Showing posts with label OV-10 Bronco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label OV-10 Bronco. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Army wants replace Kiowa Warriors with new helicopter.

Kiowa Warrior is a two place helicopter  going back to Viet Nam war days.  The Army wants to replace them with a new model, which is not unreasonable given the age of the in service Kiowa Warriors.  The mission is described as reconnaissance and light attack.  Not troop lift.
   Was it me, I'd want to procure a small fixed wing aircraft, something like the old OV-10 Bronco.  Helicopters require ten time the power of a fixed wing aircraft to fly.  You can get a two place airplane into the air with 60 horsepower.  A two place helicopter needs 600 horse.  Helicopters are vastly more accident prone than fixed wing.  One year, back when I was in the old Military Airlift Command, I was reading in the TIG brief about the accident record for the year.  It was all helicopter accidents (like a dozen) and just one fixed wing accident (They landed a C-133 gear up).  And MAC in those days was flying ten big fixed wing transports for every helicopter.  For flying maybe 10% of MAC's flying hours, the helicopters had ten times as many accidents.
   The reason the Army uses helicopters for missions better accomplished with fixed wing, goes back to the Key West agreement of 1947, back when they created the Air Force.  It was a turf battle, out of which the Air Force got control of all fixed wing aircraft, except for the Piper Cubs used for liaison, and the Army was only allowed helicopters.
   We could save money and lives by allowing the Army to do reconnaissance and light attack with a fixed wing aircraft.