Simple question. You'd think Japanese design, engineering and management practices would lend themselves to producing high quality helicopters. Yet the Japanese have produced and collaborated on a very small number of designs. So why aren't there more?
Why aren't there more Japanese-made helicopters?
Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:02
One simple reason. Lack of a large defense industry due to their military being almost nonexistent after WW2. Many of today's helicopter designs were originally intended for Military use. The Bell 407 for example is derived from the OH-58. Now obviously there are many rotorcraft that don't have military history, but a significant number do. So without a large defense industry spending billions on large contracts with private manufacturers, the private sector alone would not do it, there isn't a large enough market and it wouldn't be profitable. Just look at what's happening with the "Future vertical lift program" tons of money and innovation going into the development of new rotorcraft, non of this would happen alone in the private sector. All this wonderful innovation eventually becomes accessible to the private sector, i,e now we can use UH-60s for heavy lift! I can't think of any other reasons, China is developing new rotorcraft, most of it seems to be defense related. Russia obviously has a very large helicopter portfolio, with most of them being used by the military, and occasional private sector use.
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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:25
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Posted 04 September 2018 - 13:48
Kawasaki Heavy Industries in the mid-80s teamed up with Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Blohm to design and make the MBB_BK 117, still around in various guises.
Kawasaki also built a few Bell 47s under their name.
Posted 16 September 2018 - 13:41
Kawasaki also built Vertol 107s under license as the KV107. We currently fly some at work. I think I read somewhere that they also built a few S-61s. The KV107 was used by the Police, some private companies, and by the their military.
Edited by superstallion6113, 16 September 2018 - 13:43.
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