Author Topic: Cormorant problems  (Read 68800 times)

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Offline Strike

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2011, 16:34:54 »
One of the problems to consider with privatizing SAR, aside from how it will be funded, is the cost of the liability such a company would have to pay.  If the country were to expect the same type of service they have now (SAR techs, flying in less than favourable weather, landing in extreme confined LZs) the liability cost would be astronomical.

New Zealand has privatized helo rescue services but I'm not familiar with their SOPs, how they compare to what we have and do.
http://www.helicopters.net.nz/christchurch-westpac-rescue-helicopter-nz-flying-doctors__I.122
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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #51 on: February 10, 2011, 17:16:34 »
Yet for some reason SAR too continues to have a very high profile.
As it's one of the few highly, nationally-visible (rather'n coastal or Northern) continuous CF operations in Canada? Makes sense.

Just to add a few more bodies to the land-SAR mix, there's also each province's version of ground search and rescue, and, at least in BC, CASARA; the latter generally providing fair-weather air-search capabilities.

Question from volunteer Ground SAR: is the rotor (footprint? circle? length?) shorter/smaller than it should be? There's a rumour to that effect floating around, as an explanation for the tree-uprooting, rock-flinging downdraft from the things. The most developed version of the rumour claimed a design decision made to allow landing/storage onboard ship.

Offline Trunk Monkey

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2011, 20:20:20 »
As it's one of the few highly, nationally-visible (rather'n coastal or Northern) continuous CF operations in Canada? Makes sense.

Just to add a few more bodies to the land-SAR mix, there's also each province's version of ground search and rescue, and, at least in BC, CASARA; the latter generally providing fair-weather air-search capabilities.

Question from volunteer Ground SAR: is the rotor (footprint? circle? length?) shorter/smaller than it should be? There's a rumour to that effect floating around, as an explanation for the tree-uprooting, rock-flinging downdraft from the things. The most developed version of the rumour claimed a design decision made to allow landing/storage onboard ship.


IRT your questions, where are these rumours coming from?  NO, for your first one. The rotor diameter on the CH-149 is no different than any other AW101 (called that now) variant out there (61'). Helicopters push air down so the side effect is, when near the ground,  flinging rocks-dirt-shrubbery, a pickup being blown down a riverbank(Calgary Stampede, behind the Saddledome),  sheets of plywood flying randomly about, and so on.
 As for the second "rumour", it is actually true. Shocking, I know ;D
Near all helos used by Maritime forces(even those used by the AF/Army/Marines/CGs of the world) have a blade folding system, whether it is a manual system (our Griffons are capable of this, great for loading on a transport plane), or a powered system (Sea Kings as an example). Only exceptions I have seen are the Italians who use (may not anymore) a Twin Huey on their smaller ships. I'm sure others do also. Warships of size have hangars and the birds will need to be inside from time to time, hence a folding blade system.

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #53 on: February 10, 2011, 21:46:00 »
Thanks!

The rumour? Not sure as to the initial source (possibly a Provincial Emergency Program type), but it came out after a Cormorant, called to pick someone out of a creek right in back of Ladysmith, tossed up some small trees, etc, one of which broke the leg of a fireman sheltering the victim; sometime in the spring of 08, I think.

Interesting.


Offline Ditch

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2011, 23:37:05 »
The Cormorant does have an intense downdraft - much more so than the Labrador.  This is one of the reasons why rescues are perform on a longer hoist cable than previously done - to dampen the effects of the downdraft.  If you get a chance to be near one when it isn't running - take a good look at the tips of the rotors.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2011, 11:53:51 »
Winching from the hovercraft used to require us to shut down, the downdraft caused us to spin complicating things for the winch operater and pilot. Downdraft from the Lab sucked. (edited grammer due to lack of sleep and coffee)

Mark I fully agree that privitizing SAR is a political minefield. However I seem to recall that they did have a private SAR helo and crew based in Prince Rupert for awhile. CG mounted a winch on their S-61 in Prince rupert, but are reluctant to use it or train the people properly. When I was doing SAR on the North Coast, most of our helicopter support came from the USCG.
The thin edge of the wedge will be to provide a commerical Federally funded SAR service in an area that does not have much coverage already, so people will see it as an improvement and not a change for the worse.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 12:05:56 by Colin P »

Offline Strike

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #56 on: February 11, 2011, 11:56:54 »
Winching from the hovercraft used to require us to shut down, the downdraft cause use to spin complicating things for the winch operater and pilot. Downdraft from the Lab sucked.

