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Thread: Helicopter News & Discussion

  1. #61
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    Sultan Recep I . . .
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    The Magnificent?

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    Been meaning to post this for a day or so.

    Airbus working to reduce fuel consumption by 40-50% based on new technologies and occasional use of the second engine when the FADEC thinks it necessary.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...copter-414417/

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    It seems as if rotary wing Aerodynamics is something you spell only in German at Airbus. Great news (and without any soporific introduction speech) .

    ...But still the reflex flaps are there




    Last edited by TomcatViP; 9th July 2015 at 20:20.

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    Anyone see the bit about the Italian army Mangusta doing live streaming from an unmanned SW-4 helo during a recent EX. Popped up on twitter but now I can't find it...

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    AW wants to build a new helicopter to replace RAF Pumas and Italian Mangustas! It wants the governments to commit to the project in the same way as they did for EH101:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...copter-414553/
    Last edited by mrmalaya; 14th July 2015 at 08:31.

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    Something I've been wondering for a while: in the medium/long-term, just how screwed is the European helicopter industry?

    The Americans are preparing to leap into the next-generation with FVL.
    The Russians are on the cusp of fielding a new generation of platforms (Mi-38, Ka-60/62) and are also investing in high-speed helicopter projects (e.g. RACHEL)
    The Chinese are advancing by leaps and bounds.
    And of course there's Korea, India, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, South Africa -- most of which can be assumed to play larger roles going forward than they have in the past.

    ... and the Europeans are simply coasting on past achievements, with minimal state investment in the present and even more dismal prospects for the future. Even the X3 as a modification of AS365 is clearly driven by a scarcity of funds. Let's not forget the X4 walkback and the seemingly extinct European heavy helicopter project.

    A generation from now (>2035) will Europe still be relevant?
    Last edited by Rii; 14th July 2015 at 18:58.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Something I've been wondering for a while: in the medium/long-term, just how screwed is the European helicopter industry?

    The Americans are preparing to leap into the next-generation with FVL.
    The Russians are on the cusp of fielding a new generation of platforms (Mi-38, Ka-60/62) and are also investing in high-speed helicopter projects (e.g. RACHEL)
    The Chinese are advancing by leaps and bounds.
    And of course there's Korea, India, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, South Africa -- most of which can be assumed to play larger roles going forward than they have in the past.

    ... and the Europeans are simply coasting on past achievements, with minimal state investment in the present and even more dismal prospects for the future. Even the X3 as a modification of AS365 is clearly driven by a scarcity of funds. Let's not forget the X4 walkback and the seemingly extinct European heavy helicopter project.

    A generation from now (>2035) will Europe still be relevant?
    I don't understand what you mean.
    Americans might be investing into new gen, but in the meantime, European producers are stealing the worldwide market with designs like AW139, AW149, EC135, EC145, EC120. Look at the offer of Bell and Sikorsky.. except teh B429 you only get a hundred-times warmed up B206/406, small H500s and the venerable, but way too expensive S-70 series. Which private company which needs to pay the bills would buy it?

    The Russian investment into new platforms like Mi-38 or Ka-62 is nice, but ain't that just catching up designs which are already established on the market (AW101, AW139..)?

    Korea- KUH, nothing much else
    India - Dhruv, what else?
    Turkey - you mean Italian A129 now?
    Brazil - no idea, what do they make, except licensed Esquilos and Panthers?
    Japan, South Africa - dtto

    Frankly, I see Europe as the major player on the civilian market for decades to come.. They might not be that willing to invest into hi-speed projects which might eventually end up a costly, yet economically useless adventure (I love the Raider, BTW) but they truly stick to what they do best..

  12. #72
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    Yes nonsense. Almost trolling perhaps. Just look at the rotor on that EH101!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    I don't understand what you mean.
    Americans might be investing into new gen, but in the meantime, European producers are stealing the worldwide market with designs like AW139, AW149, EC135, EC145, EC120.
    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 Russian investment into new platforms like Mi-38 or Ka-62 is nice, but ain't that just catching up designs which are already established on the market (AW101, AW139..)?
    Yes, but it indicates that Russia is serious about returning to the market and R&D projects are being funded accordingly for both military and civilian applications over the short, medium, and long-term. Contrast to Europe where the state funding outlook is dismal and almost certain to get worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    Korea- KUH, nothing much else
    India - Dhruv, what else?
    Turkey - you mean Italian A129 now?
    Brazil - no idea, what do they make, except licensed Esquilos and Panthers?
    Japan, South Africa - dtto
    Did you miss that I was talking on generational timescales i.e. post-2035? Who cares what these countries are making now, the point is they will continue to develop and build on that experience and make more stuff in future, reducing access to those domestic markets and potentially competing for exports also.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    Frankly, I see Europe as the major player on the civilian market for decades to come.. They might not be that willing to invest into hi-speed projects which might eventually end up a costly, yet economically useless adventure (I love the Raider, BTW) but they truly stick to what they do best..
    Problem with the civilian market is that they won't fund the R&D necessary to make transformational leaps. The American government is doing that (for military applications) and eventually the benefits will percolate into the civilian market. Similar story for the Russians and Chinese, although they are of course significantly further behind.
    Last edited by Rii; 14th July 2015 at 20:17.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmalaya View Post
    AW wants to build a new helicopter to replace RAF Pumas and Italian Mangustas! It wants the governments to commit to the project in the same way as they did for EH101:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...copter-414553/
    Wasn't the AW149 supposed to be the puma replacement, with offers of UK production lines etc ?

