Airmen of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing at Frances S. Gabreski Field, N.Y., volunteered to test a new aerial rescue basket. The new Heli-Basket, designed to be used with rescue helicopters, can carry up to 15 people—once it’s certified for people, that is. The Army in 2003 certified the basket for cargo use with its Black Hawk helicopter, so the Air Force accepted that OK for use with its HH-60 Pave Hawk helos. The test with the 106th RW was the first time the basket had been used to carry people.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.