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Friday, August 1, 2008

Program Insider: Program Focus

All Agree Size Counts in CSAR-X Competition

A general criticism leveled by competitors of Boeing, once selected by the U.S. Air Force to replace its aging and overtaxed Sikorsky Aircraft HH-60G Pave Hawks, is that its entrant (a version of the CH-47F Chinook) is too big.

Boeing officials concede the Chinook is much bigger than the Lockheed Martin/AgustaWestland/Boeing AW101 or Sikorsky’s variant of the S-92. But they argue its tandem-rotor configuration eliminates the need for a tail rotor and permits the entire length of its airframe to be used for mission equipment or activities, while a good portion of the AW101 and S-92 is devoted to a tail boom. As the Air Force again prepares to select a winner in the competition, twice delayed by successful protests from the Lockheed Martin team and Sikorsky, we offer the dimensions of the competitors (as provided by their manufacturers). The Air Force is expected to announce a new winner in October or November.

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