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June 2005

  • Bush gives Westland lift
  • Goodrich Technology Selected for U.S. Army Helicopter Laser
  • Turkey to Buy 17 Sikorsky Naval Helicopters
  • Sikorsky Building High-Speed Coaxial Helicopter
  • Bell Returns BA609 to Test Flight
  • Bell Flies First ARH Demonstrator
  • IAI Recognized for Composite Stabilator on Black Hawk/Seahawk
  • ADC Introduces Apache Alignment Fixture
  • Archivals
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    Turkey to Buy 17 Sikorsky Naval Helicopters
    By Zaman
    Published: Thursday 23, 2005

    The Turkish Defense Industry Managing Committee has decided to purchase 17 Seahawk naval helicopters including replacement parts and related equipment from the Sikorsky firm.

    Twelve of the helicopters will come as the first part and the remainder will be on option according to the decision. The Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Wednesday that the Ministry has completed the works for determining the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces for the following 10 years. The projects will base on the use of national industrial opportunities and increasing the domestic added value to the highest level, Gonul elaborated. Furthermore, 20 fire extinguishing helicopters will be purchased for the Forest General Directorate.

    Goodrich Technology Selected for U.S. Army Helicopter Laser Threat Warning System and Lockheed Martin Receives $61 Million Contract

    City of Industry, CA --( 06/22/2005 - Defense industry news provided by Financial News USA (OTC: FNWU). Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has received a $61 million plus-up to the Multifunction Utility/Logistics and Equipment (MULE) System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract as a result of the recent Future Combat System (FCS) restructure. The contract modification was issued by the FCS Lead System Integrator (LSI), The Boeing Company. Astronauts traveling to the moon and beyond may not have to be rocket scientists to return their spacecraft to full system health should they encounter a malfunction along the way. They will receive significant help from a new integrated system health-management architecture that Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is developing for NASA.

    Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) has been awarded a contract by Lear Siegler, Inc. for initial production quantities of laser threat warning systems for use on U.S. Army BLACKHAWK and Chinook helicopters. This option is the first installment of a multi-year contract in support of the U.S. Army. The contract is expected to generate approximately $21 million in original equipment sales for Goodrich over 3 years, with first deliveries beginning in 2006. U.S. Biodefense Inc. (OTCBB: UBDE), a Department of Defense central contractor and technology transfer company, and Diamond I Inc., a developer of wireless handheld gaming products, announced recently the signing of a patent listing and Tech Transfer alliance agreement.

    Bush gives Westland lift
    Robert Fox, Evening Standard, 23 June 2005

    DON'T tell the American public but, in a secluded part of Somerset, they have just started building the first of a batch of new helicopters - the latest version of Marine One - for the US President.

    When the £850m contract was awarded in January for 26 US101 helicopters for the Presidential flight - with American firm Lockheed Martin as lead contractor, Bell of the US as aircraft producer and Westland as design partner - it was expected that the aircraft would be built in the States.

    But President Bush is so eager to have the machines available on schedule in 2009, shortly before he leaves the White House, that the US Marine Corps has decided speed is of the essence and has moved most of the initial build to the UK.

    Of the first batch of eight helicopters - they are dubbed the flying Oval Office - seven are to be constructed at Yeovil. Bell, which has built a production facility to manage the programme in Amarillo, Texas, is now set to make just one of the initial batch before taking on a greater share of the later deliveries.

    Westland claims that Bush has said: 'I want to see one of those new machines on the White House lawn before I leave office.'

    The first test machines must fly in early 2007 for the production models to be ready for the President's final days in office two years later. The choice of Westland for overseeing the finish and for quality control has been an unexpected boost for the manufacturer's West Country division, which last year cut its Yeovil workforce because of a six-month delay to a Ministry of Defence contract for light helicopters.

    The company is now known as AgustaWestland after becoming fully controlled by Italian defence contractor Finmeccanica, which bought out engineering group GKN's half share of the business.

    Having landed the current production of the Presidential helicopter, which is based on the successful EH101 Merlin, Agusta-Westland feels it is now well-placed to win the contract for 146 rescue and reconnaissance helicopters for the US Marines and Special Forces, which would bring more work to Yeovil.

    If the AgustaWestland, Bell, Lockheed and Northrop consortium bidding for that deal wins against a rival team of Sikorsky and Boeing that is offering an updated Ch-47 Chinook, it could be the beginning of the end for the revolutionary twin-rotor helicopter that has been a military workhorse since the Vietnam war.

    Sikorsky Building High-Speed Coaxial Helicopter

    Sikorsky aircraft plans to fly by the end of 2006 a tandem-seat light coaxial helicopter that can attain speeds around 250-knots. The company-funded X2 Technology demonstrator will integrate a suite of advances aimed at achieving high-speed cruise without the hover penalties imposed by compound helicopters and direct-lift solutions. Sikorsky president Stephen Finger stated at the AHS Forum, “We’ve concluded that what the world wants is a helicopter that goes fast.”

    Sikorsky studies have underscored the value of an aircraft able to operate from confined, unprepared areas, hover, and fly nap-of-the-earth. ”The most productive helicopter is a helicopter,” says Mr. Finger. The X2 Technology demonstrator will be built and detail-designed by the rapid prototyping team at Sikorsky’s Schweizer Hawk Works in Elmira, New York. It will be powered by a single LHTEC T800-LHT-801 turboshaft driving both the coaxial rotor system and the propulsive tail propeller.

