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JayinKitsap
Topic Author
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:55 pm

Leonardo was going after hard for both this trainer copter program and the
$2.38 billion ballistic missile security helicopter contract with the US Air Force to deliver 84 MH-139As, aircraft based on Leonardo’s medium, twin-engined civil helicopter AW139
that was awarded in Sept 2018.

Well, they won the contract for 120 trainer copters, not bad, not bad at all.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 23.article

The service plans to replace its aging fleet of Bell TH-57B/C Sea Rangers with 130 examples of the TH-119. The USN announced the winner of the Advanced Helicopter Training System TH-73A contest on 13 January.


It was a surprise when they landed the MH-139A, I can't seem to find which craft was expected to win this. It does seem that Leonardo stock models are closer than the competition to the RFP requirements compared to others.

The AW119 has an empty weight: 1,483 kg (3,269 lb), Max takeoff weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb), max sling load 3,086 lb 747 kW (1,002 hp) Cruise speed: 244 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) in commercial service it is reported to have a per hour op cost of around $800, quite economical.

The competition:
Bell 407GXi Empty weight: 2,668 lb (1,210 kg), MTOW 6,000 lb Useful load: 2,347 lb (internal) 813 shp (606 kW), cruise speed 133 knots (152 mp/h, 246 km/h)

H135 Empty weight: 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) Max takeoff weight: 2,910 kg (6,415 lb), 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) payload, 2x 463 kW (621 hp) cruise speed 254 km/h (158 mph, 137 kn)
 
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Dutchy
Posts: 11286
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:25 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:14 pm

Leonardo is on a winning streak.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
texl1649
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:56 pm

Bell is really struggling lately, particularly on government contracts. The Ranger series seems quite elderly at this point.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3386
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:32 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Bell is really struggling lately, particularly on government contracts. The Ranger series seems quite elderly at this point.

Probably one of the big knocks against it is that it isn't built in the US; the Bell 407 series is built in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, while the Leonardo helicopter is assembled in the US.

But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter; the Leonardo AW119 was the first single engined helicopter to be FAA IFR-certified. The Bell 407GXi was the second helicopter to be IFR certified, while the Airbus H135 was already IFR certified, but was a twin-engined helicopter.

Leonardo made a number of design choices that made the certification process a lot easier, as the AW119 was derived from the AW109, from having dual hydraulics, dual stability augmentation systems, and dual pitot-static systems, among others. It even has a dual generation option; the AW119 has an optional auxiliary generator already integrated with the aircraft from the onset, and for IFR certification, Leonardo installed the auxiliary generator, which will automatically pick up the entire electrical load of the aircraft if the primary generator fails.

Coupled to a new 4-panel glass cockpit (the FAA only requires 2), it seems Leonardo lucked out on a lot of their design choices that made it a preferred option for the Navy's requirements.
 
aumaverick
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:40 pm

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:02 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Leonardo was going after hard for both this trainer copter program and the
$2.38 billion ballistic missile security helicopter contract with the US Air Force to deliver 84 MH-139As, aircraft based on Leonardo’s medium, twin-engined civil helicopter AW139
that was awarded in Sept 2018.

Well, they won the contract for 120 trainer copters, not bad, not bad at all.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 23.article

The service plans to replace its aging fleet of Bell TH-57B/C Sea Rangers with 130 examples of the TH-119. The USN announced the winner of the Advanced Helicopter Training System TH-73A contest on 13 January.


It was a surprise when they landed the MH-139A, I can't seem to find which craft was expected to win this. It does seem that Leonardo stock models are closer than the competition to the RFP requirements compared to others.

The AW119 has an empty weight: 1,483 kg (3,269 lb), Max takeoff weight: 2,850 kg (6,283 lb), max sling load 3,086 lb 747 kW (1,002 hp) Cruise speed: 244 km/h (152 mph, 132 kn) in commercial service it is reported to have a per hour op cost of around $800, quite economical.

The competition:
Bell 407GXi Empty weight: 2,668 lb (1,210 kg), MTOW 6,000 lb Useful load: 2,347 lb (internal) 813 shp (606 kW), cruise speed 133 knots (152 mp/h, 246 km/h)

H135 Empty weight: 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) Max takeoff weight: 2,910 kg (6,415 lb), 1,455 kg (3,208 lb) payload, 2x 463 kW (621 hp) cruise speed 254 km/h (158 mph, 137 kn)



So we're going from the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger to a Leonardo/AW TH-73A Sea Koala?
I'm just here so I won't get fined. - Marshawn Lynch
 
rlwynn
Posts: 1462
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 3:35 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:36 pm

No.
I can drive faster than you
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3854
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:15 am

aumaverick wrote:
So we're going from the Bell TH-57 Sea Ranger to a Leonardo/AW TH-73A Sea Koala?

Maybe call it the drop bear instead?
Attamottamotta!
 
VSMUT
Posts: 3964
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:57 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter;


Why tho? I can rent a fully IFR-certified PA-28 or C172 from the 1960s at the local flying club. Why would a helicopter be harder to do?
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3386
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:08 pm

VSMUT wrote:
ThePointblank wrote:
But one of the biggest requirements from what I've read was the helicopter must be IFR-certified, a fairly tall order for a single engined helicopter;


Why tho? I can rent a fully IFR-certified PA-28 or C172 from the 1960s at the local flying club. Why would a helicopter be harder to do?