Speak English!

As to the blades on the Cormorant, those things are monsters! 

Zoomie, you'd know the answer to this.  Is it actually possible to walk on them?  I recall someone telling me that when one of these beasts landed behind the O-Mess in Gagetown some years ago.
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Offline Ditch

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2011, 16:08:02 »
I haven't seen anyone walk on the blades. It would be a pretty precarious feat!
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Offline kj_gully

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2011, 10:39:44 »
I think I  what you are asking about the blade being shorter, they have a specially designed BERP    rotor, that effectively shortens required blade:( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BERP_rotor ) while concentrating downwash over smaller diameter. Like being in a hurricane/ tornado for sure. Definitely need to keep your head up.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 10:48:52 by kj_gully »

Offline rnkelly

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2011, 15:51:31 »


http://www.shephard.co.uk/news/rotorhub/canadians-to-cannibalise-vh-71s-for-cormorant-spares/9418/

Quote
Canadians to cannibalise VH-71s for Cormorant spares

June 27, 2011

The Canadian Forces (CF) has reportedly bought nine of the VH-71s purchased for the US Presidential 'Marine One' helicopter programme.
The airframes, which have been in storage since the cancellation of the programme in June 2009 will be stripped down by the Canadians and used as a spares source for its fleet of CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopters.

According to the Canadian press, Ottawa paid just $164 million for the nine aircraft and other additional spares, a fraction of the $3 billion the US Government ploughed into the project before the plug was pulled. The VH-71s are reportedly not in a flyable condition and cannot be used to provide additional SAR capacity.

The Cormorant fleet has suffered from spares shortages since the type was introduced into Canadian Forces services in 2001 and 2002, and Ottawa hopes that the purchase will address what it describes as 'long-standing fleet availability issues related to the availability of spare parts.'

The first components from the nine VH-71s arrived in March, with the rest of the components expected to between now and September.

By Tony Osborne, London

Great job to whoever got this done and for a bargain price too!  Hopefully this will mean more Cormorants serviceable, let the cannibalization begin soon (get those puppies here).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 16:04:54 by rnkelly »

Offline Colin P

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #60 on: June 27, 2011, 18:56:37 »
Nicely staged pictures with one of our 41's. In normally practice the boat should maintain about 6 kts into the wind to make it easier for the pilot, at least with the labs that was the norm.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #61 on: June 27, 2011, 19:11:55 »
Even in most stiff winds, 6 kts isn't going to come close to helping...might as well be stopped.  Either go fast enough to let the aircraft stay above translational lift, or hold position in the water to provide a static target.

Regards
G2G

Offline Colin P

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #62 on: June 28, 2011, 11:53:49 »
Even in most stiff winds, 6 kts isn't going to come close to helping...might as well be stopped.  Either go fast enough to let the aircraft stay above translational lift, or hold position in the water to provide a static target.

Regards
G2G

That was the standard set for the labs, according to the information we had . But normally the pilot and Coxswain would talk by radio and adjust for conditions. For the hovercraft we had to shut down, seems the SAR techs didn't like the idea of lowering down into a running plenum and prop.... ;D

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2011, 12:01:46 »
Single rotors don't have the inherent stability of a tandem, so that's why you'll see CH149s and CH146s more stable when the boat had good speed ahead.

Cheers
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2011, 12:06:10 »
that explains the differance, thank you

Offline beenthere

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2011, 23:02:04 »
In the photo the boat is passing behind the helicopter.
But not lately. If I could do it all over again I would  change one thing.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #66 on: June 29, 2011, 08:44:55 »
No its not.

First, the boat is in front of the water spray caused by the rotor downdraft.

Second, the tip of the boat's mast can be seen in white against the yellow (and therefore in front of) of the lower fuselage.

Just saying ;) .

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #67 on: April 19, 2012, 21:13:18 »
Oh Canada: The Fate of the Marines’ VH-71 Fleet

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/04/19/oh-canada-the-fate-of-the-marines-vh-71-fleet/#ixzz1sXRlDTTW
Defense.org

Yes, the picture above shows five of the nine AgustaWestland-made VH-71 helicopters shrinkwrapped and being shipped on a barge from Maryland to Canada. The VH-71s were delivered to the U.S. Navy years ago as part of the Marine One helicopter replacement program. If you’ll remember, that effort was scrapped shortly after President Obama took office due to massive cost growth associated with converting the helos into a 21st Century presidential ride.

