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Future Army helicopter designs coudl look like the X2  (Source: Sikorsky)
Will the new helicopter program go the way of the Comanche?

Lots of focus is put on the “elderly nature” of certain types of aircraft in the various fleets in branches of the U.S. armed forces. The Air Force has been working for years to get a replacement for the aging fleet of tanker aircraft and is hard at work on the F-35 program despite continued setbacks.

While the Air Force is getting its replacement aircraft, some other branches of the armed forces like the Army are not as well funded and are not seeing their fleets of aging aircraft being replaced with new designs. Specifically the fleet of helicopters in the Army's fleet need to be addressed, and replacements need to be designed according to the industry. 

Aviation Week reports that while the Army is buying new rotorcraft such as the Apache and the Blackhawk helicopters, those designs are from the 1970's. Modern conflicts in Afghanistan and other countries have highlighted the shortcomings of these aircraft have highlighted the need for modern replacements. The Army has tried to replace its Apache attack helicopter previously with the Comanche, but the project was cancelled.

The Army is now working with other branches of the U.S. military to develop a Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstrator aircraft modeled on the Joint Advanced Strike Technology program that ultimately led to the design and development of the F-35. The industry is excited by the proposal of a new rotorcraft design, but worries that the program may be underfunded as other programs to replace aging helicopters have been. The aviation industry has formed a consortium called the Vertical Lift Consortium that brings together large and small companies with academia to help jointly design future rotorcraft.

Ned Chase from Amrdec said, "We’re funded to build two clean-sheet aircraft that may or may not be the same configuration."

The Army is counting on its own funding for the program and is counting on other research agencies like DARPA and NASA bringing funding to the program as well. Amrdec director of aviation Jim Snider said, "We plan to build two demonstrators, but we’d like to have enough money to build three."

Ultimately, the aircraft design that the JMR comes up with would have to be scalable in size and performance to replace all of the Army helicopters that serve various mission roles like scouting, attack, utility, and cargo and be appropriate for other branches of the military that use helicopters as well. The rotorcraft designs would have to scale as small as the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed scout and as large as a replacement for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Performance targets for the program include a speed of at least 170 knots and an unrefueled operational radius of 294 miles at 6,000 feet in 95F hot-and-high conditions. The aircraft would need to be able to loiter on station for 30 minutes in cargo and utility configurations and up to 120 minutes in attack and reconnaissance roles.

So far, initial studies have been finished and second phase configurations analysis has started. The solicitation of industry trade studies were to begin in fiscal 2011, but were delayed. The plan calls for configuration studies in 2011 to 2013 with a flight demonstrator around 2020 followed by a 5-year development plan leading to the new helicopter entering service in 2026.



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Just depressing
By Aloonatic on 10/11/2010 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
There you are in America, looking at future helicopter designs, whilst in the UK we can't even agree that we need them, and think that refitted designs from the late '70s is all we need, let alone even move onto the vehicles that you guys are looking to move on from.




RE: Just depressing
By invidious on 10/11/2010 11:14:30 AM , Rating: 5
Someone has to have an army ready to come bail you guys out the next time someone tries to take over your silly continent.


RE: Just depressing
By Sazabi19 on 10/11/2010 11:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
Nah, the Marines will do that... Semper Fi


RE: Just depressing
By headbox on 10/11/2010 1:52:06 PM , Rating: 5
LOL- the Marines haven't been the "first" to do anything since they landed in Somalia, and reporters were already there to film them. Vietnam: Army 1st Cav, Grenada: Army Rangers, Panama: Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne, and some SEALs, Gulf War: Army 101st Airborne, Afghanistan: Army Rangers, Iraq: Army & Marines, but Army pushed into Baghdad first. Semper Fi = late to the party. You'd get there faster if you took an aircraft instead of a boat.


RE: Just depressing
By Sazabi19 on 10/11/2010 2:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I LOL'ed at this


RE: Just depressing
By Cypherdude1 on 10/12/2010 1:05:19 AM , Rating: 2
The reason why the Comanche was never produced was because the Apache Longbow was and still is a fine aircraft. The Comanche was too expensive and not needed.