Since 1999, FAA certification of single-engine helicopters in the U.S. has been stymied by FAA guidance that requires applicants to demonstrate regulatory compliance using numerical safety analysis methods. The FAA set an extremely high bar when it selected the methodology and numeric values in this guidance.

Most single-engine helicopters are certified as FARs Part 27 normal category rotorcraft, which have generally lower safety standards than Part 29 transport category rotorcraft.

For IFR certification, however, the numerical safety analysis requirements were equivalent — generally necessitating the type of redundant systems that are common on transport category helicopters, but rare on normal category ones.

In 2015, the FAA released this policy statement which affected certification of Part 27 rotorcraft, easing some of the requirements slightly, but did not address single-engine IFR requirements directly:

http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_an ... -27-15.pdf

From the standpoint of Leonardo, when they chose to pursue IFR certification of the AW119 for the USN contract, the most straightforward path for doing so was still to conform with the redundant systems approach found on Part 29 transport-category helicopters. It also wasn't lost on the FAA that when they certified the AW119 for IFR flight, they were also doing this for the first time, so this certification attracted a lot more scrutiny than usual.
 
Ozair
Posts: 4928
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Fri May 15, 2020 2:56 am

Full steam ahead now for Leonardo now that the GAO denied Airbus's protest over the contract award.

Government watchdog rejects Airbus protest over helicopter contract

Leonardo has restarted work on the U.S. Navy’s new training helicopter after its competitor’s protest of the contract was rejected by the Government Accountability Office.

Airbus, which lost the competition in January, protested the award of the TH-73 that is slated to replace the Navy’s aged TH-57 Sea Ranger fleet.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/ ... -contract/
 
JayinKitsap
Topic Author
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Leonardo TH-119 wins US Navy Trainer Helo competition

Tue May 19, 2020 7:42 am

Attached is the GAO decision on the protest, a bit dry but interesting reading. I brought in a table from the report. Leonardo got Outstanding's in all 3 categories, while Airbus got 2 Good and 1 outstanding. The technical rating was considered more important than price, which was good as Airbus bid LOWER than Leonardo, but by just a little. How a dual engine rotocraft is more economical that a single engine is 'interesting'

The agency evaluated the final proposals of Airbus and Leonardo as follows:
AIRBUS LEONARDO
Technical Rating Good Outstanding
Risk Moderate Low
Aircraft System Good Outstanding
Risk Moderate Low
Mgt and Support Outstanding Outstanding
Risk Low Low
Total Evaluated Price $1.3128 billion $1.398 billion

AR, Exh. 19, Source Selection Advisory Council (SSAC) Proposal Analysis Report
(PAR) at 3.
As relevant here, for the aircraft system subfactor, the agency assigned the following to
Airbus’s proposal: one significant weakness, two weaknesses, and eight risk reducers
under the overall compliance element; one strength under the warfighting skills training
element; and one strength under the safety element. AR, Exh. 17, SSEB Final Report
at 62. For the same subfactor, the agency assigned the following to Leonardo’s
proposal: five risk reducers under the overall compliance element; and one strength
each under the instrument training, navigation training, warfighting skills training, and
safety elements. Id. at 25-26.


Where it seems to have come apart is in the autorotation portion.

In its evaluation of Airbus’s proposal under the overall compliance
element, the agency assigned one significant weakness and two weaknesses as
follows: a significant weakness for autorotation (AV-027); a weakness for mission
profile on low-side emergency procedure (AV-008); and a weakness for cockpit controls
and display (AV-121).5


There is a limited, acceptable rotor speed range (Nr range) for continuous operation
during autorotation, where no damage to the helicopter occurs. Id. The pilot can go
above this acceptable rotor speed range, and into a transient range, for a limited time.
Exceeding the transient range can cause, at a minimum, helicopter damage. Id.
Excessive Nr over-speeds can cause catastrophic failure of the rotor system, resulting
in a crash.


Specifically, the agency identified the following three issues as related to Airbus’s
autorotation performance during the SPD flights: (1) engine toggle switch allowed
unguarded IDLE to OFF movement, which could result in unintended engine shutdown;
(2) procedures to put the engines to IDLE mode for practice autorotations required the
instructor pilot to remove hands from flight controls, which could cause delay in the
instructor pilot’s response in case of student errors; and (3) the rotor speeds at which
the engine decoupled from and recoupled with the rotor allowed too narrow a margin for
a student pilot to conduct the power recovery autorotation maneuver.


This is where things did not go well with the evaluation. It indicated that a beginning pilot scared sh**less
about to do his first autoland maneuver could basically go above redline (107.5% of turbine shaft speed) to 112%
for up to the allowed 12 seconds. Smart move - instruct the beginning pilots that aircraft limits can be exceeded.

In real life problems requiring an autoland will begin at some shaft speed at 100% or below, it appears that all the [deleted] values
indicates that the minimum speed at the end of the autorotate was higher in the Airbus, giving a narrower performance band to
execute this critical manuever for the first time. The GAO report didn't discuss how Leonardo did, but it was rated Outstanding.

Airbus stated that “[a]t the time of decouple, the N2 will decrease
from [DELETED]% to [DELETED]% N2 and stabilize,” which will offer a range of
[DELETED]-107.5% Nr continuous range for the autorotation training. Id. Airbus also
stated that the agency could utilize a 12-second transient range up to 112% Nr for
increased flexibility in autorotation training maneuvers.


Airbus also felt it got no credit for being a dual engine vs single engine. However the RFP provided no evaluation criteria for
single vs dual engine, thus no credit was given

https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/707022.pdf

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