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NASCAR technology helps chopper pilots

It would seem unlikely that American troops in Iraq would turn to NASCAR drivers for some help with their equipment. But the racing industry just happens to have a solution to a troublesome problem resulting from chopper windshields being coated with sand and other debris during combat missions in the Middle East. NASCAR drivers have similar problems with race track debris hitting the windshield and clouding the race driver’s view. They use a new, protective film that absorbs the damages over a period of time and eventually is peeled away and replaced with a new, clear film. The product, pioneered by a small North Carolina company called Pro-Tint Inc., is now used by a large number of racing teams. The product has to be a lot thicker for Blackhawk helicopters, but in the long run it will save the military big money. Instead of replacing a windshield, military teams will peel off another layer, just like the racecar teams.
North Carolina companies collaborating on the product will begin shipping the coating this month for installation on hundreds of Blackhawks flying in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is American resourcefulness and technological enterprise at its best. It makes you wonder if we should send a few NASCAR crews to do quick fixes on the military’s tanks and land cruisers. And would they have a solution to the armor problem?

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