Author Topic: CH-148 Cyclone Progress  (Read 614886 times)

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Offline Inch

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2008, 17:42:17 »
My source is the multiple briefings we've had here at 12 Wing from Sikorsky as well as one of the test pilots currently in West Palm Beach.

If the X-2 and UH-60M are the only two programs, why is it being tested on an H-92? Does that make any sense?
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Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2008, 17:57:38 »
interesting.  No mention that I can find of FBY in any other place except what your are being briefed on.  Do you recall if FBY was in the original briefs or has it crept into the briefs as the program went on ?



wrt the H-92 as a test bed . . it could make sense since neither the X-2 or UH-60M are flying yet, they need something to use for flight testing and would make sense if Sikorsky found a partner/program to pay for/share the development $$/risks.

Wouldn't ya think if FBY  was part of the package from day 1 both DND & Sikorsky would be shouting form the rooftops ?? After all this is an industry first and there are bragging rights here.  I can't find any references in the procurement decision phase about including a significant aviation first in the program.

I'm still thinking there is much more to this story and the fact that everyone is being tight lipped about WHY they need 30 more months is very suspicious.  When PMO's & politicians go silent & run for cover there is  a story to be told.

We'll find out eventually.

bty . . keep up the great work on the Project . . the wait will be  worth it and the kit will be much appreciated I'm sure.



Offline Inch

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2008, 18:08:06 »
I'm pretty sure it wasn't in our statement of requirements, but as far as I can remember, this has been in the works for at least a couple years.

There isn't a -60M flying yet, but there are plenty of H-60's out there to try it out on.
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Offline Hippie

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2008, 19:18:19 »
interesting.  No mention that I can find of FBY in any other place except what your are being briefed on.  Do you recall if FBY was in the original briefs or has it crept into the briefs as the program went on ?

I was at the west coast decision brief in 2004 at 443 Sqn, and it was mentioned there that it was to be FBW.  I can't remember specific examples, but I BELIEVE it was part of the H-92 pitch before it was selected for the MHP.  Plus every bit of correspondence that I have read and the presentations I have seen has always referred to FBW.  I'm no engineer, all I do is stir the sticks, but as Inch has eluded to, it's a stand alone system, so I can imagine it will be a challenge to develop and implement.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2008, 19:55:53 »
It was also based on the flight system for the cancelled US army Commanche, so Sikorsky was not exactly starting from scratch here.

Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #80 on: January 11, 2008, 19:58:16 »
Very interesting.


I found a reference that Sikorsky proposed FBY for their failed  V-92 "Marine One" proposal so it looks like Sikorsky has been looking for a development program/project for awhile.  

Speculation  . . .  along comes Canada, launch customer for the H-92 and voila,  FBY that Sikorsky has wanted to develop has a program that is "interested", a government agency (NCR) with money and a possibility to introduce an aviation "first" to the market  but with shared cost burden

I'm pretty sure now FBY was not part of the original contract - not 100% sure but it looks that way. So it looks like FBY is an ECR to the project and it MAY be the reason for the 30 month schedule extension that is being sold as a "delay".

I don't know why they would do this, if indeed this is the actual case, but there are too many zipped lips here to make me think all is above board.




Sorry for being so cynical . . .  just my experience on big Federal projects says this kinda things happens a lot. ECR's are the bread & butter of suppliers and the Snr Management often awards $$Bonuses for getting the government to pay for big buck ECR's.   Some journo will dig up the whole story eventually . . . .  who authorized what, when & why.

I'm not saying it is a wrong decision to delay for FBY -  if that's the reason.  They just seem to want to try and hide the reason for the delay/schedule adjustment.  Stupid really, its always the cover-up that screws the pooch.

I've got some pilot friends with lotsa experience and contacts in the offshore oil helo business . . .   I've emailed them asking for opinions on the S-92's.


Offline Hippie

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #81 on: January 11, 2008, 20:47:48 »
Sorry for being so cynical . . .  just my experience on big Federal projects says this kinda things happens a lot. ECR's are the bread & butter of suppliers and the Snr Management often awards $$Bonuses for getting the government to pay for big buck ECR's.   Some journo will dig up the whole story eventually . . . .  who authorized what, when & why.

I'm not saying it is a wrong decision to delay for FBY -  if that's the reason.  They just seem to want to try and hide the reason for the delay/schedule adjustment.  Stupid really, its always the cover-up that screws the pooch.

I've got some pilot friends with lotsa experience and contacts in the offshore oil helo business . . .   I've emailed them asking for opinions on the S-92's.


