RAH-66 Comanche

Stuka

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R.I.P. Comanche. :( A few pics of the cancelled EMD phase Comanche. Anyone have more info? I know for a fact that a publicly released 3-view exists but I haven't been able to find it yet.

http://www.tinyurl.com/3ac5h3
http://www.tinyurl.com/ytw7dw
 

Stuka

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Thanks for the 3-view but that's the DEM/VAL phase even though EMD is in the file name.
 

yasotay

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I spent a lot of time working with the RAH-66. Much of it with simulation work. The cockpit and MEP was by far the most advanced for a rotorcraft. While I did not fly the Comanche I knew many of the Army aviators who did work the actual aircraft. It was a good flying bird, even with it being very overweight.

The Army did make the right decision to cancel the program. The funding from Comanche will now allow for ~300 ARH(Bell 407), ~300 LUH(BK 117), 40 JCA(C-27J), new CH-47F, new UH-60M, new ASE and other kit. While the money does not buy all of the airframes I mention, you can get an idea of how much money was tied into one program.

Before I get on a dissertation of the impact of Comanche on the US rotorcraft technology sector, I think buried somewhere on my hard drive at work, I have a three view of the EMD/LRIP aircraft configuration. If memory serves me, the most outstanding visible differences had to do with the canopy layout and the addition of increased air inlet size (immediately below the engine inlet) to provide more ambient air to the IR suppression.

Edit: found the three view for EMD/LRIP. Hope this is what you are looking for...
 

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Stuka

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Thank you! That is the exact 3-view I was looking for. It was originally published in some Sikorsky marketing/promotional material from around Jan '04.
 

Maveric

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Hi all,

anybody know the Sikorsky designation ( S. ? ) for the RAH.66?


Servus Maveric
 

yasotay

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To my knowledge only two aircraft were completed prior to the end of the program. Both of those were flying prototypes. I am not aware if the ground test article was completed.
 

crusader97

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yasotay said:
To my knowledge only two aircraft were completed prior to the end of the program. Both of those were flying prototypes. I am not aware if the ground test article was completed.
During a trip to the Sikorsky plant in the mid-90's, it was mentioned that there were 6 in various stages of construction. Other than the 2 flying prototypes, I'm not sure of the state of the others.
 

TinWing

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yasotay said:
While I did not fly the Comanche I knew many of the Army aviators who did work the actual aircraft. It was a good flying bird, even with it being very overweight.
It seems a pity that the program couldn't have been re-written around a less ambitious specification.

Take away the requirement for low observability, and the RAH-66 most certainly wouldn't have been overweight.
 

Stuka

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There were 5 airframes on the assembly line when the program was terminated. There were probably parts in process for ships beyond number 5. Here's the second on the line after program termination. They let us get souvenir photos of ourselves "sitting" inside the cockpit.
 

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yasotay

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At termination ships 3 and 4 were ready for engines.

TinWing there were many of us who wondered why it had to be an "all or nothing" effort. The airframe, dynamics and engines were good. It was the Mission Equipment Package and its' tempermental maintainance (along with other special stuff) that was dragging the effort. A less ambitious MEP (and other stuff) Block 1 in the field might have been a worth combat helo. The leadership likely assumed that to do anything less than the full kit would have gotten the program cancelled in Congress. Might have, but Congress was not the ones who killed it.
 

medal64

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Is there any comanche cockpit photos and does Russian airforce has a commanche competitor.And is commanche the best combat helicopter in the world?
 

overscan

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Its cancelled, so it isn't much of anything any more...
 

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The UH-72 program is a total disaster. :'( The helicopter is not combat rated yet in service with the US National Guard. So they have a totally un-deployable a/c that is not compatiable with the rest of the Army or Reserves.

Now it has been announced that it is so badly unpowered and can not be used in hot weather or at high altitudes.
 

Sundog

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The UH-72 program is a total disaster. Cry The helicopter is not combat rated yet in service with the US National Guard. So they have a totally un-deployable a/c that is not compatiable with the rest of the Army or Reserves.

Now it has been announced that it is so badly unpowered and can not be used in hot weather or at high altitudes.
All of that after the Army had a fly off competition to determine the winner. It makes you wonder who they had fly them.
 

flateric

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medal64 said:
Is there any comanche cockpit photos
Not so much published...
 