What the Army needs to do is design a helicopter which does NOT have a tail rotor. The tail rotor is a vulnerable part of the aircraft and needs to be eliminated. There are plenty of civilian choppers which already do not have a tail rotor. The tail rotor also makes helicopters that much more dangerous to fly.


RE: Just depressing
By ekv on 10/12/2010 4:17:52 AM , Rating: 2
I believe Comanche had Fenestron tail rotor design.

NOTAR
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOTAR

Tandem rotors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandem_rotors

Intermeshing rotors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchropter

Coaxial rotors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaxial_rotors

Tail rotor (and assembly) getting hit was the largest source of helicopter loss for ARMY in Vietnam. Tail rotor also creates a majority of the slapping noise you can hear from miles away.

NOTAR is the coolest, but the Coaxial Rotor design, which the Sikorsky X2 looks to be, may be a bit more bullet-resistant.


RE: Just depressing
By theapparition on 10/12/2010 9:46:06 AM , Rating: 2
Very good writeup.

The Commanche definately used a Fenestron TR.

While NOTAR has been around for a while, it's relatively low performance. That's why you'll never see it on current designs unless some major perfomance increases could be had. The Commanche with it's Fenestron could fly pure cyclic lateral motion (sideways) at close to 100mph, far exceeding any other helicopter in existance.

quote:
Tail rotor also creates a majority of the slapping noise you can hear from miles away.
True. Most fo the sound propgates in the plane of rotation. So for a helicopter, most of the sound you hear is due to the tail rotor. Sikorsky also had some improvements there, such as the quite tail rotor (QTR) that reduced sound by 30X.

quote:
Tail rotor (and assembly) getting hit was the largest source of helicopter loss for ARMY in Vietnam.

True, but part of that was the heat vents that exhausted down the tail boom. This made that part particuarly suceptable to anything looking for heat signatures. Unless there is a better solution (the Commanche had one such alternative implemented), then even with Fenestron, Notar or any other implementation, avionics could be severely crippled by a light infantry impact.


RE: Just depressing
By Ammohunt on 10/11/2010 4:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the problem with being the US Navy's Army...


RE: Just depressing
By Samus on 10/12/2010 3:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Appearantly nobody remembers the Marines invading fallujah, arguably the most dangerous single moment in the conflict.


RE: Just depressing
By FearTec on 10/12/2010 5:21:09 AM , Rating: 3
Not a good example there (*cough* white phosphorus bombs and a 12 fold increase in childhood cancers post invasion from depleted uranium tipped shells *cough*).

They had to invade fallujah twice.


RE: Just depressing
By FearTec on 10/12/2010 5:43:14 AM , Rating: 3
RE: Just depressing
By knutjb on 10/13/2010 10:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
LOL- the Marines haven't been the "first" to do anything since they landed in Somalia, and reporters were already there to film them. Vietnam: Army 1st Cav, Grenada: Army Rangers, Panama: Army Rangers, 82nd Airborne, and some SEALs, Gulf War: Army 101st Airborne, Afghanistan: Army Rangers, Iraq: Army & Marines, but Army pushed into Baghdad first. Semper Fi = late to the party. You'd get there faster if you took an aircraft instead of a boat.
So who flew the aircraft... Who softened the enemy... Sure you both could do it on your own but its a lot easier because of the Air Force. Though they have the oldest fleet ever...


RE: Just depressing
By DEVGRU on 10/11/2010 1:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I know its a tad unrealistic - but I'd like to see new rotary aircraft based loosely on the vehicles seen in Avatar.

That is, vectorable rotary lift engines in nacelle's. That, combined with some technologies found in the air-vectored pitch/attitude controls found on NOTAR concept rotary aircraft as well as in Harrier designs.

It seems the Osprey is the direction of the future, now it just needs to be refined and made more robust, failing that, the Commanche is an excellent foundation for future combat rotary aircraft (no opinion on the replacements for Blackhawks or Chinooks). /shrug


RE: Just depressing
By FoxFour on 10/11/2010 3:30:40 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
ou know, I know its a tad unrealistic - but I'd like to see new rotary aircraft based loosely on the vehicles seen in Avatar.