Remember, Haletown, this was JUST 'announced' not even two days ago.  Sikorsky or PWGSC hasn't even made any 'official' announcement yet.  All these press reports are all saying 'MAY' and 'POSSIBLY' about the 30 month delay thing.  We all know how reliable the press can be.  People seem to be jumping to conclusions and quoting the source as gospel.  I think it's a bit early to be crying foul and accusing the players of hiding information.  Let us just wait and see what comes up in the next few days / weeks.

Also, remember the S-92, besides the airframe, is vastly different than the CH-148 / H-92 in almost all areas.  We're talkin engines / tranny / gearbox / avionics etc..  Nevermind the extensive, and I mean EXSTENSIVE mission systems included on the MH.  I'm not saying that your conclusions are wrong, you may be completely right!  I'm just saying let's just wait and see.  It's still a year before the first a/c is even supposed to wop wop it's way into Canadian airspace.  Patience my good man.

Offline h3tacco

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #82 on: January 11, 2008, 21:24:12 »
Haletown you are reading way too much into this. There are very few major defense projects that are either delivered on time or on budget. If there is any delay (remember there have been no official announcements from the crown or Sikorsky) there are any number of reasons that could be the cause. Just look up the VH-71 or RH-70 programs in the US and you will see they are both have problems with budget and schedule. Both programs have been considered for cancellation due to problems. Unfortunately this is a fact of life when it comes to major defense projects, contractors make promises that cannot always be met.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 21:55:27 by h3tacco »

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #83 on: January 11, 2008, 23:47:37 »
Just so folks know, the NH90 has been flying for years (since 1997) with fly-by-wire controls.  H92 wouldn't be the first.

NH 90

G2G

Offline FoverF

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #84 on: January 12, 2008, 00:54:11 »
Anybody else hear that Sikorsky is moving all of their civilian chopper work to Poland?

Given that Canada is the only military customer (well, only militarized customer), it seems plausible to me that Sikorsky might want to move the whole S-92 line to Poland in the near future.




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Offline Inch

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #85 on: January 12, 2008, 06:40:23 »
Just so folks know, the NH90 has been flying for years (since 1997) with fly-by-wire controls.  H92 wouldn't be the first.

NH 90

G2G

Ah, good call. Everytime they come to Shearwater they pimp it about being the first, maybe something to do with FAA certification.
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Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #86 on: January 12, 2008, 09:41:18 »
Hey folks, like I have repeated, IF, IF, IF  . . .  I'm just postulating a theory . . .  it is highly unusual to have a 30 month delay (IF that is what it is) announced at this schedule point in a contract and they can't/won't explain why.  The usual format is to bring in the spin-doctors and surround the announcement in positives  & platitudes etc. 

They have not announced the reason WHY and there is "non-clarity" if it is a schedule extension or a delay.   I'm just saying its unusual and I'll be surprised if someone somewhere isn't doing a nifty CYA.   Time will tell . .  it can't be kept a secret for long.

Quick google confirms the NH90 having FBY, but looks like they only announced it in 2004.

It would be interesting to have a debate between SH-92 and NH90 folks over how they define FBY & who has done what first.   :blotto:


Offline h3tacco

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #87 on: January 12, 2008, 11:51:03 »
The NH-90 has FBW but it is having a number of problems meeting scheduled deliveries. There are two versions the army TTH and naval NFH. Only a few TTH have been delivered and there are no NFH in operational service.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 11:54:09 by h3tacco »

Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2008, 14:09:35 »
The Minister starts the response . . .  blames Cruton and says 11  months

"The Sea King replacement was a political albatross for Mr. Chrétien during his 10 years in power. It wasn't until his successor, Paul Martin, announced the $5-billion Sikorsky contract in 2004 that it looked like the air force would finally get new maritime helicopters to replace the 1960s-era fleet that has become prone to breakdowns and a periodic embarrassment to the military.

The first new Sikorsky aircraft was due in November, but that deadline has come and gone, sparking reports that the delivery is now three years behind schedule.

Mr. MacKay said the delay has been more like nine to 11 months, but that, he said, is still not acceptable.

"It's a tremendous, tremendous disappointment to see once again this vital piece of equipment may be delayed. And it can all go back to a single, solitary decision and a flippant and callous stroke of the pen," Mr. MacKay said by telephone from Victoria, referring to Mr. Chrétien's cancellation of the Cormorant contract shortly after he was sworn in as prime minister."



http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=fd32b59c-efdf-4941-b940-5ebec4c4bef3

stay tuned, film at  11







Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2008, 17:47:55 »
A FlightGlobal article dated 11 July 2006 states:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/11/07/210370/2006-helicopter-manufacturers-review.html

"A testbed for the MH-92's fly-by-wire flight control system will fly in February, with delivery of the first of 28 Canadian aircraft - designated CH-148 Cyclones - scheduled for November 2008."

