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Old 7th Apr 2004, 23:15   #101 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Haven't had the chance to get in one yet (a grey one! ) but I understand they are much much smoother and quieter than lynx with similar performance - for a big beast! Also... I believe the ration of aircrew nutty consumed is proportional to the size of the aircraft...? Big helo...

Are they looking at re-roling it at all?? SAR or replacement for SKMk4?
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Old 8th Apr 2004, 06:56   #102 (permalink)
 
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Let me count the ways:

Big
Fast
Smooth
Digimap
INS
Does most things other helos do, just as well, if not better
Crashworthiness (I know that one is a bit of optimism in the face of adversity)
Potential - PID/FLIR, Missile, bigger gun for starters

I would never admit it to our jungly or lynx bretheren, but ASW in a SK was dull. Long, long periods of boredom punctuated only occasionally by moments of sheer terror. (There I was, 40', in the dip, 100 miles from Mum, Black as witches bits....etc) With Merlin, the 'driver' has finally been invited to the party and can not only see what is going on, can get involved, rather than responding to (or more often, forgetting) steer commands from the Zero in the back. Stovies called it S.A. We didn't call it anything in Sea Kings cos the front seat didn't have any.

Why do we in Merlin land leap to her defence so readily? Because we have been doing it for so long. Never has a new toy been so maligned. We have bought it, the money is gone, lets fix it, fly it and enjoy it.

The King is dead, long live the sorcerer
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Old 8th Apr 2004, 10:07   #103 (permalink)
 
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strictly regarding the dark green merlot here...

I had heard that it was a bit of a let down, particularly with not being able to hover on two engines? Admittedly I was talking to a ex-Chinook display pilot (not exactly objective ) but the impression he gave was that it was the jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

I hope someone can prove me wrong since I could well be flying one if I go to Shawbury and beyond!

Hungry
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 15:40   #104 (permalink)
 
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Merlin HC3

As a Mk 3 operator, I can echo the enthusiasm of the RN. Yes, the Chinook can lift three times as much, but the Merlin can go as far, faster, more quietly, more smoothly, in greater safety, better protected and with more, more modern, kit in the cockpit. Our icing clearance is already better than any other helicopter in UK service and that's only at the interim level. Yes, there are things I'd like to chnage about it, but would I swap places with a Chinook pilot? Not for all the 10 ton ISOs that are moved from one end of a car park to another every year!

As for the rumour that Merlin can't hover on 2 engines, I have to suppress a yawn every time I hear it. At max all-up mass, at high density altitudes, if one engine fails, you can't hover; but show me a helicopter that this isn't true for! Actually the OEI performance is impressive. You're often not committed until the very last minute, if at all at training weights in a temperate environment. Think about it: if you lose an engine in a twin engine helicopter, you're down to maybe 60 percent of your power, taking into account emergency ratings of the engine; in a 3-engined helicopter, losing an engine limits you to something more like 75 or 80 percent. And in any case, the RTM 322 is incredibly good - I believe the rate of engine rejection is still in single figures after some 120,000 hours of fleet operation.

Spares are still an issue, but when you have them, this is a very reliable aircraft. The availability rate of the Mk 3 in Bosnia was close to 98 percent.
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 18:12   #105 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Yes, there are things I'd like to chnage about it, but would I swap places with a Chinook pilot? Not for all the 10 ton ISOs that are moved from one end of a car park to another every year!

Nice to hear OA, thanks very much!

You mention servicability being close to 98% in bosnia...

Is this based on an abundance of spares, and the comfort of a solid airbase to wrap up warm in at night? Do you think it would retain a high servicability when compared to the likes of the Puma/Chinook etc in a more "field" deployment (for want of a better expression)?

I only ask since I see the Mk3 a lot at Leeming, with enourmous scaffolding erected around it between flights. Seems to me like it requires a lot to get it going (mind you, I should probably get off my a$$e and talk to the crew ).

Thanks

Hungry
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 19:32   #106 (permalink)
 
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Bosnia is actually operating out of a disused metal factory, not an airfield; basic but admittedly not as austere as a field location. We have operated out of field sites a number of times without any significant problems though.

The gantries you see around the aircraft at Leeming are a health and safety thing because it's so tall... as I recall, the servicing is done in a hangar full of tornados in bits and the Merlins seem to spend less time there than the jets!
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 22:02   #107 (permalink)
 
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fish The Mk 1

Melrin Dip - thanks for breaking this thread out of the accident - no I will not mention it!

Having flown the aircraft, I agree with your sentiments and support your view that the Merlin Mk 1 is a world beater with much to offer the ASW, AsuW and SAR fraternities. Having also been winched out of the sea by one, however, I still believe that the Sea King, or smaller helos have their place in certain SAR scenarios where the Merlin downwash would be excessive. Do not get me wrong - the aircraft has the speed of response, range and avionics to meet the demands of most SAR situations but there are limitations as I am sure the Canadian Cormorant will find.

