Above: The two UH-60L Black Hawks will be ‘an integral part of the expansive rebuilding endeavours’

Following the recent devastating wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui, Black Widow Helicopters have ‘come forward to offer strategic aerial assistance’ by donating two Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters.

“The profound loss of life and property has deeply resonated with us,” explained Todd Dunphy, Head of Corporate Development at Black Widow Helicopters; adding that the company’s commitment is “solidified” with the donation of two Black Hawks, “dedicated to Maui’s restoration operations that will be pivotal in the foreseeable future”.

The four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift helicopter initially entered service with the US Army in 1979 and has since been used by a variety of operators worldwide across a range of mission profiles. The L variant (an upgrade to the original UH-60A model) has been in production since 1989 and features an upgraded external cargo hook limit of 9,000 pounds, whilst retaining an internal troop carrying capacity of up to 20 lightly-equipped individuals.

Renne Simmons, Director of Brand Relations at Black Widow Helicopters, elaborated that the two donated airframes will be custom built and “equipped to cater to the specific aerial needs of the community”. “The extensive recovery roadmap ahead calls from for speclialized capabilities both from the skies and on the ground,” he added, concluding that Black Widow “look forward to working with the local authorities and community groups to establish the best deployment of these aerial assets for the future of Maui”.

The manufacturer has also pledged to ‘dedicate engineering and a plethora of resources to ensure the helicopters are mission-ready,’ with engineering resources to be provided by specialist maintenance company Primehawx.

Alongside claiming the lives of at least 99 individuals to date, the deadly wildfires tearing across Maui have caused severe damage to property and displaced thousands. ‘The long road to recovery has commenced, and collaborative efforts will be paramount,’ conclude Black Widow.