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NASA Researchers Purposely Crash a Helicopter

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

August 30, 2013

Military scientists in Virginia want to make helicopters safer for U.S. troops.

Scientists at NASA's facility in Langley dropped a 45-foot-long helicopter fuselage 30 feet to simulate a crash.

Researchers placed 13 dummies on board to test seat belts and other equipment during and after a crash landing. Most made it out okay, but some did not.

Dozens of cameras were rigged inside and outside of the helicopter to record the crash from multiple viewpoints.

"I think this is the most ambitious test we've done in terms of instrumentation and in terms of the video coverage we have on-board," said Lead Test Engineer Martin Annett.

Scientists say this helps them make the helicopter's future designs safer.

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