COURTESY OF CHUCK RUTH
CHUCK RECEIVED THE INFORMATION AND PICTURES FROM A FRIEND
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This aircraft (82-23718) was the first USAF HH-60A aircraft designated T-1 (test article one). I was an original operational test team member assigned to Edwards AFB for the HH-60A Night Hawk program in 1984. These publicity photos were taken during the first phase of the developmental test program at Red Rock Canyon just north of the base. The first phase was to document the flying performance and handling characteristics of the basic airframe. At this time the aircraft was closer to the UH-60A with the exception of the refuel probe and internal and external aux fuel tanks (mounted to the ESSS wings). The orange equipment on the fuel probe, main and tail rotor heads and tail boom are test equipment to measure the torque, speed, telemetry factors, yaw, true airspeed and other engineering data. Once we established the performance baseline, the aircraft was flown to Owego, NY for the avionics modification by IBM Federal Systems Division. The "glass cockpit", FLIR and associated rescue modifications were installed and the aircraft was returned to Edwards AFB for further developmental and operational testing. Once it was upgraded with the "glass cockpit", the designation was changed to HH-60D. We were programmed to receive a second test aircraft, T-2. But congress pulled our funding and cancelled the program in 1985. We boxed up all our equipment and sent the aircraft to Robins AFB for storage and disposition. The test documents were stored at HQ AFOTEC archives at Kirtland AFB. Later, the aircraft was de-modified from the "glass cockpit" configuration and returned to the feet and it is currently assigned to Kirtland AFB, NM.