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

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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...
December 1, 2004
VXX Award Targeted for Dec. 17 December 17 stands to be a key date for the teams competing to provide the next helicopter transport for the U.S. President. U.S. Navy officials appear to be sticking to their plans to announce the winner of the VXX competition for that aircraft on the anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first successful powered flight. There were some similarities in the paths Sikorsky and...
November 1, 2004
Eurocopter, Bell Bag Border Patrol Orders U.S. border security officials have made their long-awaited choice of rotorcraft to replenish their fleet. The Department of Homeland Security in late September picked Eurocopter's EC120 Colibri for low-level surveillance and security patrols of U.S. borders and Bell Helicopter Textron's Bell 430 for twin-turbine medium utility helicopter requirements. Border...
October 1, 2004
We are approaching the end of what may come to be known as a year of transformation for the helicopter industry. The year opened with Eurocopter laying the physical and political foundation for its pursuit of more U.S. sales with construction of an assembly facility in Mississippi, home of two powerful senators. In February, cancellation of the RAH-66 Comanche scuttled the widely held assumptions about the...
October 1, 2004
Apples vs. Oranges In reference to Tim McAdam's September column on density altitude ("Watching Your Ps & Qs--and DA," Safety Watch, page 62), helicopters come in two basic flavors--piston engine and turbine engine. The power available from these two types of engines is affected differently by the atmosphere. The power output from a piston engine is dependent on density altitude, all other...
October 1, 2004
Sikorsky Aircraft, built on the 100-year-old dreams of one pioneering man, is turning to a company created by a family of aviation pioneers to help it prosper in the 21st century. The Stratford, Conn. unit of United Technologies Corp. expects by now to be starting the process of integrating Schweizer Aircraft into its own operations. The two companies reached an agreement in August that allowed Sikorsky to...
October 1, 2004
Australia Picks NH90 for AIR 9000 program Australia has ordered 12 NH90 helicopters for the Australian Army as part of its AIR 9000 program, increasing the total order book to 357. The helicopters have been designated the NH 90 and will be marinized to operate from the Royal Australian Navy's amphibious ships. The new MRH 90 "is purpose built for amphibious operations and includes extra corrosion...
September 1, 2004
Two competitions making headlines at Farnborough raised pointed questions about the future of the U.S. rotorcraft industry. The main event at the biennial gathering was the fight between Airbus and Boeing to be the main provider of next-generation airlines. (What, you wonder, does this have to do with helicopters? Stay with me.) I never thought Boeing had much of a contender in this fight. Its Sonic...
September 1, 2004
VXX's Delay I'll just bet the U.S. Navy delayed the VXX competition to permit "more government-industry dialogue on design, performance, cost and trade opportunities." ("VXX Selection Delayed," May 2004, Rotorcraft Report, page 9). It certainly couldn't have been because Navy Department officials recognized a huge political hot potato with great potential to wreck careers, particular...
September 1, 2004
Purists become realists in quest to understand helicopter dynamics. Dr. Inderjit Chopra, Ph.D., has spent 30 years of his professional life trying to understand helicopter dynamics and how they affect vibration and noise. He's nowhere near finished. "We can predict helicopter vibration with 50 percent accuracy," Chopra said, "and we cannot predict noise at all." While today's design...
July 1, 2004
The U.S. Army has established the $1.6-Billion Reset program to overhaul its war-torn aircraft. By John R. Guardiano For U.S. military pilots and maintainers, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is just the beginning. And the biggest problem, really, is not al Qaeda-led insurgencies. Rather, it’s the harsh desert environment and forbidding Afghan mountains. “Obviously, one of our biggest enemies is...
April 1, 2004
The U.S. Army has a new aviation modernization plan: It's back to the future. Indeed, the RAH-66 Comanche is gone, but the AH-64 Apache is very much alive. Ditto the CH-47 Chinook and the UH-60 Black Hawk. And we may not have seen the last of the UH-1 Huey. That old bird may yet have new life! Certainly, prospects are good for the MH-6 Little Bird. The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is slated for retirement, but who...
April 1, 2004
The EH101/US101 proposed as the new U.S. presidential helicopter has both proven performance and combat experience-and it flies well, too. The competition between the AgustaWestland US101 and Sikorsky S-92 for a new presidential helicopter is drawing to a close, with the winner expected to be announced next month. For the US101 program, Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor responsible for systems...
April 1, 2004
The VH-92 and US101 provide different answers to the needs of Marine One The choice of a new helicopter to fly the president of the United States will have symbolic and economic impact on U.S. industry. So far, campaign rhetoric from the competing VXX teams has focused on how American each aircraft can be. Sikorsky calculates its H-92, built in seven countries on four continents, is already 72-percent...
April 1, 2004
  Situational Awareness is defined as "the degree of accuracy by which your perception of a situation mirrors reality" The trick to gaining and maintaining it is knowing when to get it from technology and when to get it from proven techniques and rules of thumb. Today situational awareness is dramatically improved by avionics technology. EFIS displays, moving maps, GPS, data links, and small...
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