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Subject: Re: RAH-66 Camanche question
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 17:03:08 GMT

In article <>, (Shaber CJ) wrote:
>This was listed on the military aviation newsgroup.  Is the Comanche to replace
>the Apaches or is it designed for a different roll?

Comanche will replace the OH-58A,C,and D and the AH-1 family as the light
attack and recon asset for the Army.  In Light and Cav divisions, the Comanche
will be the attack helo, in Heavy Divisions, Comanche will seek targets for
Apache, which is the heavy hitter.

Comanche will be able to handle RF Hellfire in teamwork with Apache, so
cooperative shoots will be  possible.

Comanche has much lower detectability than Apache (or any other helo) and can
survive where Apache is very vulnerable, and where an OH-58D is totally
outclassed.  The front aspect radar signature of Comanche (where the scout is
eyeball-to-eyeball with the bad guys) is 1/300 of any heavy attack helo.  IR
and acoustic levels are also very low.  Matching Comanche with Apache is like
comparing an F-4 Phantom to an F-22.  About 2 generations of Silicon Valley
and Black Project technology seperate the two aircraft.

The RAR posts under "Dead Army Aviator" and others really miss the point.
Where the posts cry for more training funds, (very rightfully, I think) they
would stop R&D for the next generation machine as an answer.

The rancor against new development should be replaced with recognition that
the training has to be in place, and the funds must be found, but that
stealing from the next generation of Army aviator is poor planning at the max,
and just as wrong.  Those future guys will face threats that we have designed
Comanche to handle, and if you stop where you are, you will sacrifice future
guys to the almighty buck, instead.

Nick Lappos
1000 hours of Combat in a Snake, and Always in need of more training

Newsgroups: rec.aviation.rotorcraft
Subject: Re: Sikorsky Comanche Approved for $3.1 Billion Contract
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 16:34:18 GMT

 David Perry wrote:
>CW5 Weigandt,
>  I believe I share your view ofthe Commanche.  Not of the Longbow yet.  I
>am in AH-64A AQC now, having just passed the bag. Well, I could have flown
>better, but as you said, only flying will fix that.  I start Longbow AQC in
>August. Are you guns or lift?  I was talking to someone over here at Rucker
>about the Commanche and how the idea of having a scout helicopter has gotten
>out of hand.  It really came to mind considering the proposed plan of
>helicopter purchase and inventory if the Commanche does or does not get
>purchased.  I considered this while flying slow NOE near Ech Stagefield and
>thinking how great a gunship the Apache was but how bad it was in size for
>maneuvering as a scout.  I read the plans for the heavy cav recon and it
>reflects either using the Commanche, but if not funded, the Apache.  Not a
>good thing.  In retrospect, I believe am off the shelf scout helicopter was
>what we had needed, perhaps modified to send electronic data.  Of course,
>sufficient OGE power is necessary with a weapons load.  I suspect you may be
>an 0H58D pilot, but I have no way of knowing.  Just curious about  your
>thoughts on this as an experienced army aviator.
>  2LT Dave Perry


I'll try to respond to your post where I sat after Charlie's last one, mostly
because you pose real issues, not just "biggest fraud" unsupported flames.

Where Charlie has been on a kick that basically says that training funds are
too short to buy a new aircraft.  Where Charlie fails is simply put.  The
problem with today's aircraft is that they take too much training to get it
right, and without enough training, pilots crash and die.  I believe that
toiday's fleet suffers from the fact that they need pilots to fly them, and
little is left over to let soldiers fight with them.

Comanche has a bunch of new stuff that drops the need for the pilot to worry
about his machine, lots of stuff that takes care of itself and lets the crew
find the enemy and kill them.

Where Charlie really sucks at is learning that new technology can actually fix
the problems he is so busy training people to avoid.  With his poor
imagination and lack of technical know how, Charlie has decided that no
improvements can possibly fix Apache, Cobra and Kiowa problems, so why bother.

Thank heaven that Army brass, and Army engineers, know a tad more than
Charlie, so they can help us develop Comanche to actually be BETTER than the
stuff Charlie works so hard to keep from hitting the ground and wires.

None of this takes away from Charlie's real concern (when he's not so busy
slamming stuff he doesn't understand) -- today we are ill prepared to fight
because training budgets are too low.

What does Comanche do differently that might make it easier to fly?  This is
only a smattering to illustrate how little Charlie's imagination has to offer:

NOE flying:
OGE power with lots and lots of margins, with single engine safety down to
very low speeds.  The engine limiter knows when you are in the dead man's
curve, and lets the engine burn itself up if necessary after one quits so
there is no hard landing.  The torque gage shows the power you are pulling,
and the power you need to be OGE and the power your exact engines can develop
at MCP, all on the same gage.  If you droop the rotor the engine limiter lets
loose and feeds more power to save the situation.  The helmet display shows
exactly how much time you have in time limited ratings, and it shows what your
rotor and G maneuver limits are so you can get the most out of the beast, to
kill the bad guys.

The controls do not require that you watch attitude and try to control the
ground speed.  Instead, the controls have velocity hold built in, and the
stick is only pushed when you want to slalom around a tree or building.  The
collective holds altitude automatically, and the yaw is controlled to always
keep the tail behind the nose in NOE, unless you command otherwise.  NOE low
speed flying is a one axis, one hand task, giving lots of time to the crew to
look for obstructions in the dual eye HMD.  If you have to loft rockets from a
hover, the attack coupler does this automatically, with a preprogramed forward
dip, nose up launch and recover that takes you back to the exact spot where
you started.  To lay an area attack, you select the beaten zone on the map,
and the pitch and yaw are wiggled slightly by the coupler to make the rockets
rain down in that pattern.

The colored map shows graphically where the flir is looking, and where the
auto search has found something.  Auto search looks for targets and places
them on the map, prepares the spot reports and lets you edit them before
transmission.  Your data loader tells the system all the pushes, codes and
protocols for each of your information receivers, so your message is
automatically formatted properly when you select the people it goes to.  All
bursted info comes to the crew on the map, and all info they send is gathered
from the map, so no grids are ever needed to be keyed.

The sub-systems all have self detection of all failures, to a level not
available in todats machines (do you know the temperature of your generator
controllers on an Apache?).  Syatems are controlled by pushing around the
schematic of the system, and checklists are automatically presented as part of
the failure announcement.  The crew is told of changes in system behavior, and
performance in mission terms, so you know if you can clear that hill, or see
that far.

I could go on and on, system by system and mission element by mission element.
 Charlie, you can't even imagine what a mistake you would make if you
condemned a generation of your buddies to today's machines for another 20
years.  Wake up and smell the coffee.

PS  I am really sensitive to your comment about when was the last time I wore
a green uniform.  Do you think that you have cornered the market on aviation
knowledge because you have the suit on?  Give us all a break, Charlie.  When
was the last time you designed a helicopter?  We need each other, Dude, and we
have to keep our minds open.

Nick Lappos

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