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Posts tagged: Unitech Composites & Structures

Images of the Army’s pilot survival gear

OK, we’re still blogging about the deal signed by the Army with Hayden-based Unitech Composites & Structures.  It’s not that we like their name that much.  Instead we finally got our hands on two images that tell half the story — what those units the Army hopes saves helicopter pilots look like.  

Unitech is making the next gen version of the SEA — military for “survival egress air” (Memo to the Pentagon: SEA is the best you can do?) The tanks are meant to help rescue pilots or crew forced down into water.

The two images here show the small tank that holds, at present, about 100 seconds of breatheable air, and the full unit added to the vest pack worn by an air crew. Go to the rest of this post to see the unit by itself.

Unitech’s new design will add 50 or more seconds to the capacity, plus make the unit 20 percent lighter.

Hayden company developing better survival gear for the Army

The U.S. Army is spending good money to improve something most civilians take for granted — survival gear for airmen and helicopter crews.

We found out that the Army is looking for a better survival kit used by crews who fly over water, and Hayden-based Unitech Composites & Structures is working on the next model.

Unitech Composites will get a year’s time to produce prototypes of the backpack rescue kit, called an SEA – for Survival Egress Air system. 

The current U.S. Army tank, attached to the front vest of the pilot or crewman, weighs about 2.5 lbs, with the metal bottle being about 1 pound.  It contains enough air for roughly 100 seconds.

The new design will add 50 percent more air time and will reduce the weight by 20 percent.

“Lightening the load on the pilot and giving him more escape time is very important to the Army.  Its all about saving lives,” said  Al Haase, president of Unitech and AGC Composites Group, an Oklahoma parent company of the Hayden operation.


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John Stucke John Stucke is a deputy city editor who helps build local news coverage and writes about health care, bankruptcy and rural affairs.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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