That would be February 2007. 



but by late July 2007 they were still doing ground testing

http://www.aviationtoday.com/categories/military/14368.html

"Monday, July 30, 2007
Canadian Maritime S-92 Fly-by-Wire Technology Passes First Ground Runs
Sikorsky Aircraft reports that fly-by-wire technology for the H-92 version of the S-92 that it is building for the Canadian Maritime Helicopter Program has passed two days of initial ground tests.


But it didn't fly until a few weeks ago.

http://www.sikorsky.com/details/0,9602,CLI1_DIV69_ETI2650,00.html

"Sikorsky Aircraft Helicopter With Fly-by-Wire Technology Completes Flawless First Flight

Dec. 21, 2007


STRATFORD, Conn., - The first H-92® helicopter to feature fly-by-wire technology has completed its first successful flight, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced today. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

The historic first flight took place on Dec. 20 at 9 a.m. from the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. The new fly-by-wire technology is designed to significantly improve aircraft maneuverability, safety and effectiveness. Sikorsky currently has two development programs which will feature the FBW technology, the X-2 Technology™ demonstrator, and the newest model of the BLACK HAWK helicopter, the UH-60M.

"This successful flight of the first H-92 helicopter to feature state-of-the-art fly-by-wire technology ushers in a new era for the H-92 product line," said Stephen B. Estill, Sikorsky vice president & chief marketing officer. "This aircraft was the first of a new generation of helicopters designed to new and more demanding standards for safety and reliability, and with fly-by-wire, it sets course for the path ahead and the next phase of flight testing in 2008."




This could be the delay . . . .  the time line fits - about 11 months


IF this ends up being the cause for the sched change/slip, then the PMO has known about it for quite a while.  I'd be really surprised if FBY was not on the Critical Path, so at the best case scenario any FBY delay is a day-for-day program slip.  And that's a best case.

Time will tell.


Offline h3tacco

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #90 on: January 13, 2008, 10:09:07 »
Problems with the VH-71 program.

Quote
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A large Lockheed Martin (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) contract to build a fleet of helicopters for the president could be in trouble, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.

The newspaper said John Young, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, has called for a meeting with the company on Saturday to talk about Lockheed's plans to build 28 Marine One helicopters for the White House.

According to the report, the program has run into engineering challenges and delays, which could push the $6.1 billion contract over budget by billions of dollars.

The paper said that the Pentagon is considering canceling, severely cutting back the program, or even asking United Technologies Corp.'s (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Sikorsky helicopter unit to produce a version of its S-92 helicopter for the president.

Lockheed, along with Italian firm Finmeccanica SpA (SIFI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research), won the contract to build the helicopters in 2005.

A company spokesman said Lockheed continues to look at options with the Navy on how to proceed with the program.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Ben Tan)

http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSN1133358720080112

Problems with NH90 program.

Quote
The Finnish Defence Forces are set to get EUR 16 million in compensation for the delay in the supply of the NH90 transport helicopters that it has ordered, reports the Tampere newspaper Aamulehti. The order is more than two and a half years behind schedule.
      In early December, the helicopter model got its first approval for use by authorities in Germany. However, approval for the copters to be supplied to Finland will have to wait. According to Colonel Mika Soininen of the Finnish Army air unit, the move is expected by early February. If this happens, the first of the aircraft could be in use in April.
     
The French manufacturer NH Industries is paying a fine for the delay which is about the equivalent of the cost of a single helicopter. Aamulehti says that the total price tag of EUR 554 million will remain unchanged.
      The Finnish company Patria will assemble 50 NH90 transport helicopters as a subcontractor of the French Eurocopter SAS at its plant in Jämsä, where 18 of the 20 NH90s that are to come to Finland will be assembled.

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finland+to+get+EUR+16+million+for+delay+in+production+of+helicopters/1135223678606
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 10:12:38 by h3tacco »

Offline Haletown

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #91 on: January 14, 2008, 14:25:42 »
meanwhile the first test airframes VH -71's have been delivered . .

