1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Another chopper on the chopping block

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by three_bags_full, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Most of you may not care, but it's at least interesting to note ...

    As old and shitty as the current reconnaissance helicopter is, the Army and Bell just can't seem to fix it. Meanwhile, another $6B of money that could be used to update the fleet is going down the tube.

  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    What is the flaw in the current helicopters, and why can't they find an adequate fix?
  3. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    The current recon platform, the OH-58, is a variant of the civilian Bell 206. The Bell 206 is very underpowered and thus operates closer to its operational limits (weight, power, etc.) than any model the Army flies, making it much more hazardous -- considering that only trainees fly it. For example, the engine in the 206 (what I currently fly) produces 416 shaft horsepower to turn the rotors. Each engine in the Black Hawk produces 1,300 HP, making its weight/power ratio much higher.

    The OH-58 has an improved engine, somewhat better transmission and two additional rotors. But it is still severely underpowered because it carries much more weight in avionics (communication and navigation electronics) to perform the mission. It's so light and underpowered that it's just downright hard to fly. And considering its mission, which includes lots of low-level flight and even hovering far above the ground (which is very difficult and dangerous, as opposed to hovering near the ground), it's just not a good airframe.

    They tried to fix it with the Comanche, but that program just got out of control. We spent $20B. Twenty. Billion. Dollars. And got two aircraft built before it was canceled. The money we saved -- thanks to General Dick Casey, the just-retired Vice Chief of Staff -- bought about 1,700 of the most technologically advanced Black Hawks, Chinooks and Apaches the world has ever seen. A sweeping modernization of the fleet. Just google AH-67D (Apache), CH-47F (Chinook) and UH-60M (Black Hawk).

    In short, the 58 has done well, but it's time has come and gone. The world has passed it by.

    Bell Helicopters and the Army could fuck up a dream.
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Speaking of choppers, was a reason listed for the Chinook that went down in Iraq last week?
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Nah. Not yet. Those investigations normally take more than six months. All they know is that it wasn't enemy fire. Either mechanical failure (unlikely) or crew error.
  6. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    Can you say Osprey?
  7. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    The OH-58s have been around since Vietnam. I'm more familiar with the Deltas — they were a significant upgrade. Sometimes "better" is the enemy of "good enough."
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page