That is, vectorable rotary lift engines in nacelle's. That, combined with some technologies found in the air-vectored pitch/attitude controls found on NOTAR concept rotary aircraft as well as in Harrier designs.


Yes, because insanely complex, high-stress mechanical joints and a larger one-hit-kill target volume are fantastic ideas for low-altitude, low-speed combat aircraft.

The Avatar rotary-wing aircraft designs were absurd.


RE: Just depressing
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2010 8:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Avatar rotary-wing aircraft designs were absurd.


LOL yeah, I was looking at those thinking to myself 'You know, you wouldn't even need a gun or missile, just get a large sturdy steel rod and throw it into that blade'


RE: Just depressing
By Mjello on 10/12/2010 7:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget. All you need is a spear to shoot them down lol.


RE: Just depressing
By marvdmartian on 10/12/2010 9:51:06 AM , Rating: 1
We just need to come up with an anti-gravity system. Then we won't have a need for any silly whirling blades to keep us up in the air! Simple!!

Either that, or go with the Dick Tracy flying trash can (that's what they always reminded me of, as a kid) concept, where each individual has their own personal flight capability. Don't forget to include the groovy two-way video phone wrist watches!!


RE: Just depressing
By DEVGRU on 10/12/2010 11:12:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, because insanely complex, high-stress mechanical joints and a larger one-hit-kill target volume are fantastic ideas for low-altitude, low-speed combat aircraft.


Oh, so you think the V-22 is a POS then? Because thats just what you described...?


RE: Just depressing
By Reclaimer77 on 10/12/2010 11:24:08 AM , Rating: 2
The Osprey isn't a combat attack aircraft though. It's a transport.


RE: Just depressing
By monkeyman1140 on 10/14/2010 12:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
The Osprey is an example of how Boeing's lobbyists can get the government to pay for ANYTHING.


RE: Just depressing
By Aloonatic on 10/11/2010 1:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
The're welcome to the continent, I'm only concerned about the island that I live on :o)

If you are needed though, could you wait until we've been blown into the stone-age. It might be an improvement.

I just don't get our aproach to defence spending. Only the US and China spend more on defence than us in the UK, yet we don't have enough ageing/not fit for purpose helicopters to move our princes around to their girlfriends' houses, let alone superfluous activities like retrieving injured soldiers from minefields and moving them around theatres of operation safe from IEDs.

You guys are looking at the machines in the article, we're looking at reinventing Lynxes, if one of our hundreds of Brigadiers (and above) can find the change down the back of their sofa.

Mind boggled.

Thank god I'm not a (British) soldier. Hope we haven't left our bit of Afghanistan in as much off a mess as we (actually) left Bazra in.


RE: Just depressing
By kattanna on 10/11/2010 12:07:18 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There you are in America, looking at future helicopter designs, whilst in the UK we can't even agree that we need them


quote:
NASA bringing funding to the program as well


so, here we are in america having our space agency more focused on making helicopters then manned space flight, yeah, we are "looking forward" alright


RE: Just depressing
By sonnygdude on 10/11/2010 1:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget what the first "A" in NASA stands for... it isn't just a space agency. Aeronautics research has been shortchanged by NASA for years.


RE: Just depressing
By Amiga500 on 10/11/2010 2:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Aeronautics research has been shortchanged by NASA for years.


Sorry WHAT!?!?

Where do you think a lot of the grant money and research programs to build the knowledgebase used on the 787 airframe and engines came from?

(Oh, and a bit of knowledge from the X-32) ;-)


RE: Just depressing
By sonnygdude on 10/11/2010 8:25:23 PM , Rating: 3
The aeronautics side of the house was a distant second priority for years. Dan Elwell, Aerospace Industries Assn. vice president for civil aviation has described NASA's aeronautics side as "chronically underfunded". For 2010, out of an approximately $18.7 billion budget, aeronautics got around $507 million - so yes, I think it's fair to say it's a distant second in priorities to the space side. That $507 million had to support research into fixed wing and rotary wing technology, operation, and safety research; green aviation technologies (including supporting concepts for the next generation efficient airliners); NextGen air traffic control; aviation safety; hypersonic flight research; and maintaining and operating research facilities such as large wind tunnels that can be quite expensive. That's a lot of pressure on $507 million.

