Helicopter News & Discussion

Profile picture for user MSphere

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I would've thought the last few years would've put an end to Euro complacency of all kinds, but apparently not. The present is bright, therefore the future is bright -- I love it. ;)
You obviously want it at all cost.. OK, so what exactly would you do if you were in charge?
Profile picture for user swerve

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Although if the same airframe is to replace Puma and Mangusta then perhaps its more a Euro-Hind that they envisage?

That looks to me to be more like a common core (engines, other dynamic bits, controls, etc) wrapped in a different shell.
Ah yes -
“The most challenging technology in a new helicopter is the drive system and the avionics integration,” he says. “These are two areas where we could share a common platform that could be applied to an attack or utility platform. We could have a full drive system ready for a 10-tonne platform.”
Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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Well its hard to tell how concrete those plan/suggestions are, but there is reference (on Flight Global) to Yeovil being the AW tiltrotor centre of excellence and that they are working on a 24 passenger AW609 evolution for Clean Sky 2.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"Although the AW609 civil tiltrotor is yet to enter service – that milestone is scheduled for 2018 – the airframer is already working on a larger second-generation version under the European Union’s Clean Sky 2 programme with capacity for up to 24 passengers. As part of this effort, Yeovil is providing engineering expertise for the type’s prop-rotor blades and hubs."

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Poor deluded European Helicopter manufacturer...

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@Rii: a very sensible and well thought series of post.

I do completely agree with you. The worst is that the R&D budgets that could have been allocated here have been already expended in short term adaptation of vintage design and other novelties.

Tomorrow soldier losses while being airlifted will increase to a point that it will restricts operations (More lethal small arm fire due to dissemination and increased time of exposure).
Eu leaders have to understand that they can't expect that voters will always back-up foreign interventions while losses keep mounting every months. It's a rather known variable in the equation that other countries have faced before.

Those that are the Slowest and the lowest flying rotary aircraft among the lot are going to bear the brunt of soldier losses. In the future, It' won't even be so much about about how light or how heavy your aircraft is armored (see the Hind paradox). With increase operational tempo (we are heading toward permanent OPEX/hybrid conflicts), it will be more dependent of the time of exposure of the troop. Hence the longer time spent inside the kill zone, the heavier the causalities suffered. You'll need to be swift and fast. Something that can't be achieved with a conventional drive system.

Nowadays, there is a strong divergence b/w civil and Military airframe design. Structural requirement are now incompatible*. You can't expect to score a high volume of sales with a single approach in a transparent market**.

*As i wrote somewhere else a long time ago.
**Sadly, this lack of vision will results in an increase nose down toward malpractice in market attribution, what will[are] weaken[ing] Industry strength among allies.

Profile picture for user Sintra

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Sure, that'll work for the next decade or so. After that the Americans with their FVL-derived next-gen platforms will eat the high-end and the Chinese will eat the low end.
The American government is doing that (for military applications) and eventually the benefits will percolate into the civilian market.

Been earing that for roughly three and a half decades Rii. By around 1980 Bell was going to wipe out Aerospatiale, Westland, etc, based on its work on the XV-15, a decade later it was going to be Sikorsky piggy backing on Pentagon money through LHX, etc, etc...

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U.S. Museum Awards AgustaWestland For Project Zero
AgustaWestland last month received the 2014 American Helicopter Museum and Education Center’s achievement award for “advancements in rotary-wing technologies,” based on the Project Zero tiltrotor demonstrator program. Dr. James Wang, the manufacturer’s research-and-development vice president, accepted the award. Led by Wang, the Project Zero team designed, built and flew a 2,200-pound, all-electric vertical lift aircraft in six months. A few flights took place in 2011-2012.

“Project Zero’s stunning design, disruptive innovation and accelerated development represent a significant accomplishment and is an inspiration to all,” said Marc Sheffler, chairman of the museum’s board. The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center is located in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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Profile picture for user Fedaykin

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At the same time they are obviously much less sharp towards combat helicopters, there is nothing European-made in the Mi-28/AH-64 class.. But as we have learned, even that might change soon.

Errr?

http://www.aerospace-technology.com/contractor_images/lmb/5-tiger.jpg

http://www.helis.com/h/t129.jpg

Profile picture for user MSphere

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Tigre and Mangusta are still relatively lightweight choppers (2.5-3t empty weight, 2x 700-1,000 kW power).
Apache, Alligator or Havoc are heavyweight designs (5-8t empty weight, 2x 1,400-1,700 kW power).

Profile picture for user mrmalaya

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Well given that AW are now talking about replacing Mangusta and RAF Pumas rather than winning the WAH64 replacement on their own merits, I don't think we will see a heavyweight attack killer from Europe anytime soon.

Profile picture for user Rii

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Been earing that for roughly three and a half decades Rii. By around 1980 Bell was going to wipe out Aerospatiale, Westland, etc, based on its work on the XV-15, a decade later it was going to be Sikorsky piggy backing on Pentagon money through LHX, etc, etc...

