The unique ability of the helicopter to hover above, take-off from, and land on unprepared areas – deserts, rocky fields, mountaintops - makes it vulnerable to ‘Brownout’ the phenomenon of dust and foreign object debris (FOD) thrown up by the helicopter rotor downwash.
A ‘Brownout’ can occur whether landing, taking off, or just idling. It can blind operators, sandblast and erode helicopter rotor blades, and shoot sand into sensitive engine parts.
The cost of ‘Brownouts’ is huge; in Iraq and Afghanistan, ‘Brownouts’ caused three-of-every-four helicopter accidents, costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The CGear Tactical Helimat prevents ‘Brownout’ with multi- layers of plastic fabric with a unique open-weave design. It inhibits the sand and dust underneath it – even when pounded by the most powerful rotor down wash.