Author Topic: Biden's helicopter is delayed because it is 'unfit for emergencies'  (Read 1375 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....

President Joe Biden's first flight on the new $217 million presidential helicopter has been delayed because the Pentagon deemed the aircraft unreliable in an emergency and not 'operationally suitable.'The VH-92 helicopter program is a $5 billion project to build 23 aircraft replacing the aging fleet used by the president and other senior officials.

Lockheed Martin won the contract in 2014 after other aircraft makers dropped out.
The new presidential helicopter - with the call sign Marine One when carrying the president - was expected to be ready in July.
But on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported that a testing report in September found it was 'failing to meet the reliability, availability or maintainability threshold requirements' set for it.

The Pentagon testing office found that its communications system did not 'adequately support timely, continuous and secure communications,' and tended to delay critical communications at the start of emergency missions.

Major Jorge Hernandez, a spokesman for the Marine aviation deputy commandant, told Bloomberg the VH-92 program office 'cannot speculate as to when' the White House will give approval to introduce the new helicopter.

The aircraft is slated to replace the current fleet of 11 Sikorsky VH-3D and eight VH-60N helicopters.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first president to use a helicopter in 1957. He wanted an easy way to get to his Pennsylvania summer home, an impractical for Air Force One - the president's plane.
Multiple models of aircraft have been used, arriving at the VH-3D which went into service in 1978 and the VH-60N in 1987.
Both models have been upgraded over the years, but the result has been an increasing weights to the point where an entirely new aircraft was needed.
The new VH-92 made its maiden flight in July 2017.
A test landing and take off at the White House a year later revealed other problems. It left behind scorch marks on the South Lawn grass, which the Navy determined was caused by the helicopter's exhaust.

Greg Kuntz, a spokesman for the Naval Air Systems Command at the time said that 'under certain conditions, the VH-92A exhaust can impact a grass landing zone.'

One possible solution was to place a protective mat on the landing area, although that was dismissed as impractical.

That test was conducted secretly.
But a year later President Donald Trump got a look at the new aircraft, when it made another test landing.
They were originally expected to enter service in 2020, but the date has slipped several times.
And in March, it emerged that the military and Lockheed Martin were still working on the scorching problem.

John Dorrian, a spokesman for Lockheed's Sikorsky aircraft division, was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying: 'Sikorsky continues to work closely with our customer to ensure the aircraft meets all operational requirements.'