For Whom the Bell Tolls

Bell Helicopter Textron must stop work on the ARH-70 Arapaho. After a nearly one-year schedule slip, mounting technical problems and a recent crash of a prototype on its maiden flight, the army decided it was time for a re-think. At least that puts the Arapaho in good company. I’ll start with the HV-911 Eagle Eye, […]

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Spotted: ARH Is Dead … or Is It?

Is the contract for ARH — the army’s ARH-71A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter made by Bell Helicopter — dead or not? David S. Harvey, a very good journalist on rotorcraft issues for Shephard’s, may have a huge scoop today at Rotorhub.com that says yes. ARH: Bolton issues Show Cause letter; other options being studied The US […]

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Radio Free Petroleum

The DOD will become oil-free within this century. You saw it here first. For more, listen to my appearance on Federal News Radio this morning (see link below). Download 03202007_fednewsradio.wma  

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Tuesdays with Ike

This morning I and about 25 other reporters had breakfast with Representative Ike Skelton, the newly-empowered chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Skelton is not like your average member of Congress. He is an intellectual as much as a politician, capable of transitioning from a feel-good anecdote from his district in rural Missouri to […]

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What Killed the Polecat?

Flying an unmanned aircraft can be a little like skiing downhill backwards. When you’re no longer absolutely sure you’re going in the right direction, it’s probably a good time to just fall down. We’re not really sure why the P-175 Polecat — the latest Skunk Works creation anybody outside of Palmdale is allowed to know […]

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Energy Man

Who says the top minds of the Department of Defense aren’t focused on energy policy? I give you James L. Jones, retired US Marine Corps general (as in, four stars), former head of US European Command and Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe, ex-commandant of the Marine Corps and (trivia alert) veteran of the siege at […]

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Ward Carroll: V-22 Whistleblower?

With apologies to the entire rap community: If your former flack is talking smack, your program might be really whack. Ward Carroll is the former public affairs officer for the V-22 development program. He is now editorial proprietor of my old employer Military.com and one of the leading lights of DefenseTech.org. Here’s what he has […]

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Baby’s First Afterburner

For now and for the next few years, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is the proverbial baby of the aerospace industry family. Every ‘first’ this infant aircraft design makes will be ooh’d and ahh’d over, simply by virtue of it being the baby. Even the cranky uncles (like me) will crack a smile. […]

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An Open Letter to Mr. Jumper

Dear General John P. Jumper (ret.), How long has it been – almost 18 months? Is that all since you were the reigning chief of staff of the US Air Force? I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention since you’ve likely donned the uniform of a highly-paid industry “consultant”. If you haven’t, I bet […]

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Sweetman: No VIFF’ing Allowed

In case any of you are keeping score at home, it has been suggested by visitors to this blog that the very cool Vectoring in Forward Flight (VIFF) feature of the Harrier jet could be one aerodynamic advantage employed by the short-takeoff-and-landing F-35B. Well, apparently not. Bill Sweetman, who literally wrote the book on the […]

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