MillenWorks Awarded U.S. Army Helicopter Crew Safety System Development Contract

System Aims to Enhance Helicopter Mission Capability While Protecting Crew

TUSTIN, Calif., July 30, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MillenWorks, a strategic business of Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today that it has received an award from the U.S. Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) to develop two components for an innovative Helicopter Crew Safety System (HCSS). Program work will be performed at MillenWorks' Tustin facility over an 18-month period.

MillenWorks, in conjunction with RDECOM's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD), at Fort Eustis, Va., will carry out component analysis, design work, prototype construction and laboratory testing toward development of qualification test-ready designs for two HCSS components. The goal of this program phase is to enhance the system's Technology Readiness Level (TRL) from 4/5 to 6 as a step toward production.

MillenWorks will refine the active headrest and tensioning retractor system for its Continuously Resettable Aircrew Safety Harness to meet the AATD's specific military requirements. The harness system engages before a crash by predicting what the helicopter is doing and taking proactive measures, which include tightening the seatbelts and deploying an advanced headrest. Earlier testing and technology demonstrations showed its ability to significantly increase crew safety during a crash.

The contract also includes initial development of a fatigue reduction device for helicopter pilots. MillenWorks will apply its extensive experience in developing vehicle suspension systems to design and test an elastomer vibration dampening system for helicopter crash-worthy seats. The goal of this device is to significantly reduce vibrations that degrade crew performance and cause injuries.

"Over a three year period we've been applying our innovative vehicle safety and suspension systems design experience to develop Helicopter Crew Safety System components," explains MillenWorks General Manager Paul PierAgostini. "We're honored to be helping the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate fulfill its mission to transition critical technologies, such as the HCSS, into solutions that sustain and enhance Army Aviation."

Caption for HCSS-Continuously Resettable Aircrew Safety Harness test photo: Impact test showing the enhanced performance of the new Continuously Resettable Aircrew Safety Harness.

Caption for Legacy Safety System test photo: Impact test showing the legacy helicopter safety harness system.

Tom Williams, APR

Textron Systems Corporation                                 

(410) 628-4683                                               

About MillenWorks

MillenWorks is a strategic business of Textron Marine & Land Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems. Founded by international racing legend Rod Millen, MillenWorks is an engineering development and manufacturing company that tackles the most difficult challenges of advanced powertrain, suspension and energy storage for customers in the transportation, defense, motorsports and theme park industries. MillenWorks' technology portfolio includes more than 30 years of development in a wide range of on-road and off-road vehicles, hybrid electric drive systems, electronic controls, and semi-active suspension systems. More information is available at

About Textron Marine & Land Systems

Textron Marine & Land Systems designs, produces and supports advanced wheeled combat vehicles and cutting-edge maritime craft used by U.S. and international armed forces, as well as civilian entities around the globe. Its family of Armored Security Vehicles offers enhanced survivability and highly mobile combat security vehicles with unmatched capabilities. Textron Marine & Land Systems' innovative turret technology and related subsystems also deliver outstanding performance and reliability. Its strategic business, MillenWorks, operates an Engineering Center of Excellence with a reputation as a highly sought-after solution center, which designs and develops advanced mobility solutions for demanding on- and off-road applications. Textron Marine & Land Systems is an operating unit of Textron Systems. More information is available at

About Textron Systems

Textron Systems has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., the company is known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment and operational services. Textron Systems includes AAI Logistics & Technical Services, AAI Test & Training, AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Advanced Systems, Aerosonde, ESL Defence, Lycoming Engines, Medical Numerics, MillenWorks, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. More information is available at

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at    

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] HCSS - Continuously Resettable Aircrew Safety Harness test photo
[Image] Legacy Safety System test photo