The problem is, nine helos had already been delivered to the Naval Air Systems Command at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland. Four test aircraft and five production birds that were going to be sent to a Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, NY., where they would be converted into luxury helos for the president.

After the program was canceled, the brand new choppers sat on the ramp at Pax River until last year when they were sold to Canada for pennies on the dollar despite interest in the choppers from “other” U.S. government agencies.  Now, they’re going to be used for parts to support Canada’s fleet of Cormorant rescue choppers. So sad.

A friend of DT’s snapped the photo above on the show floor at the Navy League’s annual Sea, Air, Space conference in Maryland earlier this week.



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Offline uncle-midget-Oddball

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #68 on: April 19, 2012, 21:37:47 »
The article says the birds were sold to Canada, but was it to the RCAF as Cormorants, the RCAF as Cyclones, or to just a Canadian company in need of several helicopters? 


Edit: Upon  further reading of  sentences of this article which I missed... Disregard this post.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 22:10:50 by uncle-midget-Oddball »
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Offline GAP

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #69 on: April 19, 2012, 22:05:51 »
If they have not been used, why sold for parts?
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Offline Occam

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #70 on: April 19, 2012, 22:12:47 »
The article says the birds were sold to Canada, but was it to the RCAF as Cormorants, the RCAF as Cyclones, or to just a Canadian company in need of several helicopters?

If it were to the RCAF, it would be as Cormorants.  The Cyclone isn't the same helicopter nor is it from the same manufacturer.

If they have not been used, why sold for parts?

They would be far more valuable to us as parts than as complete airframes.  Ever price a car built from spare parts?   ;D


Offline uncle-midget-Oddball

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #71 on: April 19, 2012, 22:15:23 »
If it were to the RCAF, it would be as Cormorants.  The Cyclone isn't the same helicopter nor is it from the same manufacturer.



Yes, see the edit to my previous post.   ;D
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Offline Don2wing

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #72 on: May 22, 2012, 20:44:27 »

 Here is an article I came across:

VH-71s for Canadian Service?

Monday January 30th 2012 - by Ken Pole






AgustaWestland will be making an unsolicited proposal to modify seven of the RCAF’s nine VH-71s bought as spare parts into the same configuration as its CH-149s. Michael Durning Photo







Last summer, the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) purchased nine Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel helicopters, in various stages of completion, from the United States government. The VH-71 is a variant of the AgustaWestland CH-149 (AW101) Cormorant search and rescue (SAR) helicopter currently in use by the Canadian military.




The U.S. Navy had selected the VH-71 in 2005 as its next-generation presidential helicopter, to replace its aging fleet of Sea Kings. But, after the projected costs for the VH-71 increased from $6.5 billion US to $13 billion, the Obama administration canceled the program in 2009. Canada purchased the fleet for a reported $164 million Cdn.




The Canadian government has stated that it does not intend to put the helicopters into operational service, but will instead use them for spare parts. The availability of spare parts for Canada’s SAR helicopters has been an issue since the Cormorant first entered service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) about a decade ago. AgustaWestland and the IMP Group’s aerospace division, the Cormorant’s in-service support provider, have been making improvements when it comes to the availability of spare parts, but aircraft serviceability issues remain a concern. The acquisition of the VH-71s is expected to significantly improve the availability of spare parts, and therefore aircraft serviceability.




“This package is considered an excellent one-time opportunity for the RCAF to address long-standing CH-149 Cormorant fleet availability issues related to the availability of spare parts,” said DND spokesperson Kim Tulipan.




The VH-71 airframes, which were delivered last fall, are not in “flyable” condition. All nine VH-71s were flown by the U.S. Navy, including two that were heavily instrumented for certification purposes prior to the cancelation of the program, but they were far from airworthy when they arrived in Canada on 25 trucks. And, the RCAF plans on keeping it that way, despite calls to increase the size of Canada’s fleet of SAR helicopters from the 14 Cormorants that are currently operated at 9 Wing Gander, Nfld.; 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S.; and 19 Wing Comox, B.C. (The Cormorant had also been operated by 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., but their aircraft were swapped for Bell CH-146 Griffons, and their Cormorants were dispersed between Gander and Greenwood to help contend with aircraft serviceability issues on the East Coast.)




