February 23, 2004
Bye Bye Comanche

Jeff gets a no-prize with a rotor attached for bringing us news that the Comanche helicopter program has been cancelled.

My own reaction is "good riddance." Aviation Week usually carried an article or two per month about this thing gaining weight, failing stealth tests, or crashing its flight software. It wasn't doing what it was supposed to and costing the Army billions that could've been better spent elsewhere.

Yes, it's going to cost jobs, which will be hard on the people who work for Sikorsky. However, the military isn't a jobs program (even though Congress regularly tries to turn it into one).

The F/A-22 Raptor is having severe difficulties with its flight control software and also gained a lot of weight. However, it's already in limited production, and so would seem less likely to be cancelled any time soon.

The V-22 Osprey program looks to be next, IMO. It's still nowhere near production, was involved in some ugly test fraud scandals, and has a nasty reputation of being deadly unpredictable in flight. The Marines also aren't as strong on the Hill.

Bottom line: this is a good thing over-all IMO. Rumsfeld et. al. may be a-holes, but they're doing the right thing cancelling these monstrous programs.

Posted by scott at February 23, 2004 04:09 PM

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Regards the V-22. It was forced on the Marines. I think they'd like to see it gone. It's killed more Marines than the last two wars I think.

Posted by: landroll on February 24, 2004 07:45 AM
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