NASA did not provide that much support to the 787 program (how much money/research did they pony up, compared to the total development cost of that program?). The R&D cost of that one program is several times NASA's entire aeronautics budget.

You should learn a little more about the state of the A&D industry before you go making simplistic, and inaccurate, statements


RE: Just depressing
By Amiga500 on 10/12/2010 1:58:49 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
NASA did not provide that much support to the 787 program (how much money/research did they pony up, compared to the total development cost of that program?). The R&D cost of that one program is several times NASA's entire aeronautics budget.


Program? When would NASA ever provide direct funding for a commercial program?

But, in relation to technologies developed under NASA research grants which were then used on the 787... look at things like
- Advanced Ducted Propulsor (ADP)
- Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET)
- Advanced Composites Technology (ACT)

All fundamental research, which has no immediate commercial application; but which can all be used on subsequent commercial programs.

Regarding the funding disparity between space and aeronautics, there are a couple of big reasons for that:
1. Other companies involved in space exploration will not be so willing to fund joint research efforts as the corresponding monetary returns are much less than commercial aerospace.
2. NASA only provide for fundamental research in aeronautics; whereas they have to design, build, fly and maintain space vehicles.

quote:
You should learn a little more about the state of the A&D industry before you go making simplistic, and inaccurate, statements


Oh I know all about it. You asking why NASA didn't provide funding to a commercial program is... strange... since they never have.

About the most direct example of NASA supporting an existing "commercial" program was the support provided to fix the piece of sh!t F/A-18 E/F wing drop problems... But, even then, they were asked to get involved by SecDef; probably due to lack of trust that the prime contractor was actually telling the truth.


RE: Just depressing
By sonnygdude on 10/12/2010 2:32:34 AM , Rating: 3
Aren't you the one who implied that the 787 program was a beneficiary (perhaps indirect) of NASA funding:

quote:
Sorry WHAT!?!?

Where do you think a lot of the grant money and research programs to build the knowledgebase used on the 787 airframe and engines came from?


I would agree that much of today's aeronautical technology is based on NASA R&D. However, to remind you of your original post, you seemed to take issue with my assertion that aeronautics at NASA is being neglected. Nothing you've written is an effective counter-argument to that truth. Yes, NASA has produced, is producing, and will produce valuable research. But the aeronautical side of the house has been shortchanged for years and will continue to be so for the forseeable future.

Your reasoning for the disparity between space and aeronautics is incorrect as well.

quote:
1. Other companies involved in space exploration will not be so willing to fund joint research efforts as the corresponding monetary returns are much less than commercial aerospace.


In general, most of space exploration is not a commercial enterprise, much as aeronautical research is not a commercial enterprise (which you yourself admit). So by your own argument, space research at NASA and aeronautical research at NASA are similar. However, there is an immense amount of private R&D involved in space activity - look at Elon Musk, Bigelow, Branson/Rutan, Loral, Lockheed Martin, SSTL, Alcatel, EADS Astrium, etc. etc.

quote:
2. NASA only provide for fundamental research in aeronautics; whereas they have to design, build, fly and maintain space vehicles.


NASA designs, builds and flies their own space vehicles because that is what space exploration consists of. NASA also designs, builds, and flies their own in-atmosphere aircraft. A quick search shows that NASA operated 78 aircraft in fiscal 09. You don't seem to have much of an idea of what NASA really does, much less how it does it.

None of your musings appear to contradict my original assertion that aeronautics research is shortchanged at NASA.


RE: Just depressing
By Amiga500 on 10/12/2010 2:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
Building the knowledgebase is not supporting any specific program. However, I think you understand that distinction.

On one had you are saying aeronautics are neglected, on the other you are saying much of todays technology is based on NASA R&D... which is it? Obviously aeronautical advances are not suffering due to any neglect from NASA. The pace of improvement is roughly as quick as it always was (barring the paradigm shift to HBPR engines). The A330-200 was a 15-20% efficiency improvement on the larger 767s, the 787 is about the same step on the A330.

