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Old May 20th 05, 03:29 PM
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Old May 20th 05, 04:09 PM
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Saw that, but take what you read there (and anywhere) with a grain of
salt or two.

The rotorcraft industrial base is busy, but it isn't as healthy as they
make it out to be, and the government isn't doing much to make it
stronger. Lockheed Martin importing the EH101 may not be a positive
development for US industry.

NASA has stoped funding basic rotorcraft research altogether, and it is
closing down some unique wind tunnel and crash test facilities. Europe
is meanwhile investing in rotorcraft research because it wants to
dominate the industry.

The US military has no new rotorcraft program (like the Comanche or
UCAR) to focus new technology development. Heavy Lift is quite aways in
the future, and the near-term competitions are for non-developmental
aircraft with integrated systems.

The DoD indeed wants greater competition to promote innovation, but the
VXX decision went to an aircraft a generation behind in safety
engineering. All that innovative stuff that won the S-92 the Collier
Trophy was apparently ignored.

At the same time the US DoD is opening up to the idea of US primes with
European aircraft filling US defense requirements, the UK MoD makes
Agusta Westland preferred provider for the Lynx replacement/upgrade and
the Italians are doing the same thing to protect their industry. To
increase competition, it's not a good idea for the US government to
give away the store.



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