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LUH Poll


Light Utility Helicopter Contract  

45 members have voted

  1. 1. Which would you like to see as the new LUH (Based on cost, mgtow, etc)

    • MD 902 (6250 lbs.)
      18
    • EC 145 (7903 lbs.)
      12
    • Bell 412EP (11,900 lbs.)
      12
    • AW139 (14,110 lbs.)
      3


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I've been wondering about this for some time and would like to see what you guys would prefer.

Feel free to elaborate on your reason...I can think of about a thousand off-hand. I've included MGTOW courtesy of R&W. Pick what you'd like and not what you think will win. Enjoy!

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Who is this contract for?

 

14000lbs doesn't seem that light to me...more medium.

 

If you're including the AW139, shouldn't you include the S76 C+ and others of similar weight?

 

Joker

 

This contract is for a light utility helicopter to be used by the US Army for domestic operations. It is not supposed to be used in a combat role. I guess they decided using a UH-60 is overkill most of the time and needed a smaller, lighter, cheaper airframe. They also wanted "off-the-shelf" technology where the civilian market has already picked up most of the costs of R&D and the procurement cycle could be compressed. Additionally, they wanted an FAA normal or utility certificate.

 

The four that were listed are the only ones in the competition. The manufacturers decided which airframe they wanted to enter based on the Army's published criteria (which they subsequently changed). Rotor & Wing has been keeping pretty close tabs on the program.

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I dont know. The program was develloped to save money by operating something other than the H-60 in country, and while the 412 looks good I'm pretty sure its expensive. Same for the 139. I think it will be one of the lighter two, like joker said 14,000lbs is more of a medium, and since they'll be building the 145 here instead of France (god forbid) I think it has a good shot. The 902, while I'd like most to see it win, has NOTAR and I'm not sure the risk takers in the DoD will go for it.

R&W has two sources saying the award will be given june 30 or Sept. sometime.

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Guest pokey
Is anyone's decision based on hoping MD will get it so they have profits to help get MDH Operators their needed parts?

 

 

Even tho i dont own/operate a 500, i would like to see MD "back in action". On that note? 2 questions: 1) which country are the owners of MD in today? 2) Why is the cost of a used 500 so high these days when parts are hard to come by?

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I'm betting on Bell just because they always seem to get the Army contract regardless of quality (hence the OH-58 over the OH-6 later in Vietnam). A lot of us around the Army world would just like to see the huey come back out. It's a great aircraft, and is probably cheaper than all of them. Plus there's probably a few thousand mothballed somewhere:)

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didn't the OH-6 win? altho Hughes couldnt meet the production schedule, so the army gave it back to bell? ( the oh58) ??

 

According to the instructors I flew with at Rucker, the OH58 replaced the OH-6 because LBJ wanted a military contract in Texas. So they used the excuse that the OH-6 parts were becoming to costly and gave the contract to Bell. A lot of the time, the -58 was grounded due to a lack of power on the hot humid days and it's survivability was nil. None of the scout guys I flew with liked the -58 over the OH-6 and the loss in performance they claim, was a reason a lot of guys were shot down or unable to complete the mission. They all swore by the OH-6. That's probably why the 160th still uses them. The whole contract thing though is one of those conspiracy things, so who knows.

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I'm betting on Bell just because they always seem to get the Army contract regardless of quality
This was pretty much my one and only reason for thinking it would be Bell. Though I'd like to see the MD get it, my gut tells me Army = Bell. heh

 

 

On another note (and heliboy is responsible for this train of thought): outside of maybe R&D/testing - has a NOTAR ever failed? I'm ignorant of it's operational history over the years.

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Hey Duke, I'm not sure the notar has enough flight hours to make a statistical comparison to traditional antitorque systems. I have no idea of the exact number of operating hours it has but I doubt it has enough to compare it to a failure rate per x-number of flight hours on line with traditional systems. (Say 1:100,000) It would be a fascinating research topic and I'm sure it's being done but good luck finding out what the results are from MD. My comment was based purely on speculation and a dim understanding of military brass.

As for wanting to see MD win so they could generate some cash flow...At this point, I dont think it's that big a factor. From what I understand, MD just got a huge influx of cash from their new ownership. Sure, 3 years ago a project like this would be fantastic, but for now I think MD's problems with resources and infrastructure is a red flag to large gov't contract bigwigs. (although military contracts tend to get priority from subcontractors and suppliers) Give MD a few years of solid civil contracts to re-establish themselves and get their composite resources together (I understand thats a big priority for MD's parent company right now) and then I'll start believing they can win this type of bid. Despite what I've just listed as reasons why I dont think they will get the LUH contract (322 ships) I hope to god they do :D (put me in coach! I can do it!)

