Author Topic: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV  (Read 11967 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« on: May 24, 2007, 10:07:20 »
In my morning reading I ran across an article advocating that the UK hire Russian made Mi-8MTV or the Mi-26 instead of using the Merlin that costs $34,000 an hour to operate. It costs $2500 an hour for an Mi-8MTV complete with crew and it carries the same amount of troops/cargo as the Merlin. The larger Mi-26 costs $6000 an hour complete with crew. Both choopers are rugged and easy to maintain vs the Merlin. Sounds like a good short term solution for medium/heavy lift. For the cost of a Merlin you can operate 13 Mi-8's or 5 Mi-26's. Maybe this would be a short term solution for Canada or possibly just buy 13 Mi-8 and 5 Mi-26's.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 12:14:40 »
I'm with the "you-get-what-you-pay-for" crowd.

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 12:29:54 »
T6-

You can go fly with them if you want to.  I wouldn't.

FWIW

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 14:02:07 »
T6, that's the problem with advocates -- the Merlin cost is the per hour ammortization of all the costs associated with the aircraft (fuel, oil, salaries of crew, capital acquisition, weapon support plan, infrastructure, etc...) up to and including a little sliver of Whitehall, MoD HQ.  If you were to separate the O&M costs from the "sunk" costs (fixed costs that you would pay whether you fly a single hour or not), you would see a figure that is much lower for the Merlin and would in no way support being able to operate 5 Mi-26 Halo's for the same money.  Fiscally, the lobbyists like to compare apples with oranges and then say the orange is just as good as the apple. 

Cheers,
G2G

Offline SF2

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2007, 21:04:41 »
Who's buying Merlins for Med/Heavy lift?  I hope we're not....

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2007, 21:06:51 »
It was directed at the UK use of the Merlin, its high cost to operate and the fact that MOD wont deploy the chopper in an environment where they might be at risk to being shotdown.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2007, 21:28:46 »
T6, I think the MoD's concerns are that the Merlin, of course being optimized at sea level as a sub-hunter, is not particularly well-suited to hot-high conditions...it's very close to the edge of its manoeuvring envelope when you put it up in hot, dusty mountains.  It certainly is a nice machine at sea-level, though...

G2G

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2007, 15:12:06 »
The argument that the Helicopter is close to it's operating envelope in Afganistan is the same as every other platform out there. They are all close to their envelopes. Even the mighty Chinook cannot carry as much as far as it would at sea level.

This one has been bugging me due to the fact that single Hueys are being used in Afganistan.

As for hiring out for Mi series helos for use, why not. Personally I would fly in one of those any day. At least they can handle the extreme enviroment. Plus they are easy to maintain whaihc is what is needed in todays battle fields. (that is what has always been needed on battle fields).

All helicopters are effected by high altitude, high heat and high humidity.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2007, 15:28:08 »
The argument that the Helicopter is close to it's operating envelope in Afganistan is the same as every other platform out there. They are all close to their envelopes. Even the mighty Chinook cannot carry as much as far as it would at sea level.

This one has been bugging me due to the fact that single Hueys are being used in Afganistan.

As for hiring out for Mi series helos for use, why not. Personally I would fly in one of those any day. At least they can handle the extreme enviroment. Plus they are easy to maintain whaihc is what is needed in todays battle fields. (that is what has always been needed on battle fields).

All helicopters are effected by high altitude, high heat and high humidity.

Actually, CTD, it is not. 

1.   The Merlin is strained proportionately more above sea level than other helicopters in theatre.  The BERP 3 blades were optimized for SL performance and degrade noticeably as altitude increases.

2.  The Chinook operates very effectively, even at reduced gross weights, at increasing altitudes.  Even a fraction of 24,000lb payload is still a lot (compared to Merlin's 7,000-9,000lb sea-level payload.)

