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Thread: Helicopters

  1. #51
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Given the reliability problems of the Defender/ Islander type it can hardly be judged as a good replacement for anything.

    In terms of the AC doing the air sea rescue job. The role has evolved very much from what was envisaged back in the early 1960s when the Allouettes were purchased.

    If the governement were prepared to finance larger machines...fine but its seems that they are ever unlikely to buy any thing of the order of the size of the machine required.

    Given the increase in maritime activities and our increased responsiblities in the SAR role in our own home waters we can no longer depend on 5-6 seater helis.

    So who can provide the machines required..looks like the current type of operation is the only currently viable operation.?

    Should the AC return to being the primary suppliers of the SAR role?

    I don't beleve so because of past expierience with the logistical nightmare associated with different helis and associated crewing problems.

    I think the line has been drawn in the sand for the future requirements of SAR ops in this country for the forseeable future and this should release the AC for more of the type of training the army require to be a truly mobile deployable force.

    It has been proven in Liberia that we have no requirement to deploy AC machines abroad...but again this type of operation has proved that our troops need to be airdeployable...on a larger scale and this underwrites the opinion that the current type of machine on order is practcally too small except for small force insertion or advanced crew training.
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  2. #52
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    I wonder am I alone in thinking that the AC made a dogs dinner of the rotary side of the business:-

    A. In that they lost the function of providing SAR for the State over inter agency turf wars.

    B. That the Dauphin was the wrong spec.

    C. That the new Bell_Augusta looks like compounding the error buying what looks like a civilian
    executive transport and may well be just a MATS job.

    What happened to the Heli wing and who was responsible. Certainly not the guys who got it right with the Allouettes?

  3. #53
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    In that they lost the function of providing SAR for the State over inter agency turf wars.
    Turf wars were part of the propblem, as was poor admin within the AC, but the main issue was the fact that the AC were never going to get the resources to run a service properly (not without some serious internal shakeups-to the extent of giving up almost all other rotary ops), let alone purchase the helicopters.

    SAr, and the AC, are better off with the current situation. The

    That the Dauphin was the wrong spec
    A problem borne mainly of funding difficulties (they wanted 330s, after all) and hobsons choice when it came to being told what aircraft they were getting.

    That the new Bell_Augusta looks like compounding the error buying what looks like a civilian executive transport
    When painted green (or whatever) and set up to meet the tender spec, its just as 'military' as any helicopter of this size (UH-60 aside), but its a new design so is cheap to run, and has outstanding payload/range characteristics.

    If the AC are going to get something larger, then that'll mean a new competition, until then, the 139 is a good place to start 'proper' military heli ops. The only question for now is how many will be purchased.

    In the medium term, the NH-90 would be ideal, but thats a whole different argument.

  4. #54
    Lt General Barry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Who?
    What happened to the Heli wing and who was responsible. Certainly not the guys who got it right with the Allouettes?
    I'd say the people responsible for choosing the Allouettes currently reside in the graveyard, and have for quite some time

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy
    Given the reliability problems of the Defender/ Islander type it can hardly be judged as a good replacement for anything.
    Disagree.

    Reliability problems where due to equipment overload and safety certification with GS, in relation to the AC's single type. (see thread)

    Islanders work well for very diverse range of roles, just ask those in the Western Isles, or off the Irish west coast.

    Dash4/8 is a better aircraft, but more expensive.
    What others twin engined types are light enough to furfil the role?

  6. #56
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Same problem as the DAUPHIN THEN...OVERLOADED !

    the islander / defender as used has spent more time in maintainance than it has in the air. Buying aircraft piecemeal is a waste of time. Aircraft should be bought in a minimum number of three..one used for training..one operational..one in maintaince.
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  7. #57
    2/Lt Bam Bam's Avatar
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    we'll have 4 ab 139's

    one in maintanence
    one in MAT duty
    one for the Chief of staff and his aides
    one for training pilots how to fly ministers and the C.o.S around.
    It is only by contemplation of the incompetent that we can appreciate the difficulties and accomplishments of the competent.

  8. #58
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    The MTOW of the AB139 is considerably greater than the dauphin,and it has already been designed to take its "accessories",and still do the job.

    At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself At risk of repeating myself

    The order has been placed,the contract has been signed. Lets wait until its in service before we start criticing an aircraft that none of us has seen or flown in?

  9. #59
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hptmurphy
    Same problem as the DAUPHIN THEN...OVERLOADED !

    the islander / defender as used has spent more time in maintainance than it has in the air. Buying aircraft piecemeal is a waste of time. Aircraft should be bought in a minimum number of three..one used for training..one operational..one in maintaince.
    2001 2002 2003
    Squirrel 837 flying hrs 587 flying hrs 633 flying hrs
    Defender 240 flying hrs 537 flying hrs 514 flying hrs
    EC-135 N/a 46 flying hrs 626 flying hrs

    Source: DF Annual Report 2003

  10. #60
    "Nice ass, Samson..." mutter nutter's Avatar
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    just to back up Goldie's point, the 139 is in service with several other militairies and police services, so it can't be that bad
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  11. #61
    Chief Casey Ryback
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    Well the U.S Coast Guard bought a lot of Dauphins and are having nothing but problems with them as well and several deadly crashes . So in all fairness the A.Care not the only ones that bought a bad product .

  12. #62
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    here we go again with the abbreviations!!!What's MATS stand for lads?

  13. #63
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    Ministerial air transport
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  14. #64
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    Question- what would the helicopter requirement be if the DF were to be in a position to transport a light infantry battalion and (just for shits & giggles) including vehicles to any point on this island.

    I'm talking dumping a force of armed men very quickly, as per "When We Were Soldiers" (Mel Gibson) and Black Hawk Down.