And ascott, I think you're probably right, but I'm holding out hope that the Texas lobby got bell the ARH contract and they've traded in their chit. McCain's from AZ...right??? :rolleyes:

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Hey Duke, I'm not sure the notar has enough flight hours to make a statistical comparison to traditional antitorque systems. I have no idea of the exact number of operating hours it has but I doubt it has enough to compare it to a failure rate per x-number of flight hours on line with traditional systems. (Say 1:100,000) It would be a fascinating research topic and I'm sure it's being done but good luck finding out what the results are from MD. My comment was based purely on speculation and a dim understanding of military brass.
Yeah I hear ya. Don't get me wrong, I love the NOTAR (though I haven't actually been in one myself) and have always been intrigued by the design... even if they are a little "funny looking" :D It was just more out of curiosity then anything else why I asked about it.

 

When is the contract getting announced, anyway?

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The date has been continually pushed back, originally it was March 11, I think but now they're saying June 30. It has to be in by Sept. 30 to remain in the budget though. R&W has been following it all pretty closely and that's where anything I know about the program comes from.

I've never been in a NOTAR ship either, but I've talked to guys who who say the bite is along the lines of a fenestron when it comes to power/performance numbers. A little less efficiency than a trad. system but a hell of a lot safer, in case walking into tail rotors happens to be your thing.

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:lol: :lol: sorry for the thread-jack, but the way you worded that made me laugh! I think you'd have a fairly short-lived "career" if that "happens to be your thing"! :blink:
Hey, maybe there are people into that sorta thing. You never know in this day and age. hah

 

rotor fetishists :lol:

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Alright, was one of the early votes for the 139. A lot of good discussion regarding all of the competitors and we can all agree that 1 will win. My rationale for the 139: 1) similar footprint/envelope to the UH-1s/412 but much more acreage in the cabin 2) Power, speed, newer FAA certs, comfy to fly in, great high alt. performer 3) Far more products/options will be available off the shelf for operational flexibility...medevac, pax/troop transport, external attachments for tanks/buckets/hoists 4) If nothing else has been learned from Army procurement, payload will always be increased (anything lighter than the UH-60s will be considered "light" and look where the ARH is headed to), and of course, more than one General will want to has his/her signature attached to it (remember the comanche? True, it was about 20 years past due and looked nothing like the concept craft, but you can get the idea for DoD schedules). In any case, I'll be happy that the guard and some close friends will be getting new helicopters for a change. This has been and will be a fun topic to watch.

 

-WATCH FOR THE WIRES-

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I've been wondering about this for some time and would like to see what you guys would prefer.

Feel free to elaborate on your reason...I can think of about a thousand off-hand. I've included MGTOW courtesy of R&W. Pick what you'd like and not what you think will win. Enjoy!

 

I work out on HAAF (Hood Army Airfield) and this is a warm subject with Mechanics and some pilots. The new bird being FAA approved is going to require A&P cert of the personnel working on it, which means civ contract until mil can be brought up to speed. With the pilots it is a different matter, being a FAA approved bird means it will count towards civ flight time for ratings in kind.

I may be a little off base with what I understand but that is what I got.

I have heard a little more concerning what is going on, ie... What bird, when receiving, but until I know hard truth I'm not saying anything….

 

Until next time.....Keep it dirt side down, sky side up.

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OK, I voted for the MD...It's a highly complex technical decision for me...if you want to know the truth, I think the new CEO is kinda cute !!! Plus she's worth a couple Mil $$$..

 

Thats a great combo for a helicopter in my book !

 

Goldy

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  • 1 month later...

The verdict is in, this courtesy of R&W and Aviation Today:

 

Drumroll, please: the news on LUH is finally in. Waiting until after the U.S.

stock market closed in the afternoon, the U.S. Army announced today

that is has awarded a $43.09 million contract to EADS North American Defense of

Arlington, Va. for the production and contractor logistics support of

the Light Utility Helicopter. The Army intends to procure and field a total of

322 Light Utility Helicopters beginning in Fiscal Year 2007. "The Light

Utility Helicopter contract action we signed today will have far reaching

effects," said Col. Cory Mahanna, Utility Helicopters Project Manager. "This

fleet of U.S. Army aircraft will benefit America in crisis situations, like

those associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Hugo, and the aftermath of

the Mount St. Helens' explosion. The LUH will be our Army's 'first responder'

during future disaster scenarios. This new aircraft will give our

soldiers an important new tool for use in the defense and security of our

homeland." The LUH is a commercial/non-developmental item aircraft to

conduct light general support, civil search and rescue, personnel recovery, air

ambulance medical evacuation, casualty evacuation, limited civil

command and control operations in the conduct of homeland security, and

counter-drug operations. The LUH is intended to perform these functions only

in permissive, non-combat operational environments. The primary users for the

LUH are the active Army units and the Army National Guard.

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