3.  Huey II's operated by DOS-INL in KB and KH are quite effective because two big blades are much more efficient in thin air than five (or more) smaller blades.  The T700 engine packs way more punch than the original T53, as well.  There is no lack of power or performance on the Hueys in that theatre.

4.  I would not fly the Mi-8 or even the Mi-17.  They are notoriously underpowered, amongst other things.  Maintenance is simplified, yes, but primarily at the cost of limited lifetime of the airframe since there is generally a large pool of Hip's still around to draw from.

5.  Re: effect of high alt/heat/humidity -- yes, so why operate a helicopter that is proportionately more affected?

my 2 ยข

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Offline Rowshambow

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2007, 18:31:53 »
I was ummm lucky.... to fly in a Czech hip, while in Bosnia. It was pretty bare bones, not something I would want to do again! Definitely something I didn't feel safe in! So I couldn't imagine doing it all the time as a Royal marine or other type of infantry might.
Let's play hide and go f^*k yourself...I'll go hide!

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2007, 00:08:48 »
Put all the politics aside and look at the equipment at hand.
The new mighty EH101/Merlin etc cannot operate well unless near sea level.
Hipp Mi series helo can operate decently in all terrain.
Chinook can operate well in all terrain.
Single Huey, old engines and newer engines can operate in all types of terrain,
Bell 412 Cdn stly limited operations for high alititude terrain.
Seaking decent platform used through out the world in various types of terrein with great sucess.
Any helicopter that is used in military service can be depolyed any where in the world. And operate any where in the world.

If a three bladed rotor causes less lift then a 2 bladed rotor then I am dumbfounded as to why. to me that would mean that a 5 bladed rotor would be less lift then a 3 bladed rotor.
when you talk about size of a rotor you also need to take into consideration of all the blades, to me three blades that provide more lift at sea level will also make more lift at high altitude high heat.

When I fixed small airpanes the be all end all was a three bladed Beaver plane with a three bladed prop instead of a two bladed. More thrust, better in high heat and better at altitude.
Going back to helos the same theorys apply and are found.

To me comming from a fairly decent aviation background, where asking alot of questions from various operators of equipment on the civie side of things, three blades was better then two of you had the power, as five blades were better then three.

If what you are saying is true about the Merlin is designed to run optmuim AT SL  then the same can be said about all Helos, because that is where they all have the best lift coeeficients.

Yes the mighty Chinook can lift a heavty load, but it to has to make sacrifices once it operates at high altitudes and high heat humididty. Every Helo does as does every vehicle.

What I have seen from the Canadian Miltiary is a line of excuses of why we cannot deploy different Air Assets over seas. When other countrys are using similar assests in similar terrain and similar usages then why can't we?
Yes we may have to modify our Platforms to work, it has been a few years since we have known this, the main obstacle in deploying our assests is the people who never fought, the people who only ever prepared for the Cold War, people who have other interests at heart and those who are afraid of change.

I have heard on this site and others on why Canada cannot deploy our 412s, F18s and Auroras. eveyr bit  leads me to beleive that the Airforce is reluctant to try something new to make it work. To many old generation who are stuck in their ways.

As for the HIP if it is flying over seas and being used effectivly then we should be ashamed that we own multimillion dollar platforms that can only operate in limited aspects, under ideal conditions.

I am finished my rant, maybe i made sense but more then likly not. This is how I feel and will continue to feel.

Talk to the operators from around the world, no one peice of equipment is perfect for everything. But every peiece of equipment can be made to work decently.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2007, 12:20:11 »
A rotor is not a propellor. It is a wing. Wing designs are optimised for different applications - you won't see a glider wing on a supersonic fighter.

The number of blades by itself is not significant, it's the design of the blade, and that's optimised for the intended purpose of the helicopter.

No helicopter will function as well in less-dense air (hot/high) as it will function in more dense air (cold/low) but the degree of difference will vary with the blade design.