    What other support is required to achieve this with vehicles? Is there any military unit (I'm guessing USMC if any) in the world that can achieve this, and if so at what notice (from making the call to touching the ground at target destination).

    It'll never happen I know, I'm just curious as to whether it COULD happen.
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  15. #65
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    Hi all
    You have to remember that when the Dauphin was being selected, it was percieved as an Alouette replacement and as such, it was a great leap forward. Electronic cockpit,composite airframe, higher time-between-overhaul,etc. The fact that it was equipped with almost every "option" in the book made it overweight, range-limited and the small cabin meant that it could only carry one or two prone survivors. Personally,I blame the selection committee, who touted it above all else and declined to listen to the Engineering staff, both Officers and men, who expected trouble and got it in spades. The infrastructure did not exist to transit from a 1960s aircraft to a 1980s aircraft, a huge generational leap and the Don ended up being the unofficial test bed for Aerospatiale. We could not hope to conduct deep-water SAR with such a small, short-ranged airframe,small-cabin aircraft, when what we really needed was an S-61 sized aircraft. The selectors were obsessed with the new technology and the promises made by the manufacturer and ultimately, the Dauphin has been a partial failure, because it's technology has educated a generation of pilots and technicians.Besides, the Don aren't the only branch of service to buy the "wrong" gear and then have to backpedal when criticised. Equally, you'll never get everyone to like the stuff you buy.
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  16. #66
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    what other aircraft were being selected at the same time as the Dauphin?

  17. #67
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    The Navy Lynx and the super Puma. Lynx for P30 class and Puma for troop transport/SAR. In 1983 the industry was pretty confident that Ireland would be ordering 2 super Pumas, as the single Puma had impressed many(except the bean counters). As often mentioned before,Eithnes hangar was designed for a Navy Lynx. Promotional drawing at the time show a far smaller P30 class with a lynx on the helideck.

  18. #68
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    GTC puts the whole thing in perspective!

    BTW the USCG have just signed a comtract for another re enging package of the HH65 Dolphin fleet.

    These were bought at the same time as ours but in greaters number swith far less shiny kit...and they are still going strong.
    We on the other hand by the shiniet toy on the shelf in minimal batches work the shit out of it an expect it to last indefinetly....and bitch like hell when it dosent' and fail to remember how we ended up with it in the first place.
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  19. #69
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAG
    Question- what would the helicopter requirement be if the DF were to be in a position to transport a light infantry battalion and (just for shits & giggles) including vehicles to any point on this island.
    A LOT of helicopters ... Puma HC.1 (in service with RAF since 1971) which carries up to 16 fully equipped troops (20 in CEFO) requires 34 lifts to move a infantry battalion of around 625 troops. Thats 2 SERVICABLE Pumas requiring 16 return journies.

  20. #70
    Sqdn. Ldr Silver's Avatar
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    I suspect (hope!) the plan is to purchase a total of six 139's, followed by 4 x medium lift helis within 3-5 years.
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  21. #71
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    The way I see it, the helicopter force is being rebuilt from the beginning,ignoring all experience gained from the Dauphin,or rather learning from th emistakes made and rethinking how the aircraft are used.
    In the past all rotary wing assets were there to provide SAR,or to support same. Military transport was a secondary task,which was largely impractical due to the SAR commitment.
    So we are starting again,with the 2 EC135s,which are small enough to be suitable for training,but big enough to be available for air ambulance or MATS.
    The 4 AB139s can then be retained for Military transport,training in troop transport and working with underslung loads. The intention has clearly been to not deploy them overseas, keeping them at home to allow troops training for overseas rotation to train in helicopter operations. This was an area that was largely neglected until East Timor,when things had to be learnt fast.
    Using them for SAR should only be something for dire emergencies.
    If the AB 139 proves successful,and I hope it does then maybe the option for another 2 can be exercised,and in time,maybe this aircraft will become the backbone of the rotary wing fleet in the same way as the ageing alouettes have been for the last 40 years. Remember we started with 3 Alouettes.

    Perhaps then when the pilots have regained the skills necessary for 24 hour all weather flying,which were more or less lost as the Dauphin became obsolete and ineffective,they can consider the need for a number of larger types,if for nothing else,to get the many overseas rotations used to operating with a larger type.

    Its often been said here,you cannot go from basic trainer to fast fighter jet in one step,and its expensive to have interim aircraft purely for training purposes. The future rotary wing fleet will provide the lower end of the Heli ability,capable of being used for initial training,while still retaining practical usefulness.
    Given the chance that it could be another 20 years before the Government decide to throw money at the Air Corps,I think the new arrangements would be much better than having,as what was to have been the case if the MLH had gone through, €100m split between 4 massive aircraft that nobody is trained to fly,because the only aircraft capable of training pilots became too old to operate safely,and the Department couldnt afford to replace them.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver
    I suspect (hope!) the plan is to purchase a total of six 139's, followed by 4 x medium lift helis within 3-5 years.
    It would probaly make a lot more sense to just buy the first 6 and then add another 6-8 AB139's in future years, and stay out of the Medium lift helicopter busness altogether.
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  23. #73
    Closed Account Goldie fish's Avatar
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    12-14 helic capable of carrying a section each,plus gear would indeed be nice. Without SAR, is there still a need for MLH?

  24. #74
    Commander in Chief hptmurphy's Avatar
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    Collective in one hand stick in the other ...how simple can it be..I think its time that some of the higher ups just fell on their own swords rather than sending the other guy out to do it for them.
    Just visiting

  25. #75
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The PwC report recommended that the number of barracks be reduced ... that has been done, and whether the Minister, or anyone else, likes it or not it makes sense for PDF barracks to be reduced further.

    It was proposed that the transport fleet be drastically upgraded and MLHs be purchased in order to make the DF more deployable at home, while making up for closed barracks.

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