Bespoke and Special Commissions

Ballistics tests on Apache helicopters

During months of intense testing, Port Synthetics manufactured windows for Apache helicopters to evaluate the performance of moulded plexiglas in a simulated combat environment. Ballistic tests were carried out on many sets of windows to assess the potential hazard to pilots, providing valuable and accurate results.



The side windows in all Apache attack helicopters are surrounded by a high explosive strip which can be triggered by both pilot and co-pilot. When the strip detonates, the Plexiglas shatters and provides the occupants with a rapid escape route.

The  faces of the dummy pilots were covered with chamois leather to simulate skin and the HE strips were detonated.


The object of this test was to assess any potential injuries to the pilots caused by shards of plexiglas. Equally important was ensuring satisfactory removal of the window to provide the maximum area for evacuation.


The above tests were also conducted underwater and the apache was `crashed` into a lake before the windows were blown out. Once again, this is a very probable scenario and provided vital information in the quest for pilot safety.



The project was very successful, the MOD gathered all the information and results they were looking for. Port Synthetics now have a new specialty, helicopter windows!