Huntsville company restores 19 helicopters for Air Force

The helicopters were made in Huntsville. Now, five are headed to bases across the country and soon 14 more will follow.

Posted: Aug 1, 2019 5:14 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2019 7:13 AM

A Huntsville company has restored 19 helicopters for the United States Air Force.

On Thursday, the aircraft were sitting in a facility in Huntsville. After Thursday, they head to New York, California and Alaska, and then all over the world.

"It's a great thing to be able to see someone that needs help and that's been in trouble, and it's our aircraft that will be able to help them. That's great."

Jeffrey Tellis works as a mechanic with Science and Engineering Services in Huntsville and helped rebuild 19 HH-60G helicopters for the Air Force. They will be used for rescue missions in dangerous areas.

"It's a great day," said Tellis.

On Thursday, the company took time to celebrate the culmination of five years of work. This model of helicopter was originally used in the 1990s, but the majority of them were lost in combat, training and rescue missions. 

When the crew got the choppers, they had to take out more than 9,000 wires from each one and transform it into what you see now.

Trey Butler, a director at the company, said he hopes this project is a jumping-off point.

"I can't imagine a more difficult challenge at this point, because this one was one, but I just want a challenge and this company wants a challenge," said Butler.

While the company couldn't say the cost of one of these helicopters, Butler says this project shows why Huntsville is the place to be for aircraft engineering.

"This is another advantage of having a business in Huntsville," said Butler.

The company employs more than 1,200 employees and has sent aircrafts to more than 30 different countries.

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