Hood

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But I thought Spirit Aerosystems in Belfast and Prestwick just make structural bits and specialise in composites rather than assembling entire aircraft/helicopters?
 

Wyvern

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They are currently studying the construction of UAVs, so licensing helicopters isn't too far off.
 

zebedee

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Fluff

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Airbus and Leonardo both flashing the UK Manufacturing plc card over the last week:

Airbus picks Broughton for H175M production line as part of Puma replacement bid

Perhaps not unsurprising given the end of A380 wing production at the site...

Leonardo sees potential for ‘500-plus’ AW149 export orders if picked by UK

Leonardo seem far more optimistic about export orders, 500 vs. 250 for Airbus...

Zeb
Well if I was bidding I'd say 750......

And turning out a few of these isnt going to tax Broughton too much, the place is now a city in its own right.

6000 staff.

1631303026129.png
 

Wyvern

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Leonardo seem far more optimistic about export orders, 500 vs. 250 for Airbus...
It could be that they intend to split production so that Italian factories could concentrate on AW139s and AW169s. Either that, or they're really trying to woo the politicians.
 

zebedee

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And turning out a few of these isnt going to tax Broughton too much, the place is now a city in its own right.

That photo really doesn't do the West Factory (top left) justice... its huge... given their experience and integration into the Airbus supply chain I doubt it would cause them much of a sweat!

It's worth noting that Leonardo are planning to add a hard runway to the Yeovil, although not quite of the same scale as Broughton.

It could be that they intend to split production so that Italian factories could concentrate on AW139s and AW169s. Either that, or they're really trying to woo the politicians.

They've been promising local production or at the least assembly since the AW149 was launched, I seem to remember a similar suggestion for the AW169 as well which never came to pass.

A lot I think is going to boil down to how adventurous the MoD feels, whether they are after the recent Government Infrastructure and Projects Authority report (p51 onwards for Military projects) is an interesting question... the project is a couple of months in and already on the Amber list*

The UK government published the outcome of its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy on 16 March 2021. In its accompanying Command Paper published on 22 March 2021, the Government announced that investment in a new medium lift helicopter in the mid-2020s will enable a consolidation of the Army’s disparate fleet of medium lift helicopters from four platform types to one. Work is now underway to develop the strategic options for this programme and at pace, but at this stage the full scope, cost and timescales for delivery are not yet available.

Infrastructure and Projects Authority Annual Report on Major Projects 2020-21, p54

Zeb

*Amber: Successful delivery appears feasible but significant issues already exist, requiring management attention. These appear resolvable at this stage and, if addressed promptly, should not present a cost/schedule overrun.

Infrastructure and Projects Authority Annual Report on Major Projects 2020-21, p35
 
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TomcatViP

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Thanks. It's probably a taxiway then (the 04 nbr (guess only) stands before the yellow bar when rolling toward the main rwy) with direct access to the large hangar.
 

zebedee

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Thanks. It's probably a taxiway then (the 04 nbr (guess only) stands before the yellow bar when rolling toward the main rwy) with direct access to the large hangar.
1631303026129.jpg

Thats pretty much how I understood it, although the main loading facilities for the Beluga are mid way up the East Works... the A380 wings from the West Works were roaded to the River Dee a short way away and then barged to Mostyn Docks for loading on the Ro-Ro to France, amusingly they once got the tides wrong which saw the the RoRo beached on the Dee for a couple of days...

In other news the MoD is already soliciting expressions of interest for the Pumas through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority...

Sales Brochure 2021

Zeb
 

Fluff

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Thanks. It's probably a taxiway then (the 04 nbr (guess only) stands before the yellow bar when rolling toward the main rwy) with direct access to the large hangar.


Thats pretty much how I understood it, although the main loading facilities for the Beluga are mid way up the East Works... the A380 wings from the West Works were roaded to the River Dee a short way away and then barged to Mostyn Docks for loading on the Ro-Ro to France, amusingly they once got the tides wrong which saw the the RoRo beached on the Dee for a couple of days...

In other news the MoD is already soliciting expressions of interest for the Pumas through the Defence Equipment Sales Authority...

Sales Brochure 2021

Zeb
I'm not convinced that the BAe 146 being able to carry its own spares, is a plus point......
 

RavenOne

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I a, here attending DSEI 2021 in London and Leonardo have their AW149 NMh demonstrator (which as you all know I flew in few months ago) here and Airbus Helicopters have their static toys ( so my photos) but also from their LinkedIn page they put up,photos of their company H175 demonstrator (their photos).

cheers
 

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zebedee

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The various PR machines from Airbus and Leonardo are out in force again...

Leonardo pushing the AW149UKs domestic credentials and whilst not exactly threatening, they are raising the issue of the Yeovil plants future...

While denying the NMH contest is “do or die” for the Yeovil plant, Whitney says that should the AW149 fail to be selected it could make the wider Leonardo group question its levels of investment in the UK.

“My concern would be if our own MoD doesn’t show confidence in the rotary-wing provider which is already established in the UK that does lead to questions.


Flight Global : Leonardo Helicopters boosts UK content on AW149 for NMH bid

Airbus meanwhile seem to voicing a small amount of frustration with the MoD...

Colin James, managing director of Airbus Helicopters UK: ‘From the interactions we have had, our understanding is that a team [from the MoD] was formed after the IR [Integrated Review] to develop requirements which are now well developed…but we don’t know what they are,’

Shepard: DSEI 2021: Airbus pitches H175M UK production for RAF’s New Medium Helicopter acquisition

Also some local reporting that gives an insight into the current status of the West works at Broughton

Deeside.com: Airbus selects Broughton for military helicopter production line as part of RAF Puma replacement bid

Zeb
 
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TomcatViP

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What a poor choice to not make the effort to build or convert an airframe into a demonstrator! Especially given the advanced perf nbr that seems to show a significant advantages over Leonardo's.
 