Patuxent River, Md. — The first two VH-71 helicopters built for the President of the United States have entered the flight test phase with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Navy-owned test vehicles, TV-2 and TV-5, arrived at NAS Patuxent River in November and December, respectively, aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane from AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil, England. The government and industry integrated test team will use the aircraft primarily for structural and propulsion testing, and pilot training. TV-2 and TV-5 are the first of four test aircraft built for the initial phase of the VH-71 program known as Increment One

couple of nice pictures

  http://www.skycontrol.net/helicopters/vh-71-begins-us-flight-testing/


Online MarkOttawa

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #92 on: January 17, 2008, 14:32:08 »
Buying military equipment still a tricky venture (usual copyright disclaimer)
http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=ee4e4730-f955-4e71-b797-f56db23cb290
 
Quote
It has become far too easy to predict the failure of military equipment procurement in Canada. In fact, if you could get odds on this in Las Vegas, it would be easy money.

The latest project to enter into contract limbo is the replacement of the Canadian Sea King naval helicopters that help protect and monitor our massive coastlines.

It was revealed last week that the Cyclone replacement models chosen by the government in 2004 may not be delivered until 2010. The American company Sikorsky was originally scheduled to begin delivery of the helicopters at the end of this year.

Although the delay is a recent discovery, it was predicted by many defence analysts before the ink was dry on the original contract. The delay will also come as no surprise to the general public, as they have been hearing about contracts to replace the helicopters since the 1980s.

If there is one thing that most Canadians know regarding our military equipment, it's how decrepit our helicopter fleet is. Much like Britney Spears, the topic is popular for all the wrong reasons.

The latest chapter of this story began last month, when AgustaWestland dropped its billion-dollar lawsuit against the federal government.

The company was the losing bidder for the 2004 replacement contract and claimed that the selection process was fraudulent and biased against its aircraft.

And there certainly was a case for choosing AgustaWestland. They knew that Sikorsky could not meet the November deadline. The Cyclone has never flown in a military configuration and Canada is its first customer.

This actually contradicts an earlier defence policy of only buying tried and tested equipment for the Canadian Forces. Ironically, the policy of avoiding a first production run was actually implemented in the last attempt to replace the Sea Kings in the 1980s and '90s. The government signed a contract with EH Industries (now AgustaWestland) for the EH-101 only after the British did so first to replace its own Sea Kings.

The Cyclone, which was then called the S-92, was barely even considered, as it was still in development and was nowhere near being certified and tested as a military aircraft.

The EH-101 was unanimously considered the superior aircraft over all competitors by the experts at National Defence.

Although a contract had been signed with EH Industries by 1992, Jean Chretien made cancelling the contract his first act as prime minister in 1993.

He claimed the EH-101 was a "Cadillac" and was completely unnecessary. He claimed the Cold War was over, that the world was returning to peace, and that he "would not lose any sleep" over removing this capability from the military.

The total cost to Canadian taxpayers to cancel the contract amounted to $478.3 million. There was no study done as to what the repercussions would be.

No military professionals were consulted. It was simply cancelled. And here we are 15 years later, still scrambling to keep helicopters in the air that have no place in modern operations. Just last week, two Sea Kings were pulled out of exercises off Nova Scotia due to engine fires.

It is likely that AgustaWestland dropped its lawsuit to ensure the Canadian government could remain a future customer.

Although Chretien's government was prepared to pay far more to cancel the 1992 contract, it is speculated that AgustaWestland let the feds off easy to help its bid for the search and rescue helicopter competition it knew was coming.

In 1998, AgustaWestland won this contract with a near replica of the model that Chretien had so vehemently attacked in 1992.

But when the competition for the naval helicopter was officially initiated in 2000, the Liberal government was determined not to be embarrassed again. EH Industries, by then called AgustaWestland, again put forth its military model. But as the allegations go, the procurement process was subsequently altered to preclude the company from winning. In July 2004, the $3.2-billion contract was given to Sikorsky and AgustaWestland filed its lawsuit.

Now we discover that the government is off the hook and the winning competitor may be nearly three years late.

The Canadian government could potentially penalize Sikorsky several thousand dollars a day for being late, and it would certainly set a good precedent. It is unlikely the Sea Kings will remain serviceable for three more years.

The tax dollars that have gone toward hours worked since the 1970s on replacing the Sea Kings are incalculable and there is still nothing to show for it.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier was obviously frustrated by the news and correctly explained that Canada needs to lose its reputation for being "world-class at maintaining old equipment." The first step, however, would be to buy equipment that actually exists and can be delivered on time.

Until then, the failures in the Canadian procurement system will remain a good bet.

Aaron Plamondon is a National Defence Fellow at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary and teaches history at Mount Royal College

So maybe it's all Paul Martin's fault, not Jean Chretien's as MND MacKay has said,
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2008/01/cyclones-its-all-jeans-fault.html

since his government chose the Cyclone over the Cormorant--but the Cormorant itself has not been without problems...
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,69118.0.html

Mark
Ottawa
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 14:35:40 by MarkOttawa »
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline geo

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #93 on: January 18, 2008, 08:10:57 »
Aaron Plamondon should look at what is going on in Europe where the A400 is far behind schedule and falling behind even further - as they wait for a power plant to make the darned thing go....
Chimo!