The RCAF said the VH-71 parts will be dispersed between the three bases where the Cormorants are operated. All nine VH-71s are currently stored in Halifax, N.S., at IMP.




Asked whether a decision to not make the VH-71s flyable was a question of the cost of crewing and supporting them, or whether it was simply that the current Cormorant fleet is considered adequate for its assigned role, DND offered this explanation: “They neither have valid airworthiness certificates nor are they configured for SAR missions (the VH-71 cabin differs significantly from the CH-149). There is no intent to modify these airframes and to fly them in order to increase the size of the CH-149 fleet.”




An Alternative View

AgustaWestland, though, is hoping to change RCAF’s mind with a proposal to modify seven of the nine VH-71s into the same configuration as the CH-149s, at a much lower cost than new helicopters, and press them into SAR service.




“It wouldn’t take too much to convert these airframes into a similar configuration to that of the Cormorant,” Jeremy Tracy, the company’s region Canada head, told Vertical 911 during a briefing at AgustaWestland’s sprawling facility in Yeovil, England. He conceded that modifying  the VH-71s “to being as Cormorant-compatible as possible” may not be what DND wishes to do, but offered a couple of cogent arguments in favor of the idea: 1) the call/perceived need for more SAR helicopters, and 2) Canadian sovereignty in the North.




Canada’s current helicopter SAR capability is essentially located on its East and West coasts, which means much of the country’s vast northern regions — where survival can be measured in hours rather than weeks or days during the winter months — is out of easy reach for the CH-149s. Tracy said one option would be to station the modified helicopters with the aforementioned 424 Sqn at 8 Wing Trenton, which is near the northern shores of Lake Ontario, halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. This squadron, which used to fly CH-149s, now often has its Lockheed CC-130H Hercules fixed-wing transports dispatched for northern SAR missions. Said Tracy, “They [RCAF] could put the whole VH-71 fleet into Trenton, because they are a slightly different fleet from the current Cormorant, and it would give you that commonality in one location.”




To utilize the aircraft the way Tracy mentioned, though, would involve dropping out the center cabin and replacing it with one similar to that of the CH-149. The estimated cost of the conversion will of course depend on the additional avionics changes potentially needed, as well as fleet commonality issues, but Tracy feels it can be done cost-effectively.   




“This would give Canada a fleet of helicopters that are suitable for SAR and sovereignty-type operations in the North,” said Tracy.




“We’re aware that there is no appetite within government to put Cormorants up there [at a northern base],” said Tracy, but an “elegant” solution would be to have aircraft stationed at lower latitudes, but dispatched to the North on a regular basis to demonstrate that “this is Canada’s responsibility.” He noted that despite Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “very clear” resistance to the concept of a northern SAR base, the federal government is determined to have a presence in the region, if for no other reason than to re-affirm Canada’s control over the region’s mostly untapped natural resources.




What also might help in that respect is the air transportation kit (ATK) that was part of the original purchase of the VH-71s from the U.S. Navy. The ATK would allow a VH-71 to be quickly loaded and then transported by the RCAF’s CC-177 Globemaster strategic airlifter.




Along with AgustaWestland’s proposal for converting the Kestrels, the Anglo-Italian manufacturer will also be proposing a simultaneous midlife upgrade to the CH-149s. “We’re currently working proactively with DND on extending the capabilities of the Cormorant,” said Tracy, by increasing the alternate gross weight by 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) and offering a twin-engine cruise capability to afford about an additional hour of endurance. The priority, however, will be various system improvements, including new avionics, and sensors that would incorporate technological advances of the past decade and enhance the SAR role well out into the projected 40-year service life of the CH-149s.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #73 on: May 23, 2012, 10:58:21 »
I suspect it would be good to slowly alter a few airframes so they are in reserve as replacement for losses and you could actually bring a couple up to airworthness so they could replace line machines due for major overhaul.

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Re: Cormorant problems
« Reply #74 on: May 23, 2012, 11:02:47 »
Here is an article I came across:

VH-71s for Canadian Service?
..and here's the article's link   ;)
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