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Boeing may offer two helicopters in presidential contest

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Feb. 25, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
February 25, 2010 3:59 pm

Boeing may enter its workhorse CH-47 Chinook and its revolutionary V-22 tiltrotor aircraft in the new competition to build a new fleet of helicopters to serve the president.

President Obama terminated a prior contract to build a new presidential helicopter because the contract had grown too costly.

A prior competition before Obama took office had picked a helicopter based on Europe’s AgustaWestland AW101 that would be modified to meet the president’s needs by Lockheed.

The helicopter design grew increasingly expensive and heavy as the Defense Department added new requirements to the design.

Boeing’s CH-47 is a decades-old twin rotor design. The V22 is built by Boeing in conjunction with Bell. The V22 has short wings on the end of which are mounted engines and large rotors. Those rotors rotate horizontally like a conventional helicopter’s during takeoff and landing and the rotate to vertical for high speed cruising.

Other contestants in the competiton are expected to be Sikorsky with its S-92 and AugustaWestland with the AW101.

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