Offline dot connector

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #94 on: January 21, 2008, 16:24:34 »
As part of the contract, Sikorsky agreed to enlist approx. 170 Canadian companies as suppliers and at least some of them have to be new to Sikorsky, is it possible that some of the delays might be attributed to difficulties within the supply chain?

Offline geo

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #95 on: January 21, 2008, 20:29:16 »
would have doubts that "that" is the cause for sudden changes in delivery plans.

Sikorsky has been exposed to Canadian industry for a long, long time (Sea King is a Sikorsky product).

The lines of communication are open and, if the main supplier has gotten himself caught flatfooted like that... he deserves every fine and penalty that this little military can levy at him.
Chimo!

Offline IN HOC SIGNO

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #96 on: January 22, 2008, 17:56:29 »
would have doubts that "that" is the cause for sudden changes in delivery plans.

Sikorsky has been exposed to Canadian industry for a long, long time (Sea King is a Sikorsky product).

The lines of communication are open and, if the main supplier has gotten himself caught flatfooted like that... he deserves every fine and penalty that this little military can levy at him.

I like the idea of negotiating for extra air frames in lieu of penalties....much more useful to us in the long run.

Offline FoverF

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #97 on: January 22, 2008, 19:28:44 »
Too true.

Especially since attrition replacement is going to be pretty much impossible. It looks to me like the odds of another sucker customer coming along are fairly slim, so when our production run is finished, that'll probably be all she wrote.
Plan B is just to keep on givin' er

Offline geo

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #98 on: January 22, 2008, 21:01:36 »
H
Too true.

Especially since attrition replacement is going to be pretty much impossible. It looks to me like the odds of another sucker customer coming along are fairly slim, so when our production run is finished, that'll probably be all she wrote.

Ohhh?

Pray tell why we are "suckers" in your expert opinion.
All sort of experts are saying that the Sikorsky is an excellent aircraft..... what's your dissenting opinion all about?
Chimo!

Offline FoverF

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Re: CH-148 Cyclone Progress
« Reply #99 on: January 23, 2008, 05:00:31 »
I think the first mistake was splitting the SAR and MH buys, as now we're supporting two small fleets of two of the most expensive choppers in the world. It doesn't seem to me like there's a HUGE difference in capability between the Cyclone and Merlin, so I really don't see any advantage to operating both types simultaneously. Either all Cyclones, or all Merlins, but splitting the buy doesn't really give a substantial increase in capability, and it duplicates a lot of costs (infrastructure, spares, training, engineering/development/AETE, paperwork for a new acquisition program, spares, etc).

I'm not saying that the Cyclone is going to be a crappy chopper, but I think that regardless of it's teething problems, (and some dodgy customer support), the Merlin would have been a better choice.

The through-life upgrade/development costs, spares, tooling costs, etc, of the Merlin will be amortized across a fleet of a couple hundred airframes, with 9 military users and counting. For the Cyclone, in contrast, virtually all of these costs (and they add up, boy howdy, over 25-50 years) will be borne by the Canadian taxpayer, directly or indirectly. Someday we'll want a laser-warning receiver, or new FLIR turret, or DIRCM system, or avionics suite, or whatever, and there's going to be nobody else to pick up the development costs. And the cyclone will have it's own expensive teething troubles too, new designs always do.

All of which is why you should never buy the A-model of anything. Being the launch (and probably only) customer was our sucker move, IMHO. The western world bought the Blackhawk, NH90, and Merlin. We bought the Betamax of MH.

And while I have worries about AW's customer support, I don't expect Sikorsky to move mountains for us. The financial incentive just isn't there to provide a huge amount of engineering support for a product with a single small customer. The H-92 isn't likeky to be a commecial success, so there's no reason for Sikorsky to invest large sums of money in it.

I don't claim that the Merlin is superior to the Cyclone on it's technical merits alone. I don't really know. What I do know, however, is that the US Government chose a FOREIGN design to fly around the PRESIDENT of the United States, rather than buy the S-92. That's worth reading twice. It also lost in the USAF CSAR competition, and, come to think of it, every other military bid it's ever made.

So 'all sort of experts' also seem to have their doubts.

Just my opinion, no warranties expressed or implied.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 05:12:22 by FoverF »
Plan B is just to keep on givin' er