Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Boeing will team with Agusta-Westland to offer the AW101 for the NEW Marine One contract…….

He, he, he…..

I have to laugh on this one!

For those of you haven’t been following the Dog….

The AW101...Is the Helo that WON the Marine One contract a few years ago….

The US Navy has NINE 101’s done and sitting around looking for job to do….

Paid for by YOU…The US Taxpayer …..To the tune of $3 Billion ……

But since the Helo’s were modified to the Bush Military Office and US Secret Service specs….(On  Sec Defense Gates watch)

They got too heavy and cost too much…. (Besides even though the rest where going to be completed in the US…that wasn’t enough)

The AW 101…is in service and has three engines…..It is bigger, faster and flys farther than the US Sikorsky S -92 model….

But that wasn’t good enough…..

Obama complained about a kitchen in the helo….

How much would it have cost to UNDESIGN the Bush Kitchen??? …Certainly less than the money they’re gonna spend a

BRAND NEW HELO!!!!!

That won’t be available for at least….. FIVE YEARS!

Am I annoyed about this?

You BET!

From Aviation Week……

The renewed VXX presidential helicopter program heated up again today, as Boeing announced it is teaming with AgustaWestland to offer the AW101 helicopter for the competition.

Boeing says it will secure a license to produce the aircraft from AgustaWestland, which will give Boeing full intellectual property, data and production rights in support of the VXX program. Boeing will be the prime contractor and will design, build and deliver the so-called Boeing 101 helicopter, the company reports.

In April, the U.S. Navy extended its request for information to mid-June, providing enough time for all interested parties to respond. Former competitors Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Lockheed Martin announced April 19 they will team up for the contest. Sikorsky, a United Technologies company, lost the original bid in 2005, when Lockheed was partnered with AgustaWestland. This time around, Sikorsky will offer its H-92 (a hardened version of its S-92) medium-lift helicopter again, with Lockheed performing all the mission systems integration (Aerospace DAILY, Apr. 20).

AgustaWestland’s Italian parent company, Finmeccanica, has been redeveloping its relationship with Boeing on the commercial side as well, Finmeccanica CEO Pier Francesco Guarguaglini said recently. The two companies signed  a strategic memorandum of understanding in 2003, with a high-level steering committee established that met regularly. In May, Finmeccanica told Aviation Week it was looking to expand its product portfolio in the U.S., including the AgustaWestland AW101 transport helicopter with Boeing as a preferred partner (Aerospace DAILY, May 7). The canceled VH-71 is a variant of the AW-101.

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June 7, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , | 15 Comments

The House authorizes $100 million on the Lockheed/Augusta VH-71A Marine One Helo!…..

In the just passed House appropriations bill for the Defense Department…. they left $125 million in for the Marine One program…..

But dig this!????

$100 million is for the Lockheed Martin/AugutaWestland company to restart work on finishing up bringing the nine VH-71A is the government (Navy/Marines) owns to specifications required…and $25 million to shut the program down????

He, he, he…if Gates is so insistent on rebidding the Presidents helicopter then go ahead…with the money the House added…Lockheed can re-bid the VH-71A in the competition and win since their chopper won’t cost the government a cent (and will be cheaper than any thing it’s only competitor Sikorsky would offer)…..and they can be delivered yesterday……

……all they would need to do is to built nine more and the contract would be done…..Isn’t that better than waiting for another ten years and 10 billion for Sikorsky to make something ?

Note:….This is a small win for New York State  (Owego) jobs and its upstate House member Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)….

December 12, 2009 Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Military, Politics, The Economy, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A replacement Marine One helicopter is still on the table…….

Over at Politics One the guys know how I feel about replacing the current fleet of Marine One helicopters….But I’ll repeat my argument because I am overjoyed that the  House has held on, and kept money in the budget to go on with replacing the current aging helicopters…….

The Current Marine One helicopter fleet is made up of several aircraft, of which only two types of choppers actually carry the president. The primary one is the Sikorsky VH-3D, that was put into service starting in 1962 thru 1978……The newer choppers are  Sikorsky VH-60, acquired beginning in 1989…….As you can see these airframes have been in service for almost 30 years!

While the helicopter’s that carry the Commander – in – Chief are kept in pristine condition…the fact remains that the airframes are old, labor intensive and tired……no other aircraft with the service life of these helo’s would be allowed to transport the President of the United States……The President’s plane, Air Force One is  almost 19 years old…and plans are being made to replace those two VC-25\’s which are Boeing 747-200B type aircraft, in the future ( they will be replaced with the new B-747-800 series aircraft).

About two years ago the Marines had a competition for a new Helo between the Sikorsky S-92 and the Lockheed/Augusta-Westland AW101……the L/AW101 won the competition walking away…..With three engines instead of the S-92’s two…..The AW101, a bigger, and roomer air craft,  flew farther and faster , and has an added safety factor of an additional engine. In addition, while the S-92 was a completely new program…the AW Merlin, the English version, had a good number of air hours under its belt when it was picked…….

From the start Sikorsky reverted to a’ buy american’ rational to try to derail the winning choice…..Even while the United States was pushing the American made F-35 against other foreign fighter jets around the world  to countries looking to buy new generation fighters…….

The bad guys in this was the White House Military Office..the place that controls anything military that transports the president, and the Secret Service. Both developed  ‘mission creep’ on the Marine One airframe…..The new Helo , which would only be used to transport the CIC no more than 15 minutes anywhere, was asked to have an executive wash room, an Air Force One comparable communications suite, and other amenities. Of course,  this stuff adds weight to the aircraft…..and weight means a sturdier airframe, which means more weight…bigger rotor blades, stronger engine, etc…all of this stuff means more money…..I will repeat, that these add on’s came from the White House Military Office, and the Secret Service…..not the manufacture (this scenario has been confirmed by the Navy)……so the cost of the contract balloons to $400 million a helo!……

Well, the buy american people now scream that there is a cost over run…….

People…… I like Sec Gates…And I like the President…but on this one they are wrong……..

To cancel this program is asinine…..and clearly wrong…..

The CIC is riding around in a chopper that is almost as old as he is……The Lockheed helo’s are clearly superior to the Sikorsky model’s…..and the government already owns six choppers right now…..the choppers are received in Upstate NY form Europe, and then American workers outfit the AW101’s which have been renamed, the VH-71 Kestrel, by the Marines, and the Navy…

Finally…the Navy will rebid the WHOLE CONTRACT soon because guess what?……The president needs new helicopters!

The last straw is some knuckleheads think that the new bids will be cheaper than keeping the six choppers…….. They already have …….And adding six more to complete the fleet!

Am I missing something here?????

Or is this a round about way of saying we’re going to give the president the loser and the clearly inferior chopper because it’s built by Sikorsky (hint, hint)……

If the President and Sec of Defense veto this …they are doing the American taxpayer, and themselves, a great disservice……..

Note:……for a more in-depth analysis of the situation I have described please check this link to Rotor and Wing……I don’t think I missed the boat, er helicopter here at all…something simply doesn’t make sense on this….

October 16, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments