Black Hawk effortlessly transitions into the 21st century, symbolizing a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation.
The Lima+ will undergo construction and modification with customized mission configurations in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and Camarillo, California.