Vita Inclinata (Vita), developer and producer of helicopter and crane load stabilization and precision hardware, today announced the U.S. Army recently procured 15 Vita Rescue Systems (VRS-LAs) to be evaluated for operational effectiveness and suitability. For approximately one and a half years, Vita worked diligently with support from ADS to make the Vita Rescue System available on Tailored Logistics Support (TLS) contracts. While the focus of this testing is to discover technologies that improve the outcome of rescue missions, whether in combat or Domestic Operations (DomOps), it will also expose potential new applications and mission areas to the VRS technology. The combination of testing and soldier touchpoints through OUE continues the accelerated development and fielding process Vita and the U.S. Army have pursued to this point, allowing for early identification of soldier needs and rapid iteration of helicopter hoisting capabilities.
Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) or search and rescue (SAR) missions are often challenging for all teams involved—especially when rescue hoist load spinning is concerned. It’s common knowledge that unless specific measures are taken to counter the downwash from the helicopter onto the individuals attached to the hoist cable, there is a strong possibility that the load will begin to spin out of control. Precautions need to be taken to ensure the hoist cable doesn’t rub or contact the aircraft, damaging individual strands of the hoist cable. This is in addition to the life-threatening situation the injured party is placed in. Unfortunately, the surface area is presented to the aircraft’s downwash by a rescue hoist load, this needs to be countered by something for the airflow to push against, so countermeasures are needed to make every rescue hoist mission safe. The VRS provides these life-saving countermeasures to aircraft downwash.
Vita technology offered a completely new way to approach the high-risk mission of helicopter hoisting. The value proposition they discovered included new efficiencies such as:
Significantly reduced exposure times in a hover.
Improved safety through the elimination of spin, swing, and sway of items on the hoist.
New opportunities to reduce training required to produce highly-proficient operators.
The VRS will be delivered to the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Lab (USAARL), Fort Rucker, AL for additional environmental testing, followed by operational testing. In addition, various U.S. Army National Guard Units and Active Duty Combat Aviation Brigades will review the VRS for Operational User Evaluation (OUE). This review phase will gather input on the VRS’s performance, evaluate improvements that can be made, and most importantly—seek to unlock new product capabilities.
“Just three years ago, Vita was speaking about a concept; a concept that PD MEDEVAC now defines as a dual-use technology for potential adoption within the Department of Defense,” said Caleb Carr, president, and CEO, Vita. “Everyone at Vita has performed relentless work to bring this capability to reality. We applaud the U.S. Army for their foresight into exploring new and innovative, life-saving MEDEVAC and SAR technologies that will save the lives of Army warfighters!”
A friend’s death during a rescue operation—with a helicopter close but unable to stabilize due to weather and terrain—was the genesis of Vita Inclinata. Founded in 2015 as a way to solve a real problem, Vita today controls chaotic swinging and spin and adds safety and precision for rotor-wing and fixed-wing aircraft and cranes. With the mission of “Bring them home, every time,” Vita’s technology changes the narrative while saving lives, time, and money across industries, including search and rescue, military, firefighting, public safety, construction, wind energy, and oil and gas. The company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, with offices in Washington, DC, and Huntsville, Alabama.