No helicopter presently in our inventory is suited to the Afghan theatre. Yes, we could send Griffons there, but for what purpose? It would be a pretty expensive method of transporting three or four lightly-equipped troops at a time, and possibly only between sunset and sunrise.

Griffon and Twin/Single Huey are not the same aircraft, other than the basic box that hangs from the rotor. It's that bit on top that makes the difference. Better rotor and more powerfull engines - as per the US UH1Y programme - would give it real capability.

The only Canadian Tac Hel presence in Afghanistan is our part of the Sperwer operation. I doubt that there's a single Tac Hel guy there who wouldn't much rather be flying or fixing a helicopter rather than a big model aeroplane. Lack of a suitable helicopter prevents that.

Most of us would happily fly a Russian helicopter once, to satisfy curiosity and/or for bragging rights, but not too many would want to do so for a career. It's not performance, but quality, reliability, and risk.

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2007, 13:59:59 »
"rotor is not a propellor. It is a wing. Wing designs are optimised for different applications"

 last time I checked a Conventional airplane propeller was a airfoil (wing) as is a rotor blade is a airfoil (wing). Both designed to provide lift/thrust or simply put it push air forwards, backwards downwards or upwards.
The whole idea of going to a three bladed rotor is to provide more lift with more power.

Yes I agree with you in the fact that rotors are designed for specific application. At the same time you have options of different rotor systems to meet you your needs. You can configure a Airweapons platform to suit a varuey of needs by changing engines, trannys and rotor systems. Yes those chages are out there, they take time and money but they are there.

 I have been in and out of the aviation industry since I was 11 years old, I have fixed things from Cessnas 150 up to F18's I have watched and talked to a varity of Pilots, military and civilian. Most were miltary and now fly civie. I have seen Sky hooks performing work as I have seen Chinooks, 412s, Jet Rangers, Kamovs and the list goes on.
I still remember when in the fires of BC the civie fire fighting pilots asking why the Canadian military's 412 wouldnt put baskets underneath and help to put the fires out. To which they were told they were not allowed and did not have to power to. They laughed. Then they thought how pathetic it was. 

Send the 412's over there, Send the Labs down to Boeing to get modified and then send them over. Re blade the EH101's and send them over there. Wait that would be a change from the norm and we cannot do that.

I have seen all to often the experts state why we cannot fly over seas, Then I have sene the people who wonder why we can't. Those who wonder why we can't need to realize that at the end of the day we can and we would if we had different people in different positions.

No more excuses the Army has a saying "get er done" and they get it done.   

Offline Ditch

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2007, 02:21:28 »
I have seen all to often the experts state why we cannot fly over seas, Then I have sene the people who wonder why we can't.

I imagine that the "experts" probably have their reasons and don't deign to share them with the unwashed masses of the world.

It is all very simple to just say "Send the helo's and CF-188s to Afghanistan, get 'er done boys!"  Realistically, there are people who get paid to make these calls and they have their reasons for the current assets deployed overseas.  I suggest that you run for office and become the Defence Minister, then you too can make decisions on behalf of the CF.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2007, 10:03:40 »
CTD-

There are probably a half dozen good reasons why Sea Kings (for instance) are not operating in Afghanistan in support of our troops.  Some of those reasons involve the laws of aerodynamics (which are difficult to revoke), some are practical, some are pure politics (and if you think politics don't matter sometimes, you do not inhabit the real world).

I can assure you it is not a matter of "not wanting" to help out our Army brethern, it's more a case of "if we do Afghanistan, how much irreparable damage will we do to ourselves" (yeah- we are that fragile right now)?

Offline cameron

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2007, 10:25:11 »
This thread brings up a question i've long been asking myself, and I hope someone on army.ca can give me a convincing answer.  If we can deploy Leopard tanks to A'stan (a move which i applauded very loudly on this site), then why can't we deploy CF18's?
"All men dream: but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2007, 10:30:52 »
Why should we?  Is there a demonstrable shortage of Fast Air intheatre?  You do realize that air assets are pooled and do not exclusively support one nation: they go where they are needed most...

