Wednesday, April 21, 2010

News You can Use

Because I have nothing better to do!

Tanker Wars

Yeah back ON. Boeing will NOT be getting a pass on this as EADS North America will be pitching the KC-45. And they are going to do it without a front American company. Now you gotta be saying "where is that Buy American clause", well that only applies to fasteners (screws, nuts, bolts and rivets) and electrical connectors not whole airplanes.

They were pitching a scam anyway when Northrop Grumman was on their ticket before. Despite the promise to build a facility here in CONUS (Alabama in fact), they were going to build the whole aircraft in Europe and then fly them to the U.S. for the installation of the military gear specific to USAF needs. Not a lot of work in the overall count of things but it was something. It's all about jobs and it will be interesting to see where EADS says they will have an economic impact. They already build the UH-72 Lakota utility helicopter for the US Army here in Columbus Mississippi.

So, maybe they will paint the Tanker in USAF colors there and claim a thousand or two jobs. Seeing as how the Obama administration cooks the books on jobs created or saved all the time and they are a European company, which everyone knows we want them to like us, this is a double bonus for the PresBO and his administration. Here is a link to the EADS press release thanks to the good folks at Alert 5.

And a picture of the nice new KC-45:

Picture stolen from Great site by the way if you like airplanes.

Helo Escapades

The original replacement for the Presidential Helo or Marine One has morphed into a new program. Everyone admits that the proposed VHX was way over budget and was actually going to cost the same as the 747 the president fly's around in so it made sense to can that program. It's a new day and a supposed new program and it looks to some people that we have a helicopter Dream Team aligning to go after the work that picks up where the old VHX program stopped. Namely Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin have joined up to partner on the new VXX program. Oh yeah, that sound you hear is not the pitter-patter of rotors slapping the air, its tax money hitting the meat grinder that is Lockheed Martin.

Glamor Pic of the proposed S-92 aircraft:

Now, I don't know about anyone else but I would like to know who I am getting into bed with and if that person came to me with the stink of say, F-22 and F-35 and the now defunct VHX do you think I would happily climb into the sack and share my good name and fortunes with them? Well I guess I am more discriminating the Sikorsky.

With all that bad press there is no way I look to join up with that crew but, alas I simply hate Lockheed and I can't get past that. Oh well, and too bad for Sikorsky. I know they have partnered with them before on the mission package for the SH-60B and MH-60R/S for the Navy at their plant site in Owego, New York but that was not a pure Lockheed venture; they bought that outfit from the old IBM Defense Systems division which ran a mean and tight ship from there. My guess is that most of what went into all those H-60's were legacy product from the old IBM. I say this because Lockheed was the "Mission" integrator on the defunct VHX program, you know the one that grew and grew and grew so much that even the PresBO himself complained. I mean that is saying something when this president complains about spending tax money you really got to be throwing it down the money pit.

Speaking of:

I just love finding a way to link back to my old home state – the Land of Enchantment and apparently the U.S. Government Money Hole!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

OK... are you on AFA's distribution list? All these items were the leads in today's Daily Report. Except for the Money Hole. ;-)

JimmyT said...

Buck, no not on that distribution, me being Navy and all. But, I do go to the Aero Net News daily they have a bunch of stuff, some commercial some GA and some military.

The money hole is a fav with me, you will see it more often as I love the dialog in it, just like its a real thing.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

tom said...

How come you hate Lockheed? When they come to mind, I think of the C-130 and variants or the P-3 Orion/Electra. Both of those planes are great, IMO.
Did they make the Viking/Hoover? From what I understand, you had a lot of experience with that critter.
Is it their partnerships?

JimmyT said...

I have this Love/Hate relationship going with Lockheed. Yeah, they have built a lot of great aircraft going back to WWII with the Lightning, the beautiful Conestllation (in all its different forms) and who can match their legacey in heavy lift with the C-5, C-141 and of course the C-130 (an airframe I beleive will out live us all). And I do love the mighty War Hoover, I worked on that aircraft in one way, shape or form for 35 years. (By the way, I won't say anything good about the P-3 since it was always the big brother sucking the ASW money out of the NAVAIR pot that we in the S-3 world had to compete for!)

But, they have of late been involved in many a cost overrun and not blinked an eye about it. The F-22 wound up being 4 times what they said and caused it to be cancelled with so few aircraft that we are really, as a country less capable because of it. The F-35 is heading down the same money rat-hole the F-22 went into and let us not forget the presidential helo program going bust. All of these are Lockheed programs.

Plus, that 35 years of working hands on with one of their aircraft and I know how they exploit the logistics and maintenance to stay in the business and let me tell you, us taxpayers get the raw end of that deal. I am sure this is done by all the OEM's to some degree but I really think Lockheed makes an art of it.

I could go on, they make lovely aircraft, I just hate having to pay for them.

BT: Jimmy T sends.