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The Unit Maintenance Aerial Recovery Kit (UMARK) is a system that is currently fielded by the U.S Army. This kit is used to recover disabled and crash-damaged helicopters and drones.

We participated in a large development program to redesign the kit to ultimately improve the capability and enhance overall system safety. We performed the airworthiness substantiation analysis on the aerial kit hardware, which included a wide range of lifting devices, belly bands/cargo nets, and Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) synthetic longlines. We also performed the airworthiness analysis on various U.S. Army Aviation assets to demonstrate the ability of the aircraft/rotorcraft to withstand the flight loads induced on the airframes during a typical aerial recovery mission. We performed the loads and stress analysis on the CH-47 Chinook, AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk, OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, MQ-1 Grey Eagle, and UH-72 Lakota. This analysis was used to substantiate the airworthiness certification, fatigue life, and damage tolerance of the hardware.

We also supported flight qualification testing (including test planning, test execution, flight test data collection, post-test inspections, and test data reduction and documentation) for all aerial recovery configurations. Acceleration times histories, collected for all flight test events, were used to develop the flight test load spectrum used in the fatigue analysis of the kit hardware.

All of the airworthiness documentation and flight test data was reviewed and approved by the Army’s Aviation Engineering Directorate (AED). These approvals subsequently lead to the U.S. Army approving and fielding the upgraded kit.

CH-47 Chinook

AH-64 Apache

UH-60 Blackhawk

OH-58 Kiowa Warrior

MQ-1 Grey Eagle

UH-72 Lakota