Offline MrWhyt

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2007, 17:05:00 »
Quote
Send the Labs down to Boeing to get modified and then send them over.
What Labs? Weren't they all retired ~2 years ago? What is the current state of any airframes we have left? What mods do you propose? are these mods flying on any other Labs/Sea knights or will we have to pay for the developement and testing? How many Lab crews/maintainers do we have left in the CF? What are the chances these modified Labs enter service before the Chinooks?

Quote
Re blade the EH101's and send them over there.
Re-Blade them with what blades? Are these blades flying on any other EH101s or will we have to pay for the developement and testing? The Cormorants are flying SAR missions here, what aircraft will we replace them with if we send them overseas?

Offline Ditch

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2007, 18:37:45 »
There are no Labs left in the CF.
Per Ardua Ad Astra

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2007, 18:38:53 »
Pretty much if you want a airframe to do a job and there is nothing off he shelf to use then yes we would have to develop it. But being one of the worlds leader in Aerospace Engineering it should be little to no problem deploying certain assests.
My argument here is not to deploy the Seakings, But to deploy the 412 mounted with a set of rocket pods and a couple of chains guns or so.
As for the Labs what wasnt sent to the Museums were sold off to a company down in the US that rebuilds them and then use them aroudn the world for medium lift.

If the Airforce didnt have such an excuse for not deploying assests then maybe they would be have gotten some better ones in the past. If you deploy with a Platform and it fails to do the job then it really acellerates the promotion of the requiremnts for a new one.
The Army has done this along with the Navy.

Still to many Dinosours left in 1 CAD untill they leave things will not change.
Good luck, three years ago or so people laughed at me when I mentioned we were buying Chinooks and Globemasters. They mentioned man power and training issues as the major reasons why we wouldnt get them. These same people now say what a great idea that is and we can make it work.

Make it all work. the Army and Navy have to.

Enough on this
Lets buy some Super Cobras and UH1Y's and be done with it.

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2007, 19:48:40 »
CTD-

I will put this as precisely as I can:  You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

You make it seem like Test, Evaluation, Operational Airworthiness and buying new airframes or heavily modifying old ones are a mere "wave of the magic wand" and everything will work out just fine.  It is most assuredly not.  I'm not going to sit here and defend 1 Cdn Air Div, but the fact that you identified them as the culprit shows how little you know- this is probably the only time in recent history that HQ is actually relatively innocent of what you are charging.  DAR in CAS buys airplanes;  AETE in conjunction with the applicable TEFs or EUs test them; DGAEM (or whatever they are called this week) grant airworthiness.  1 Cdn Air Div is just a force generator (or a force employer if it is a NORAD/CANADACOM mission), much like 1 Bde provides troops to deploy when ordered. 1 Bde, you will note, does not buy, test or modify armoured vehicles (generally speaking).

All of this probably sounds like a run around, but it is not.  I can only really speak about the Sea King situation (but I have heard similar stories from the Herc, Aurora and Griffon fleets)- we are just barely holding on as a flying force, after years of neglect, trying desperately to preserve enough expertise to get us to a new airframe in 2008-2010, when can probably start to provide some real capability to the Army and Navy after years of only pretending to.  You pressure us hard enough right now with another operation, and you risk any future capability and the success of a 4 billion dollar contract- IMHO only.  Again, it is not a matter of wanting to help the Army- it is matter of what we can realistically bring to the table that would actually be useful and timely.

I appreciate that you want to see the Air Force get involved in the fight- I suggest to you that we already are.  Our Hercs are literally flying themselves to pieces supporting the operation (8 Wing is disappearing up their own arse right now).  You may not like Spewer, but that also soaks up significant Air Force manpower (we argue separately whether that should even be the case, but I digress).  The Army is carrying the fight in Afghanistan-stipulated.  I would suggest that the Air Force is reconstituting right now to be able to go big in the 2009-2012 timeframe.  Have some patience, please!