So where are Aerospatiale and Westland now?

Oh, right -- mergers. This despite dominating the civilian market and enjoying the fruits of Cold War R&D.

So with civilian market penetration static (in a best case scenario) and the fruits of the Cold War now having been exhausted, coupled with anemic long-term economic growth prospects across Europe coupled with political ideology/priorities that de-emphasises both military spending and state investment of all kinds, the question is when Airbus and AgustaWestland will merge.

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.. the question is when Airbus and AgustaWestland will merge.

Frankly, cannot see that happening anytime soon

Profile picture for user swerve

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So with civilian market penetration static (in a best case scenario) and the fruits of the Cold War now having been exhausted, coupled with anemic long-term economic growth prospects across Europe coupled with political ideology/priorities that de-emphasises both military spending and state investment of all kinds, the question is when Airbus and AgustaWestland will merge.

Why should the biggest producer of civil helicopters, by far, merge with the second biggest? They're not dependent on the European market, & far less dependent on military sales than US, Russian or Chinese producers, much better at exporting civil helicopters, & less dependent on government investment. Looks to me as if the conditions you describe favour them.
Profile picture for user Fedaykin

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Tigre and Mangusta are still relatively lightweight choppers (2.5-3t empty weight, 2x 700-1,000 kW power).
Apache, Alligator or Havoc are heavyweight designs (5-8t empty weight, 2x 1,400-1,700 kW power).

To be honest that is just splitting hairs to suit your argument, throwing in weight it just moving the goal posts.

The Tigre and Mangusta have been in contests against the Apache and without checking probably the Mi-28. That rather goes against your assertion that Europe has ignored the attack helicopter market.

Profile picture for user MSphere

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To be honest that is just splitting hairs to suit your argument, throwing in weight it just moving the goal posts.
The Tigre and Mangusta have been in contests against the Apache and without checking probably the Mi-28. That rather goes against your assertion that Europe has ignored the attack helicopter market.
It seems you are more interested in arguing at all cost.. I am not playing that game of yours..
Profile picture for user Fedaykin

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It seems you are more interested in arguing at all cost.. I am not playing that game of yours..

I am not arguing just making a fair point. It is not about playing a game. You made an assertion as part of a rather tenuous argument that Europe has ignored attack helicopters. I pointed out two European attack helicopters that have competed in international competition alongside the Apache and Mi28, you then moved the goalpost by saying they don't count due to their weight class. Are you saying that nobody is allowed to counter your assertions?

Profile picture for user MSphere

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I am not arguing just making a fair point. It is not about playing a game. You made an assertion as part of a rather tenuous argument that Europe has ignored attack helicopters. I pointed out two European attack helicopters that have competed in international competition alongside the Apache and Mi28, you then moved the goalpost by saying they don't count due to their weight class. Are you saying that nobody is allowed to counter your assertions?

Just for clarification.... my original response here:

At the same time they are obviously much less sharp towards combat helicopters, there is nothing European-made in the Mi-28/AH-64 class.. But as we have learned, even that might change soon.

1. There is not a single word stating Europe has ignored attack helicopters.. My assertion was the that combat types are not very numerous compared to the overall portfolio which is quite wide
2. I have said from the very beginning that Europe had nothing in the Mi-28/AH-64 class. By class I have meant weight/performance class. Where exactly can you see me shifting goalposts in the next posts?
3. Your "fair point" reply would only make sense if for some reason I have completely missed existence of EC665 or A129. Guess how probable that is.

Still anything left I need to clarify?

Profile picture for user PLA-MKII

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A fascinating adoption of an attack helicopter for naval strike. Given the short span of its blades, if an appropriately high hanger can be found, would make a dangerous copter for a small corvette to carry. Wonder if it could carry ASW equip.

Why haven't other attack helicopter producers tried this? Would be useful for an anti-small boat swarm strategy

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/russias-ka-52-alligator-scout-attack-helicopters-05150/

Profile picture for user Fedaykin

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Just for clarification.... my original response here:

At the same time they are obviously much less sharp towards combat helicopters, there is nothing European-made in the Mi-28/AH-64 class.. But as we have learned, even that might change soon.

1. There is not a single word stating Europe has ignored attack helicopters.. My assertion was the that combat types are not very numerous compared to the overall portfolio which is quite wide
2. I have said from the very beginning that Europe had nothing in the Mi-28/AH-64 class. By class I have meant weight/performance class. Where exactly can you see me shifting goalposts in the next posts?
3. Your "fair point" reply would only make sense if for some reason I have completely missed existence of EC665 or A129. Guess how probable that is.

Still anything left I need to clarify?

That is a better clarification but I don't agree, aside from weight the Mangusta and Tigre are perfectly competitive and do compete with the Apache and Mi-28.