    Sikorsky previously demonstrated the potential of a coaxial helicopter with auxiliary thrust in the 1970s using the S-69/XH-59A Advancing Blade Concept (ABC). The Army-funded demonstrator had two stacked, contra-rotating rotors with exceptional stiffness to overcome retreating blade stall. It used two J-60 turbojets to achieve 259 kt. The ABC was nevertheless limited by its high hub drag, high empty weight, and vibration.

    The X2 Technology demonstrator will address the shortcomings of the ABC with recent advances in rotor blades, transmissions, active vibration controls, advanced flight control laws, and other fields. The scaleable coaxial layout would use one or more pusher propellers to achieve speeds higher than possible with conventional helicopters yet require no tilt rotor-like reconfiguration in flight. Notional X2 applications include an attack rotorcraft capable of 290 kt speed and level body acceleration/deceleration, a shipboard-capable heavy lift rotorcraft with 25 tons internal payload and 250 kt cruise speed, and a 250 kt unmanned air vehicle with exceptional endurance.

    Bell Returns BA609 to Test Flight

    The Bell/Agusta BA609, returned to hovering flight June 3, working toward a helicopter-to-airplane conversion by the end of the month. The 1.3 hour flight at the Bell Helicopter XworX research and development facility was the first for the six-to-nine passenger tiltrotor since 2003. The aircraft is now equipped with a new flight control computer and incorporates changes to meet current Federal Aviation Regulation amendments for birdstrike protection. The BA609 crewed by Bell/Agusta pilots Roy Hopkins and Pietro Venanzi flew around the pattern at Arlington Municipal Airport at a top speed of 86 knots with 75-degree forward tilt on the proprotor nacelles. It hovered forwards, sideways and backwards and demonstrated excellent handling qualities.

    BA609 Aircraft 1 and 2 are committed to handling qualities explorations. Aircraft 2 is due to fly in Italy in the third quarter of this year. The third and fourth BA609 prototypes are expected to fly in 2006. Number three will be used for icing tests while Number 4 will be the avionics test aircraft. A non-flying static test article is currently in the XWorx test rig.

    Bell Flies First ARH Demonstrator

    Bell Helicopter has begun flight trials of a Bell 407 demonstrator for the US Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) competition. The demonstrator nose carries an aerodynamic mockup of the Lockheed Martin electro-optical sensor turret proposed for the ARH – a package derived from the AH-1Z Target Sight System with a third-generation mid-wave Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor, color TV camera, laser designator/rangefinder, and laser spot tracker. The aircraft also has mock radar warning/missile warning receiver fairings and flare/chaff dispensers.

    Bell offers to satisfy Army requirements with 368 new ARHs completed at the company's Military Aircraft Assembly Center, Amarillo, Texas and delivered from Fiscal 2006 to 2011. Commercial 407’s are built in the company’s Mirabel, Canada plant.

    The Bell ARH proposal is based on the commercial Model 407 airframe and rotor system upgraded with a 925 shp Honeywell HTS900 turboshaft in place of the Rolls Royce Allison 250C27 in the demonstrator. The first vehicle is devoted to handling qualities and structural testing. Bell test pilot Lynn Morgan and flight test engineer Brian Cassidy flew the demonstrator a total of 1.5 flight hours in three flights on June 2. Initial flights were flown with dummy rocket pods. Subsequent tests will include mock Hellfire missiles and other dummy ordnance.

    IAI Recognized for Composite Stabilator on Black Hawk/Seahawk

    Israel Aircraft Industries is part of the team awarded the AHS 2005 Robert L. Pinckney award for the development of a folding composite stabilator for the Sikorsky Black Hawk and Seahawk. Sikorsky, IAI, GKN Aerospace, and the US Army ManTech organization were recognized for demonstrating the economic viability of incorporating composite stabilators and tailcones on mature production helicopters. A prototype stabilator was developed, produced, and tested in nine months.

    Designed in a paperless CATIA engineering environment, the IAI stabilator common to the Black Hawk and Seahawk is 22% lighter than its metal predecessor. It reduced the total number of parts from 90 to 30 and the number of fasteners from 2,000 to 600. The graphite epoxy torsion box including thin upper and lower skins, two spars, and four ribs is co-cured with corresponding reductions in manufacturing costs. The stabilator has a carbon/aramid honeycomb sandwich leading edge and carbon/epoxy tip caps. Root and tip ribs are aluminum, and attachment fittings are stainless steel.

    The composite stabilator withstood 196% of limit loads without damage and has a 20,000 hour service life. It is now in production for the UH-60M.

    ADC Introduces Apache Alignment Fixture

    ADC Engineering Technology, Inc. will deliver to Corpus Christi Aviation Depot this month a laser alignment tool for the AH-64 Apache. Similar fixtures are already in service at CCAD for the UH-60 Black Hawk and at the Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina for the HH-60J Jayhawk.

    The computer-based system uses reflective targets and an automated laser tracker to verify the alignment of transmissions, servo beams, and other airframe features. Current software checks 116 points on the UH-60 airframe and generates variance reports automatically. Commonly used when repairing battle damage, the computer-based alignment systems have performed airframe alignment checks that used to take weeks in just four hours.