There are currently many research programs into structures, aerodynamics, engines, acoustics, materials... all in line with the NASA 2025 goals for aviation. I don't see how there is any maltreatment of aviation. What evidence do you have of this shortchanging?

quote:
In general, most of space exploration is not a commercial enterprise, much as aeronautical research is not a commercial enterprise (which you yourself admit). So by your own argument, space research at NASA and aeronautical research at NASA are similar.


Which I myself admit?!?! Where did I admit that? It is very much commercially driven. Do you think Boeing or General Electric have no commercial incentive to produce a lighter airframe, or more efficient engine? The difference is NASA do not fund GE to build an upgrade to the CF34... (for example)

Where is the same incentive for space exploration? Any similarity is tenuous at best.

The amount of privately funded R&D in the space exploration field is a drop in the ocean compared to the work ongoing in commercial aerospace.

See those NASA planes you refer to... how many were actually designed and built by NASA? I'm not talking about sticking warping wingtips onto a Hornet, or re-doing some of the surface treatments of a blackbird, I mean ground up design & build. How many of the X-planes have been built without input from DARPA and/or the AFRL?

Given I already referred to their work on the Subpar Hornet, I would have assumed you'd realise I am well aware of the fleet of aircraft they operate. Fundamental research does require flight testing you know. ;-)


RE: Just depressing
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2010 8:36:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
There you are in America, looking at future helicopter designs, whilst in the UK we can't even agree that we need them


That's ok, you can buy some from us :)


A little history
By Hammer1024 on 10/11/2010 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 4
The Army has tried to replace its Apache attack helicopter previously with the Comanche, but the project was canceled.

Err, no actually. The Comanche was a scout helicopter destined to replace the Kiowa's (OH-58x).

It's development was canceled after an extended development period. This long development resulted from the Army continually changing the requirements for the vehicle; they could never settle on it's mission long enough for the designers to complete it.

Its mission was supposed to be taken over by UASs, yet we still have the H-58x. From a Kiowa pilot buddy of mine: "Pilots trust pilots, not drones.".




RE: A little history
By Chillin1248 on 10/11/2010 12:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
There is much promise in the A/MH-6X Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB) replacing the OH-58, and for a much lower price point than the Comanche. The A/MH-6X can be optionally manned/unmanned.

-------
Chillin


RE: A little history
By Hammer1024 on 10/11/2010 1:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but it's still the trust thing when they're scouting for Apaches... They like to see the scout pilots and know that they're watching their backs.


RE: A little history
By djcameron on 10/12/2010 2:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
The Cayuse airframe is ancient history.


RE: A little history
By Reclaimer77 on 10/11/2010 9:09:02 PM , Rating: 2
With all the firepower and state of the art weapon systems they were trying to cram into it? You would be hard pressed to actually call it a scout. More like a gunship!


RE: A little history
By johnsonx on 10/13/2010 7:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
If you read carefully I think you'll see that you just made his point.


Myth
By Ammohunt on 10/11/2010 3:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
I like that old is synonymous with "bad" the Chinook is a good solid design not much more you can improve on . Its like the M2HB .50 Caliber machine gun still used by current military a design that is was first put in service in 1933! Hard to redesign perfection.




RE: Myth
By Amiga500 on 10/11/2010 4:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
They'll probably try and justify the use of composites for weight savings.

Good luck with repairing that in the field after someone sticks a load of 50 cal into it.


RE: Myth
By Ammohunt on 10/11/2010 5:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
The Blackhawk didn't get is Crashhawk nickname for no reason.


RE: Myth
By djcameron on 10/12/2010 2:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
We called them Lawn Darts.


RE: Myth
By Amiga500 on 10/12/2010 2:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
The F-16 is the definitive lawndart... :-D


Well....
By Amiga500 on 10/11/2010 12:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
It probably is worth a clean sheet design. There probably has been enough fundamental movement in technology to justify it, rather than try and band-aid it onto an existing design...

I don't think it needs anything like the money of the JSF program*. A helicopter is fundamentally a much simpler machine than a multi-role fighter-bomber.

*You can expect the military-industrial complex to argue completely the opposite though! Profits and all that.

