Puma replacement laid out

I funnily enough are attending International Military Helicopter conference This week and one highlight from the first day was about the impending Puma replacement.


It could be US Army FVL as we signed agreement the other year with US Army and DoD to actively partake in whatever the army chooses be it Bell V-280 or Boeing Sikorsky SB-1.

cheers
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Out of interest what is the optimum service life for a helicopter? I've heard of Bristow 330s having over 100,000 hours on them.

I'd assume that as cabs get older they require more maintenance, until at some point it is cheaper to buy new ones.

Somehow I doubt that having cabs in service for 20+ years is optimal...
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Out of interest what is the optimum service life for a helicopter? I've heard of Bristow 330s having over 100,000 hours on them.

I'd assume that as cabs get older they require more maintenance, until at some point it is cheaper to buy new ones.

Somehow I doubt that having cabs in service for 20+ years is optimal...
Helicopters are a bit Trigger's broom, in the sense that they aren't like fixed-wing aircraft and don't accrue hours as a singular unit.

The Wiki page is a little out of date but a famous example of longevity:
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Does anyone know the price difference between a zero life overhaul and a brand new cab?
 
Before anyone gets excited or carried away the ROyal SIngapore Air Force accepted its new Airbus Helicopters H225M today.


166760714_2448309138626000_7957415241584684347_o.jpg


 
When did the Puma come into service out of interest - it was certainly in use when I joined up in 82, and I've been out 23 years later this year, so whilst not quite getting to FV432 standards, that's a fair old stint and ripe for retirement it seems.
Never got to go in one though - Sea King, Chinook, Lynx only for me during my time.
 
When did the Puma come into service out of interest - it was certainly in use when I joined up in 82, and I've been out 23 years later this year, so whilst not quite getting to FV432 standards, that's a fair old stint and ripe for retirement it seems.
Never got to go in one though - Sea King, Chinook, Lynx only for me during my time.

1971 - 33 Squadron formed on the type in June of that year.
 
Helicopters are a bit Trigger's broom, in the sense that they aren't like fixed-wing aircraft and don't accrue hours as a singular unit.

The Wiki page is a little out of date but a famous example of longevity:
Yes and no. How much of BN's hull is original? you could have changed every other component in BN and still not replaced the original hull, except for the odd rivet and patch. If the H225 has a fully aluminium hull, then it's likely that that hull will remain intact for it's entire life. Back in the day, Aerospatiale were very reluctant to allow tailboom replacements on aircraft like the Gazelle.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes and no. How much of BN's hull is original? you could have changed every other component in BN and still not replaced the original hull, except for the odd rivet and patch. If the H225 has a fully aluminium hull, then it's likely that that hull will remain intact for it's entire life. Back in the day, Aerospatiale were very reluctant to allow tailboom replacements on aircraft like the Gazelle.
My broader point stands. Hey - we've one one Chinook which is a cut-and-shut of two others.
 
Strangely enough MI26 has been contracted out to UN over the years and NATO tasking in Afghanistan,

Thats one beast I have not seen as yet ..

cheers
The fun and games getting NATO to agree the contract was something to behold, the negotiations went on far longer than on just about any other project. It waslike herding cats to get all the member states to agree. All wanted it now especially those in theatre, all wanted to supply despite not having the capability (less the US) as it was reasonable renumeration, no one was willing to increase their force numbers to meet the requirement and of course no one wanted to pay for it, especially if it was not delivering stores directly to their own forces as a priority.
 
Helicopters are a bit Trigger's broom, in the sense that they aren't like fixed-wing aircraft and don't accrue hours as a singular unit.

The Wiki page is a little out of date but a famous example of longevity:
The primary structure (the part that everything else is fixed to, and failure of which would be catastropic) has a fatigue life, this is the total airframe hours figure in the log book. At the end of this, the airframe is either scrapped, or subject to sophisticated testing (x rays and the like) to extend the fatigue life. Components such as gearboxes, engines, seat harnesses etc have their own separate lives, at the end of which they may be refurbished and re issued or scrapped. Components such as doors, cowlings and seats will have an inspection programme, defects found may be repaired on site or the component backloaded to a workshop, depending on the scale and complexity.
All in all, pretty expensive, so much so that it was economically viable to recover crashed (and savaged by Gurkhas) Argentine UH1s, strip off the broken bits, and send the primary structure back to the U.K. to have a twisted a/c rebuilt on to it.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
The primary structure (the part that everything else is fixed to, and failure of which would be catastropic) has a fatigue life, this is the total airframe hours figure in the log book. At the end of this, the airframe is either scrapped, or subject to sophisticated testing (x rays and the like) to extend the fatigue life. Components such as gearboxes, engines, seat harnesses etc have their own separate lives, at the end of which they may be refurbished and re issued or scrapped. Components such as doors, cowlings and seats will have an inspection programme, defects found may be repaired on site or the component backloaded to a workshop, depending on the scale and complexity.
All in all, pretty expensive, so much so that it was economically viable to recover crashed (and savaged by Gurkhas) Argentine UH1s, strip off the broken bits, and send the primary structure back to the U.K. to have a twisted a/c rebuilt on to it.

So it is cheaper to keep cabs in service for 20-40 years and have them completely stripped down and rebuilt every now and again?

Seems counterintuitive. My assumption would be that past a certain number of hours you're better off ordering new.

Or is it merely an accountancy thing... Money to maintain existing platforms is easier to get past the treasury than money for new?

There was a naff debate in Westminster hall on jellywopters... Usual calls for Yoevil to be maintained as a 'sovereign design and money wasting facility' by the locals MPS.

Notably though lots of interest in the maintenance and flying costs of.... everything but the Merlin.
 
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