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American Helicopter Society International

Uncertainty & Anxiety About Army’s New Scout Aircraft

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON: After months of hints, the Army announced Friday it wants competing prototypes of a Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft flying by 2023. But there’s a deal of uncertainty — even anxiety — about what the Army wants. “Industry can develop whatever the government tells them what they want, if it sticks to the requirements and… Keep reading →

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MUX By 2026: Marines Want Armed Drone ASAP To Escort V-22

Posted by Richard Whittle on


When V-22 Ospreys full of Marines take to the skies 10 years from now, they could be escorted by armed high-speed drones called MUX. That’s become the Marine Corps plan because drones let you do things differently. Doing without a pilot inside makes it possible to build unorthodox aircraft that would work poorly carrying tender humans. You… Keep reading →

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UK Eyes Joint Multirole, Talks With US

Posted by Richard Whittle on


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.: The United Kingdom is following the U.S. Joint Multirole Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) project with “great interest” and might either get involved at some point or buy future aircraft the effort spawns, says a top British Defence Ministry rotorcraft engineer. “It’s a perfectly feasible outcome,” Bryan Finlay, the senior engineer at the… Keep reading →

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Army Aviation Budget Plunges Earthward

Posted by Richard Whittle on


Aviation, always the Army’s largest modernization account, goes into a nosedive in the fiscal 2017 budget, plunging from $5.9 billion to $3.6 billion. The $2.3 billion cut more than makes up for a $1.3 billion cut to total Army spending that helps fund readiness, operations and maintenance. But with aviation accounting for 25 percent of the… Keep reading →

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DARPA’s Adaptive Landing Gear Is Cool But…

Posted by Richard Whittle on


There’s been some breathless coverage of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency experiment with what look like mechanical insect legs to replace the usual wheels or skids helicopters land on. One article called the Adaptive Landing Gear nothing short of  “incredible.” The video DARPA publicized is certainly fun to watch (see above), but  there’s a lot less utility… Keep reading →

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Buy A New Helo Engine? The Army Thinks It Can, Thinks It Can…

Posted by Richard Whittle on


After more than seven years of designing and testing how to make new, more powerful, and incredibly fuel efficient engines for its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and UH-60 Black Hawk utility birds, the Army has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP). The Army’s “top aviation priority” thus takes a baby step closer to becoming a… Keep reading →

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Lockheed Bids $9B For Sikorsky; May Spin Off IT, Tech Services

Posted by Richard Whittle on


WASHINGTON: Lockheed Martin’s planned purchase of Sikorsky Aircraft, the biggest U.S. helicopter manufacturer, is a natural fit that will mean a lot more to buyer Lockheed and seller United Technologies Corp. than it will for the military rotorcraft industry, present or future. Here’s why. First, the two companies have worked together on military helicopter programs for decades.… Keep reading →

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V-280 Valor: Bell Starts Building Joint Multi-Role Prototype

Posted by Richard Whittle on


Somebody’s finally doing something tangible about the future of Army aviation. Bell Helicopter subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems of Wichita, Kan., has started assembling the composite fuselage for the first prototype V-280 Valor, Bell’s new military tiltrotor. The Valor is sleeker, smaller, and, by design, more Army-friendly than the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, which was built to fit… Keep reading →

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Grey Eagle-Apache Run Shows Tech’s Not Enough; Ya Gotta Have Doctrine

Posted by Richard Whittle on


VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: Manned-Unmanned Teaming, when manned aircraft crews control drones from their cockpit, is a child of the drone revolution still in its infancy. So maybe it’s no surprise that Army Apache helicopter units with new AH-64Es equipped to control MQ-1C Grey Eagle armed drones have gotten off to a crawl rather than a run using… Keep reading →

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“It’s Unbelievable What We Go Through,” Laments Army Helo Program Manager

Posted by Richard Whittle on


VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.: You’re the Army and you really, really want a new, more powerful and efficient engine for most of your helicopter fleet. It’s really urgent. But you’re not going to get those engines for your UH-60  Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters for at least another 11 years. What’s the reason? Good old… Keep reading →

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