Friday, July 06, 2007

When Buying a MILITARY Helicopter, Ignore Landrieu

Let's see. Helicopter for primary mission for heavy lift military purposes. Chinook. Yeah, that looks right. Now for some interesting reason morons from Louisiana are protesting against providing that type of aircraft because it wasn't appropriate for personnel rescue after a hurricane. Someone is completely missing what their primary purpose is.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is urging the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne, to consider the lessons learned from the rescue missions after Hurricane Katrina when selecting a new combat search and rescue helicopter.

The Air Force’s selection of Boeing's CH-47 Chinook helicopter last November has been plagued by controversy and criticism both on the Hill and in the industry. The program is currently stalled following several rounds of legal filings by Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky, the other two competitors in the program.

With a letter addressed to Wynne on July 3, Landrieu, who is on the appropriations committee but not the defense subcommittee, is wading into the controversy by providing direct accounts from rescues in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

According to her letter, rescuers who wanted to save as many people as possible from the rooftops of a devastated New Orleans, “unknowingly put some citizens at great risk by simply using the CH-47 Chinook helicopters.”

The Chinook’s twin rotor created downwash and had to be removed from conducting rescue missions, Landrieu wrote. Consequently, the Chinooks were reassigned to transporting survivors, food and sandbags.

“In this capacity the Chinooks performed well but the downwash made them dangerous in direct rescue missions,” Landrieu said. The massive whirlwind created by the Chinook could have possibly drowned the people the Army was trying to save, she explained. Landrieu quoted the head of the Army National Guard, Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, as saying that the need for a small and versatile helicopter became more apparent after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

So the lesson learned by Landrieu is that Chinooks shouldn't be given to the military because they aren't appropriate for civilian rescues. Though they are completely adequate for their primary military mission. I also want to know of a helicopter that doesn't have a down wash. From what I recall of the physics of the average helicopter, that's how they stay in the air.

I really love the small and versatile helicopter idea. Bet heavy lifting will go real well with small and versatile copters. "Sorry guy's. Can't get you that artillery because our helicopters can't lift the howitzer."

What's next, going to get rid of the Apache because it can't carry enough civilians in a rescue?

How about some of these politicians unplug their craniums from their anus and look at what their primary use is and take a second and actually think about the consequences of replacing the heavy lifters with something that will not be able to do the job.

No comments: