Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Military :: VIP/Head of State

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September 1, 2005
Whose MH-53Es? Your item on an MH-53E unit being readied for a combat theater states the unit, Helicopter Support Sqdn. Four (HC-4), is a U.S. Marine Corps squadron ("Saved From Extinction, USMC's MH-53E Squadron Gets New Mission," August 2005, page 19). It is, in fact, a U.S. Navy squadron. Marines fly CH-53Es; the Navy MH-53Es. Lt. Anthony Schwarz, U.S. Navy N78 Air Warfare--Helicopter...
September 1, 2005
A preview of this year's show. New market opportunities with military agencies are generating great interest in the helicopter industry, so much so that organizers of Helitech have included--for the first time--a conference on the subject in the program for the biennial, all-rotorcraft U.K. trade show. The show will be held at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge Sept. 27-29. The United Kingdom is...
July 1, 2005
"Filling Comanche's Shoes" As Douglas W. Nelm's article suggests, the future of U.S. Army aviation could be decided in the next few months with contract awards for the armed reconnaissance and light utility helicopters ("Filling Comanche's Shoes," May 2006, page 21.) These are the two largest new procurements by the Army. Both fill critical missions. Only the armed reconnaissance...
July 1, 2005
This time we'll talk less tech and more technique to get into the dusty zone when you don't have the equipment discussed in my last article ("Help With Brownouts," March 2005, page 42). The following approach parameters approximate Black Hawk performance and must be tailored to conditions and your aircraft weight and disk loading. The factors that most effectively counteract dust clouds are wind...
July 1, 2005
Sikorsky Vows to Break `Pure Helicopter' Sound Barrier Sikorsky is challenging the conventional thinking that a rotorcraft cannot be built to exceed 200-kt. cruise speed without sacrificing the abilities that make a helicopter unique and valuable. "Today's top cruise speeds of 150-170 kt. are only incrementally faster than they were decades ago" due to the limits of conventional rotor systems...
June 1, 2005
Has The Time Come? We are in that curious time of year again. The Army Aviation Assn. of America has gathered to honor its most outstanding members, recount its combat operations over the last year and review the operational and equipment requirements to sustain its ability to wage such efforts in the future. This serves to remind Americans high and low of the vital role that rotorcraft play in the defense...
June 1, 2005
Helicopters as Commodities? One of the more intriguing comments made about the U.S. presidential helicopter decision is that the choice of airframe didn't really matter because helicopters have become commoditized and only exist to carry around their high-tech systems payloads. Another said the contract went to Lockheed Martin because its systems-integration expertise, in the final analysis, mattered much...
June 1, 2005
Help With Brownouts With all due respect to Lt. Col. Steven F. Colby and his fellow military aviators, after reading his article on better ways to deal with brownouts, I couldn't help but make some comments ("Help With Brownouts," March 2005, page 42). I have more than 30 years of commercial helicopter flying in a utility role in some of the harshest environments Mother Nature has to offer. I...
June 1, 2005
To boost revenue and bolster its competitive position, Sikorsky is streamlining its production and manufacturing processes and practices. Faced with growing competition from European manufacturers and demands from customers for aircraft that are less costly to fly and easier to maintain, Sikorsky Aircraft is revamping operations to squeeze greater efficiency from its own manufacturing and those of...
June 1, 2005
Starved of federal funding for years, rotorcraft research in the United States is in the worst shape ever. Specialists in the field wonder whether it can be saved. At the heart of the second flooor of an academic building northeast of Washington, behind locked doors, researchers are coming up with a new kind of helicopter. It is designed to be fairly autonomous, capable of carrying a variety of sensor...
May 1, 2005
July Conference to Target Civil Use of NVGs The Assn. of Air Medical Services is working with operators, federal regulators and safety investigators, aircraft makers and equipment vendors to organize a one-day conference in July on avoiding pitfalls in the operational introduction of night-vision goggles for helicopter emergency medical services. NVGs are growing in popularity among civil operators and...
April 1, 2005
Latin America's helicopter industry is diverse, bureaucratically challenged and expensive. But the region is a growing market for those willing to take advantage of strengthening economies. First off, the good news. The Latin American helicopter industry is growing steadily and is expected to continue to do so for at least the next 20 years. And now the bad news--the Latin American helicopter industry is...
April 1, 2005
Comanche's gone and VXX is lost, but folks in Connecticut have little time to mope. They're too busy building helicopters. January 28 was black Friday in Stratford, Conn. With thousands of employees, vendors, partners, community and political supporters and Wall Street watching, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.'s showcase S-92 lost the race for the contract to fly the U.S. president through the first half of this...
March 1, 2005
Where is Ray Prouty? In this post, I field a lot of questions from readers and folks I meet at events like HAI's Heli-Expo 2005 last month in Anaheim, Calif. Questions like: What's going on with MD Helicopters? Who do you think had the edge in the VXX competition? What are the prospects for Bell? When is Frank Robinson going to build a turbine helicopter? But beyond a doubt the questions I'm asked most...
March 1, 2005
Agusta, the US101 and Westland By any measure, the selection of the US101 (nee AgustaWestland EH101) as the winner of the U.S. VXX Presidential helicopter competition opens a new era in transatlantic relations. Thirty years on, it finally opens the two-way street in the defense trade between the United States and its European allies. It marks the first instance when Pentagon acquisition officials selected...
March 1, 2005
The US101 offered by Lockheed Martin, AgustaWestland and Bell could fulfill requirements for a new U.S. presidential helicopter at lower costs and less risk than the VH-92 proposed by Sikorsky and its partners, top Navy officials decided. VXX Choice: Fielded Faster, With Less Risk It wasn't the flag, it wasn't the systems---it was the aircraft. And at a Jan. 28 Pentagon briefing on selection of the next...
February 1, 2005
OUTLOOK: BRIGHT BUT BUMPY All indications are 2004 was a banner year, and that the good times should continue this year despite the challenges ahead AS THE ROTORCRAFT INDUSTRY GATHERS IN Anaheim, Calif. this month for the Helicopter Assn. International's Heli-Expo 2005, prospects are bright for the coming year, despite some tough times ahead. Challenges do promise to make the coming months tumultuous. The...
February 1, 2005
Lord Simon Glenarthur has relinquished the position of chairman of the British Helicopter Advisory Board after a distinguished career in the British Army, the government, and industry. The BHAB, founded in 1969, is the voice of the helicopter industry in the United Kingdom. Since he became chairman in 1992, the BHAB has seen many changes, such as the successful introduction of air ambulance and police...
January 1, 2005
MILITARY U.S, Postpones Decision on New Presidential Helo The U.S. Navy in mid-November 2004 again delayed selection of the supplier of the next presidential helicopter transport, this time putting off the decision until late this month. Service officials said the delay was necessary to allow more time to consider the bids of competitors in the VXX program. A Defense Acquisition Board review of the program...
December 1, 2004
Change Behind, Change Ahead December brings to a close a tumultuous year for the rotorcraft industry. It began with cancellation of the U.S. Army's long-delayed, multi-billion-dollar RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance and scout helicopter. Then, combat losses in Iraq highlighted the defensive deficiencies of U.S. rotorcraft and the strains of placing new mission requirements on National Guard and Reserve...
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