 

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2007, 00:17:11 »
my only problem is that the Airforce was and still is stuck into a Cold War mode of operations. It is all or nothing for them. The problem is it is nothing for them in reguards to certain aspects of what they are doing.
My biggest concern of what I did see and still see is that those in charge are reluctant to try something new and or adapt what they already have to support what is happening. Again it is a all or nothing.

I know how much politicle crap there is dealing with the military, I always had, but once I got into the Airforce it got much worse. I seen with my own two eyes and heard with my own two ears what we had, and what we wanted. Yet no one fought for it. Hence we have nothing.

Slowly due to outside operational requirements the Airforce is being re-equipped with a small but valuable force. Unfortunatly this could have been years ago if they had of re written the doctrine and then enforced it. Instead they relied on old doctrine for over all operations and did not upgrade to where they should have gone. Unfotunatly it takes years to develop what yo uneed down the road for an effective Airforce.

One thing everyone must remember is I do not mean to insult the General Core of Officers and Enlisted memebers who with out doubt follow what they are told.
But as many on this site have seen even when you are being told what is happening by your COC it seems to come around as a shock, as to what actually happens. For example The new Hercs, Chinooks, and the Globemasters.
Many on here in the know didn't know. That to me shows that the COC no matter what can and will not disclose it's own intentions untill they are done. Some offficer at a meeting where the CAS states we are not going to get new platforms, then a few months later the CDS anounces a major purchase of significant amount of needed airframes.

We have to agree to disagree on this subject.
I am no longer in the Miltiary and to be honest dont want to be back there. to many politics and to many I know you dont know.

Cheers all. Hopefully when the new Airframes show up we can all gather for a drink and cheer for the highly prized platforms.

 

Offline Loachman

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2007, 16:18:50 »
It's more politicians than anything that decide what we get, how much we get, how many people we get to do it with, and how much money we get to fund the whole deal.

Remember the Chretien years?

It'll take us a decade at least to recover from that.

Griffon was bought under a certain set of assumptions and in the political environment of the late eighties/beginning of the nineties ("peace dividend", peacekeeping missions, Oka/Akwesasne, a defence minister trying to buy votes in his riding). Nobody considered fighting in Afghanistan fifteen years ago.

Given what we've gone through, we're doing the best that we can.

Manpower in 1 Wing is extremely tight. This is why 444 Squadron (a base rescue squadron) and the two reserve-heavy squadrons (400 and 438) are running three UAV rotos until the current end of the Afghan mission. We would certainly not be able to man that AND a helicopter capability simultaneously. Bosnia came close to ruining 1 Wing, as the Sinai and Honduras combo came close to ruining 10 TAG around a decade before. We were a small community then, and we're a much smaller community now.

Trying to slap new engines into or new blades onto dated airframes is ludicrous - or else everybody would be doing it. Buying new machines would be quicker, cheaper, and better - but that's a government decision, not a CF one. And they've got to give us more PYs too, if anybody wants more out of us. So far there's no hint of any of that happening.

There's at least one Lab in the CF still, by the way, and it's parked not too far from me. Bringing it back to airworthiness is a non-starter for many reasons.

Offline CTD

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2007, 18:33:02 »
You guys are totally correct. I really have not a clue what it is I am talking about. All I talk is in simple terms that seems to rile up those who seem to be in the know of present, and future operations and equipment.
If any of you take offence to what I have said I am sorry, not trying to insult anyone. 
Just trying to add a different angle on the present topic.

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Re: Merlin vs Mi-8MTV
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2007, 19:27:58 »
CTD-

I admire your enthusiasm.  What I am saying (along with a few others) is that there are not really a bunch of simple fixes- we got into this mess of the space of a decade or more.  It is going to take some time to buy and train our way out of it.