The British Army has managed to halve the refuelling times for its fleet of Apache helicopters by studying the pit stop techniques of Formula One teams. The idea was sparked by the Directorate of Army Aviation, which invited a team of Formula One engineers to its base to look at army crews in action. An Army spokesman said the collaboration came about not because there were specific problems with refuelling, but simply as an exercise to improve techniques. "The Army often works with private industry to explore new ideas and improve operations," the spokesman said. For their part, personnel from the British Army Air Corps were also invited to a number of Grand Prix to watch pit stop procedures during races. There will also be a brand new Apache attack helicopter on display at Silverstone ahead of Sunday's British Grand Prix. A spokesperson from Formula One's governing body, the FIA, said of the collaboration: "These exchanges led to a number of relatively minor changes which when implemented together have made the complete procedure more efficient, contributing towards cutting the rearming and refuelling time for an Apache by 50 per cent.