  15. #75
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    Re. the new Russian helos (Mi-38 and Ka-62, as well as the high speed projects) essentially all 3 have varying problems with inadequate funding.


    Europe's standing in the civilian market really is on another level.
    http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9098/rsz11rsz3807.jpg

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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.
    Chinese break-through ain't that easy. Just like they have failed to penetrate the automotive market, they will have a very hard time to do the same in airliners, helicopters, even fighter aircraft (outside of Asia and Africa, that is)..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Yes, but it indicates that Russia is serious about returning to the market and R&D projects are being funded accordingly for both military and civilian applications over the short, medium, and long-term. Contrast to Europe where the state funding outlook is dismal and almost certain to get worse.
    Ka-60/62 has been around since 1998 and it has flown in two examples thus far. In the meantime, AW139, which has been around since 2001 has been exported to 42 military clients alone and the portfolio has been extended by AW149, AW169 and AW189.. Add 13 military clients for NH90, 12 clients for EH/AW101, 15 clients for EC120, 30 for EC135, 19 for EC145, plus dozens for Ecureuils/Dauphins/Panthers/Koalas/Lynxes.. But for some reason, Russia is serious about the civilian market and Europe is drowning in dismal outlooks. An interesting logic you got there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Did you miss that I was talking on generational timescales i.e. post-2035? Who cares what these countries are making now, the point is they will continue to develop and build on that experience and make more stuff in future, reducing access to those domestic markets and potentially competing for exports also.
    I got you on this but still.. how should SKorea with their single-type experience or Brazil with license-only experience surpass the EU with their current inventory (Dauphin/EC155, Cougar/Caracal, AW101, A109/AW169, AW139, AW149/189, AW159 Lynx, EC120, EC130, EC135/635, EC145/645, G2 Cabri, NH90) is simply beyond me..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Problem with the civilian market is that they won't fund the R&D necessary to make transformational leaps. The American government is doing that (for military applications) and eventually the benefits will percolate into the civilian market. Similar story for the Russians and Chinese, although they are of course significantly further behind.
    The problem is that the civilian market is conservative and will not strive for generational leaps. And military will never pay your bills, it will only keep eating up the funds.

    In civilian world, buying a helicopter is already straining the company budget far enough, let alone spend gazzilions for some mythical hi-speed design. How far have we advanced in airliners in last 50 years? They look pretty much the same. Designs like P-180, V-22, BA609 might be interesting from a technical standpoint but if you take their development budget and compare it to revene/winnings they are able to generate, you get back to your drawing board and make another AW199 or EC185. I just can't see company managers stepping out of a Raider in 30 years.
    Last edited by MSphere; 14th July 2015 at 23:14.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    Something I've been wondering for a while: in the medium/long-term, just how screwed is the European helicopter industry?

    The Americans are preparing to leap into the next-generation with FVL.
    The Russians are on the cusp of fielding a new generation of platforms (Mi-38, Ka-60/62) and are also investing in high-speed helicopter projects (e.g. RACHEL)
    The Chinese are advancing by leaps and bounds.
    And of course there's Korea, India, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, South Africa -- most of which can be assumed to play larger roles going forward than they have in the past.

    ... and the Europeans are simply coasting on past achievements, with minimal state investment in the present and even more dismal prospects for the future. Even the X3 as a modification of AS365 is clearly driven by a scarcity of funds. Let's not forget the X4 walkback and the seemingly extinct European heavy helicopter project.

    A generation from now (>2035) will Europe still be relevant?
    Go to Cordis http://cordis.europa.eu/ That's the EU research portal. Start searching there is a lot of stuff in the aviation part on tiltrotor/high speed helo work etc...And that is just the EU stuff.

  18. #78
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    Hang on . . . European manufacturers make (& sell at a profit) more helicopters than those of the USA (& trash 'em in the civil market, where buyers are less influenced by politics), & far more than the rest of the world combined, but somehow they're short of money & falling behind technically?
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    Hang on . . . European manufacturers make (& sell at a profit) more helicopters than those of the USA (& trash 'em in the civil market, where buyers are less influenced by politics), & far more than the rest of the world combined, but somehow they're short of money & falling behind technically?
    My words, exactly.. In the last two decades, the EU has brutally rolled over the civvie helicopter market and overtook domination in all areas with the exception of the lightest class where the Europeans failed to step in and thus left the market to Robinson R22/R44/R66s. 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.
    Last edited by MSphere; 15th July 2015 at 09:20.

  20. #80
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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?

    I use the names because sometimes so many models and variant numbers can be confusing if you don't know much about the subject (Rii- wink wink).

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    Quote Originally Posted by swerve View Post
    Hang on . . . European manufacturers make (& sell at a profit) more helicopters than those of the USA (& trash 'em in the civil market, where buyers are less influenced by politics), & far more than the rest of the world combined, but somehow they're short of money & falling behind technically?
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmalaya View Post
    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.”
    Last edited by swerve; 15th July 2015 at 18:37.
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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."

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Poor deluded European Helicopter manufacturer...
    Last edited by mrmalaya; 15th July 2015 at 12:40.

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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.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 15th July 2015 at 22:37.

  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rii View Post
    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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    Click image for larger version. 

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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.

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSphere View Post
    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?



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