Wildfire season is getting longer, according to the US Forest Service, making firefighting a bigger, more vital operation each year. In this episode, Emily, Matt, and Nick take a look at how the pros fight wildfires with everything from large water-carrying airtankers and helicopters to daring smokejumpers who parachute into the blaze equipped with axes, shovels, and chainsaws.
In 2005 Sikorsky began developing the X2 to increase helicopter speeds. The X2 made its first flight in 2008. On September 15, 2010, it achieved a level flight speed of 250 knots (463 kilometers/288 miles per hour)—a 15 percent improvement on the record top speed of a conventional helicopter. As a result, Sikorsky Aircraft and the X2 Technology Demonstrator Team received the Collier Trophy.
As my colleague Dr. Tom Crouch referenced in a previous post, our nation is currently in the midst of commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War (or sesquicentennial for you Latin fans).
On July 12, 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first president to employ a helicopter while in office. Though helicopters had been in operational use by the American military since 1944, concerns over their safety caused the Secret Service to bar their use for the nation’s chief executive except in case of emergency.