If nothing else, it will be interesting to see what concepts come out - will they look at counter rotating dual rotors? (a la the KA-50) They are supposedly much more resilient to enemy fire than the conventional single rotor and tail (due to the vulnerability of the tail rotor).




RE: Well....
By Hammer1024 on 10/11/2010 1:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
You should take a look at what the Army had Piasecki do with an H-60.

Admittedly, the X-2 does get around the high speed stall issue with the counter-rotating rotors, but going into the next stage of development, that platform is going to get supper expensive.


RE: Well....
By Amiga500 on 10/11/2010 2:09:58 PM , Rating: 2
The X-2 is also still vulnerable to enemy fire due to the greater volume occupied by rotor transmissions.

The counter rotation favoured by Hokum also alleviates (but does not eliminate) the problem of retreating blade stall at high speed.


RE: Well....
By ekv on 10/12/2010 4:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
Russian Kamov appears to have fairly high reliability and supposedly can take a direct hit from 20mm. Just saying.


What are the shortcomings?
By nafhan on 10/11/2010 1:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
Serious question. What shortcomings are we trying to overcome with a new helicopter design? It'd be nice if that was elaborated upon in the article.
Off the top of my head I can come up with:
-Speed
-Age
-Maneuverability
-Maybe something to do with cargo handling?




RE: What are the shortcomings?
By eldakka on 10/11/2010 8:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the biggest problems are that most current generation helicopters cannot operate in hot, high altitude places such as afghanistan at all let alone efficiently.

Due to the high altitude and heat, many helicopters cannot fly empty to high areas let alone flying there with a cargo or combat loadout.


I could save the US money...
By Warwulf on 10/11/2010 3:44:03 PM , Rating: 2
Just dust off the research on the Comanche.

We already spent $6.9 billion on research for this helicopter (not to mention $500 million + in contract termination fees). It seems to me that it would be cheaper and more effective to put this into production than spend billions more researching another new helicopter that they inevitably won't put into practice because they decided their aging fleet needs a refit.




RE: I could save the US money...
By Warwulf on 10/11/2010 3:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
... Or the $6.2 Billion for the ARH-70.

I think the military was smarter when it was spending thousands per toilet seat and hammer rather than helicopter designs that will never see the light of day.


Incorrect statement regarding the Comanche
By shabazkilla on 10/11/2010 8:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Army has tried to replace its Apache attack helicopter previously with the Comanche, but the project was cancelled.


The Comanche was never intended to replace the Apache. The Comanche was designed to be a scout, a role now provided by UAV's and satellites.




By Belard on 10/12/2010 4:10:37 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was because the Comanche wasn't as cool looking as the Apache.


i gotta speak up on this
By inperfectdarkness on 10/12/2010 8:25:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
While the Air Force is getting its replacement aircraft, some other branches of the armed forces like the Army are not as well funded and are not seeing their fleets of aging aircraft being replaced with new designs. Specifically the fleet of helicopters in the Army's fleet need to be addressed, and replacements need to be designed according to the industry.


i disagree with the army being "not as well funded". the army actually gets more funding than the air force on a REGULAR basis. a quick look at the stats for fy 2010:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_th...

the army is spending its money on other projects like strikers, armor upgrades, etc. army aviation is only one small piece of the variety of weapon systems that the army has to fun. the air force, on the other hand, primarily has its aircraft as the focus of funding.

i'll also point out that the army (unlike the marines) opted for a new design (apache/blackhawk) rather than new, upgraded models of existing, proven designs. thus, the marines have two models of helicopter with 80% identical parts; while the army slogs along with two dissimilar models of helicopter; increasing cost of logistics & maintainence. i would assert that the even IF the yankee huey and zulu cobra aren't capable enough for "army needs" that the aircraft chosen could at least be designed to mimic the same kind of "interoperability" with regard to parts.




Coaxial rotors
By monkeyman1140 on 10/15/2010 5:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
Russia has had some good results with coaxial designs which don't require tail rotors.

The Ka-25 and their latest Ka-50 attack helicopter use them, and one big advantage is forward speed, which can enhance survival.




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