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flateric

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Found an interesting Army Research Lab paper on Comanche crew ingress-egress studies. Seems that guys have a lot of fun) Interesting, are there some familiar faces around?

Full text
http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA430450&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
 

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yasotay

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Thanks Flateric. Spent a fair amount of time in that cockpit, well the Comanche Portable Cockpit (Simulator) working on manned - unmanned teaming efforts and other RAH-66 daring-do.
 

flateric

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I knew that you will like it:)
 

sferrin

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yasotay said:
Thanks Flateric. Spent a fair amount of time in that cockpit, well the Comanche Portable Cockpit (Simulator) working on manned - unmanned teaming efforts and other RAH-66 daring-do.
What was the purpose of the mocap?
 

flateric

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Just one great shot of A/C #2 landing at Fort Lauderdale for AUSA meeting
from Charlie Fredrickson's archives (FTE, Ret. of Comanche Flight Test Team)
other Comanche pics here http://rides.webshots.com/album/125902731tJqhpS
 

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MIRAGE 4000

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Where are the Comanche now ? In museum ? :-\
(AH-56, S67 and now RAH-66, what a sad story !)
 

yasotay

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MIRAGE 4000 said:
Where are the Comanche now ? In museum ? :-\
(AH-56, S67 and now RAH-66, what a sad story !)
RAH-66/02 was at the Army Aviation Museum for a while. I watched it come off the truck and get rolled into the facility. It then disappears about a month later. Rumor abounds that there was a lot of hard feelings (including mine) about the time and resources wasted on the program so they took it off the floor. I believe one of them is now up in Huntsville, AL. Not sure where the other went. Probably in the National Air and Space Museum collection at Spring Hill.

sferrin - sorry it's been five years...mocap??
 

flateric

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/02 prototype cockpit nuts and bolts from Discovery Channel documentary
 

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Stuka

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95-0001 is still at Rucker but is no longer on public display. A few pics in the links below.

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=137962&hl
http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=134585&hl

I'm not sure of the fate of 94-0327.
 

flateric

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Stuka, thanks for this wonderful leads! Haven't seen 'em bofore, must visit ARC Forums more often...
 

yasotay

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I see Stuka got into the Garage!

You can see from the other photos that there is a great number of one off VTOL in the garage.
 

flateric

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Side views comparison of test and production versions of RAH-66 (equal scale)
 

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Mark Nankivil

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Anyone want a mock up?

http://www.network54.com/Forum/149674/message/1203263380/Fullsize+scale+Comanche+Helicopter+Display+4sale%2C+pickup+only%21

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Stuka

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Early EMD configuration photo courtesy the Sikorsky Historical Archives.
 

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JohnR

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Just a small technical question, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Fenestron tail rotor compaired to a conventional one.

I can see stealth being one as the moving tips of the rotor are covered.

Regards.
 

yasotay

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JohnR said:
Just a small technical question, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the Fenestron tail rotor compaired to a conventional one.

I can see stealth being one as the moving tips of the rotor are covered.

Regards.
Indeed stealth was one of the considerations, but also with the flight regime expected having a protected tail rotor in an NOE environment is a good thing. Statistically many of the (US) Army's aircraft losses are to pilot error do to rotor strikes.

The rotor systems was put through a huge effort to make it less detectable, although the results might be debatable. Acoustically, the shrouded TR made the aircraft much more quite. Having been ~600 meters upwind from the aircraft in a stable hover, it was virtually silent. As it got closer the first noise detected was the transmission. Of course for acoustic sensors, all this is irrelevant. Ironically with todays flight profiles (higher) RAH-66 would have been at a terrible disadvantage with its downward facing exhaust.
 

flateric

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Nice 3D of RAH-66 seat sim (made for Army by company called *ACME* Worldwide Enterprises, Inc.)
http://www.acme-worldwide.com/Projects/projects_Comanche64_Seat.htm
plus nice cockpit displays shot
 

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AeroFranz

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well, it's been at least twenty-four hours since i last prowled for technical details from the people on the forum...I am very much interested on the weapons bay on the -66, especially the way the Hellfires are hung on the door. Really neat way of solving the problem of internal carriage for a weapon that comes off a rail straight forward...
so... does anybody have good shots that show the installation? I only found lousy, grainy ones.
If it ends up on one of the UAVs my company makes, I'll give you credit for it, but don't hold your breath!!! ;D
 
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