NEWS | May 20, 2021

UH-60: New Anti-Collision Light Coming

Soldier on Tail Rotor
Photo by Paul Hughes
 
The Utility Helicopter Product Office (UHPO) is replacing the legacy Xenon anti-collision lights (ACL) with LED anti-collision lights (ACLs) on UH-60 birds.

The current ACL lights consist of a power supply and two light assemblies; one is on the underside of the tail cone and the other’s on the top of the tail rotor pylon.
 
Arrows show the locations of the anti-collision lights on H-60 aircraft
Arrows show the locations of the anti-collision lights on H-60 aircraft
 
Each ACL contains two Honeywell Xenon strobe lamps. One lamp is enclosed in a white lens and is primarily used for daylight operation.

The second lamp is enclosed in a red lens and provides light for night operation and certain daytime operations.

As of now, the FAA Part 29 only requires aviation red for both day and night operations. White light should not be used because it causes potential strobing affects in the clouds and at dusk and dawn.
 
Xenon ACL replaced by LED ACL  
Xenon ACL replaced by LED ACL  
 
Here are the benefits of the Honeywell H-60 LED ACL over the current H-60 Xenon ACL:
 
  • The LED ACL has two (2) subassemblies and the Xenon ACL consists of four (4) subassembly parts.
  • The LED ACL adds Infrared (IR) covert capability to replace the obsolete white light. By utilizing a dual mode red/IR ACL, the Army will no longer have to modify H-60 aircraft to add IR capability when deployed for combat operations and de-modify them upon return. This will eliminate the man-hours required to modify the aircraft when it deploys and de-modify it upon return. Eliminating these man-hour requirements greatly reduces aircraft downtime. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Capability Manager (TCM) - Lift has agreed to eliminate the requirement for aviation white anti-collision lights.
  • The recurring shipset cost is reduced by 60 percent.
  • The lamp life increases to 40 times longer (1,000 to 40,000 hours) than the remaining service life of aircraft.
  • There’s an 83 percent reduction in system weight (8.68-lbs reduction); all weight reduction is in the rear half of the aircraft, which improves center of gravity.
  • There’s an 88 percent reduction in power (300 VA to 36 watts); it allows operators to power more system components with current aircraft generators.
  • There are no changes to aircraft interface (drop-in replacement for current Honeywell ACL used in H-60.)