Humvee Gets Tossed Out of a Perfectly Good Airplane

An unarmored Humvee, or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), costs something to the order of $65,000.  Yet in this video, the Air Force in Alaska sees no reason why it shouldn’t just toss it out the back of a moving Hercules C-17.  Why not?  And we’ll see why it’s surprisingly good with the fall to earth. The HMMWV used to be the main light-wheeled transport of the United States military. 

Versatile, rugged, and capable of multiple configurations – such as a medic transport truck or even an assault truck – it fell out of favor during its time in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) because it doesn’t handle explosions so well.  However, that didn’t stop it from being one of the most prized vehicles in the military’s light-wheeled arsenal. We’ll discuss why.


The Humvee – Capabilities and Limitations

The vehicle seen falling out the back of a Hercules C-17 transport plane is none other than an original M998 A1.  First in production back in 1981, the M998 A1 had a sturdy curb weight of 5,200 lbs – well within range of air and rail transport.  Built with brackets for being loaded onto an air transport platform, once on the ground it can carry a payload of 2,500 lbs.  And how it handles a fall!  With independent double wishbone 4×4 suspension, the shock of hitting the icy snow is no obstacle.  Once on the arctic tundra, it is able to take full advantage of its turbo charged 6.5 L V8 engine capable of 190 hp at 3,400 rpm and over 380 lb ft of torque at 1,700 rpm.

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Fast, though, it is not.  The old fashioned unarmored M998 A1 HMMWV’s top speed is a paltry 55 mph once fully loaded with equipment and personnel.  However, unhindered by