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Hood

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Leonardo pushing the AW149UKs domestic credentials and whilst not exactly threatening, they are raising the issue of the Yeovil plants future...
It probably is getting close to wobble time if there isn't enough work for Yeovil, but balancing that Leonardo are going to need factory space for its share of Tempest so the threat probably has some element of bluff in it.
 

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Nick Whitney, the managing director of Leonardo Helicopters UK, said his company’s existing facility would be able to deliver its AW149 aircraft more quickly, and the contract would unlock a previously unreported foreign direct investment from the Rome-headquartered manufacturer, including more than £500m into Yeovil.

“If the UK government doesn’t show confidence in the home rotary wing company in the UK, it has to question why our parent company would have to invest in the same volumes,” Whitney told the Guardian. He was speaking at Defence and Security Equipment International, a controversial arms fair held in London.

 

DWG

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But I thought Spirit Aerosystems in Belfast and Prestwick just make structural bits and specialise in composites rather than assembling entire aircraft/helicopters?
Forgot I was going to reply to this noting that GEC-Marconi were planning to assemble Cobra Venom in the goods inwards area at Rochester*, back when everyone knew we would build WAH-64 instead, and the last full-size aircraft to be built there was the Stirling!** Spirit at least have more recent experience*** of complete full-size aircraft.

* AKA the old Shorts hangar
** Slight exaggeration, Rochester built the Sturgeon prototype in 1946.
*** Last Shorts Tucano = 1995?
 

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TomcatViP

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Nice one. Thanks.

The H175 don't fit a NATO medevac stretcher transversely (length 2290mm ). I don't know how this could impact any decision (for example, you'd have to fly doors open if the stretcher was to be deposited transversely in the loading area).
 

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The stretcher is likely to be a positive note but not compelling, per the points made above. What is the proposed weights of the aircraft? That will very likely be a primary driver in conjunction with the political factors already discussed.
 

H_K

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What is the proposed weights of the aircraft? That will very likely be a primary driver
Here’s a good comparison of the AW189, H175 and B525 all similarly configured for offshore oil & gas work… they are very similar.


The H175 is the lightest of all 3 by a fair bit (7,800kg MTOW vs. 8,600kg for the AW189 and 9,300kg for the B525), but they all have the same payload within ~100kg of each other. The H175 appears to have a slight edge in terms of operating costs and max range.
 
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yasotay

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Acquisition cost and operating cost are SIGNIFICANT drivers. If the H175 has the edge there I suspect the Leonardo solution is not a forgone conclusion.
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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Ordinarily, I'd agree but this will be all about the offsets. Allowing Yeovil to wither would be most unpopular, including >right here<.

Sorry to bring up dreaded politics again but Airbus were rather.....bellicose to the UK Government (i.e. the customer) not too long ago.

ETA: AVIC's involvement with the H175 programme is sure to cause discomfiture as well. Leonardo may not be a forgone conclusion but it certainly has more heft than mere performance would tell.
 
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TomcatViP

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On the paper, as pointed much earlier, the H-175 offer a better solution. Then there is that cabin floor width and the fact that no demonstrator are to be shown despite the Delta in mass that can be expected.

Below, some floor arrangement of earlier design. You can see that the UH-60 series had to rely on a specific version for medevac given the need to position the stretcher in a less improvised manner.

fig1-8.gif


fig1-2.gif
 

Agent A

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to paraphrase Chief Brody...


You're gonna need a beefier step.

I suspect laden-down squaddies will break that in no time. We're told 'One at a time please.' when boarding 189s.

I was introduced to the term 'Squaddy Boot Proof ' on a little job I did inside the cabin of,coincidentally, an RAF Puma.
 

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One day whilst working near Wellesbourne, I heard a sound like a muffled vintage motor bike. I looked up and less than 100 feet away was a Puma headed for the next county. It flew under power cables, sidestepped houses and chimneys travelling about 90 mph about 6 feet from the ground, when I mentioned it to a certain Survival friend of mine, he just smiled and said nothing! Needs to be one hellaver helicopter to replace that!! Must have exceptional LIDAR!
 

uk 75

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I suppose we can't just refurbish the Pumas (they are a lot younger than a B52H) or buy some newer ones to say sorry to M.Macron.
 

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The B-52Hs haven't done Lo-Lo-Lo for a fair while I suspect whereas the Puma can't really do anything but. There's also been far fewer Pumas to go around this go around. I wouldn't be at all surprised that despite the recency of the HC.2 upgrade, the Puma fleet will go out of service thoroughly knackered (technical term).

I'm not saying Buffy is being coddled but......
 
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Apophenia

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I suppose we can't just refurbish the Pumas ...

Sure, why not. You'll need total airframe rebuilds, glass cockpits, new avionics, replace the Turbomeca Turmos with PT6C-67Es. Job done! What could possibly go wrong?
 

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you can buy newly built ones. They are still churning them out... In fact, as we don't know much about the RFI (if there is any yet) and what profile the rotorcraft should have, new Puma might well be what they need.
Think about it: the old Puma is already militarized and can carry an heavy weapon load and fits its published specs...
 

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you can buy newly built ones. They are still churning them out...

If someone suggests Super Puma, I guarantee journalists will have various PR departments reminding them of the North Sea and Norwegian Super Puma crashes, and the Mail will be bleating about the MoD "expecting our brave boys to fly in French helicopters no rig worker will fly aboard" just as soon as they can top and tail the press release with some hack's byline.
 

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