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NASA to conduct helicopter crash test at Langley

Wednesday - 8/28/2013, 3:11am  ET

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) -- NASA researchers are planning to drop part of a military helicopter from about 30 feet to test improved seat belts and seats.

The experiment Wednesday at Langley Research Center in Hampton will involve a 45-foot-long fuselage from a former Marine helicopter being dropped onto a bed of soil.

Lead test engineer Martin Annett says nearly 40 cameras positioned inside and outside will record how 13 crash test dummies react before, during and after impact.

The helicopter will hit the ground at about 30 miles an hour under conditions that are meant to be severe, but survivable.

The test is a joint effort of NASA, the Navy, Army and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The research ultimately will be used to try to design better and safer helicopters.

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