There are still a few things missing..........

The twin wheels on the Mk 3 is an item that the Mk 1 dearly needs! With only single wheels of the main undercarriage it imposes too many operating restrictions, not to mention the safety aspects of relying on one tyre on one side!

It needs a Defensive Aid Suite (DAS) if we intend to operate it in the littoral.

It needs an Electro Optice (EO) device if we are going to take the ASuW role seriously and..........

............it needs an anti surface weapon!

How do the rear seat crews now feel about flying backwards (facing aft) - does it still affect their SA or have they adapted?
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Old 12th Apr 2004, 22:39   #108 (permalink)
 
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Sorry - but since littoral = near enemy bases

It also needs a Sea Harrier or similar to protect from enemy aircraft.....

Surely the MOD have thought about defending helicopters from hostile MiGs, Sukhoi etc?
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Old 13th Apr 2004, 05:15   #109 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
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Littoral does not always mean enemy bases near by. But enemy is certainly more likely. A good DAS is rather important. But that is a project issue and not Merlin specific.
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Old 13th Apr 2004, 08:53   #110 (permalink)
 
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Littoral

Littoral Region:

"Coastal sea areas and that portion of the land which is suscepticle to influence or support from the sea"

Everyday's a school day.

TR
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Old 13th Apr 2004, 11:30   #111 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The twin wheels on the Mk 3 is an item that the Mk 1 dearly needs! With only single wheels of the main undercarriage it imposes too many operating restrictions,
The problem with having twin wheels on the Mk.1 is that you immediately hit operating restrictions in terms of the Mk.1's home base, which oftimes are ships as small as a Frigate. To maneouvre in the tight comfines of a ship of that size requires an undercarriage that can castor on a helo that big, you don't get that with twin wheels. So there is a good reason for that single wheel main UC, even if it restricts the helo in terms of other ground environments like rough and/or grass. . . .As far as I can see all the Italian aircraft of whatever flavour have twin wheel mains, but even their ASuW ones are land based where it's not an issue, and even if they go to sea it'll be on ships like the Guissepe Garibaldi where moving them around won't be an issue.
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 19:09   #112 (permalink)
 
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We can castor the Mk 3 OK?!
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 19:14   #113 (permalink)
 
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WEBF,

You have to face it mate the Sea Harrier is dead.

I know it pains you but that is reality.

Cheers

BHR
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 19:36   #114 (permalink)
 
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I know this thread is specifically not referring to the accident down at Culdrose which is great, but is the Merlin still 'good' enough to beat the competition for 'Marine One'?

It's going to be mighty hard to fend off the obvious criticisms from Mr Sikorsky about reliability etc and isn't the contract supposed to be being awarded in the next month or so and thus before BOI findings are released......
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 20:39   #115 (permalink)
 
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OA - We can castor the Mk3 ok!

I think he was meaning the mains so it can swivel into wind on a flight deck.

Ref. downwash. The Danes have opted for Merlin for SAR having done a Downwash trial against an NH90 so it can't be all bad.

Sea King has more than a Wessex, which had more than a Whirlwind etc, sometimes its good to be picked up by anything.
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 21:01   #116 (permalink)
 
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Occasional Aviator I always thought the twin wheels on the Mk.3 were there so the unwary could burst more tyres...
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 21:21   #117 (permalink)
 
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Unhappy

What a load of sanctimonious tosh on this strand! This is supossed to be a Professional Pilots RUMOUR Network!

We all know that the best quess/final answer will come after the BOI has done its stuff and published (some months away). In the mean time it does not take the brains of a helicopter designer to work out that this crash must have had something to do with the Merlin TR. It is an insult to this readership to pretend otherwise.

The Merlin is a fantastic aircraft and I endorse the sentiment that we need to get a fix and move on FAST..... but can we please refrain from all the 'don't talk about it cos we don't know yet' b****cks? Likewise, it is well known that the aircraft has cost a shed (no, hangar) load of cash and defence, across the board, is on the bones of its back side - so it comes down to a judgement call on risk v available cash to sort out current and anticipated snags on the aircraft; bit like the decision not to upgrade the door runners on the navy's Lynx fleet some years ago (cost v small risk of a door coming off in flight) which cost me a close friend along with his crew-mate and a cabin load of pax. Sad fact of life.
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Old 14th Apr 2004, 23:24   #118 (permalink)
 
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The effect of rumours

I must disagree with the previous thread, I agree this is a RUMOUR site but all too often rumours become accepted 'facts' that can have a serious impact on an aircrafts image (most unfairly) and consequent sales chances.There have been 'facts' about many aircraft not just the EH101 for years, untrue but they are still spoken of as gospel.

Obviously there was a TR problem, I dont think anyone is pretending otherwise, but maybe it was poor maintenance, not a design issue that caused the crash (for instance), we simply don't know and any speculation can only hurt all concerned. As there has been no conclusion as to the cause yet would seem to imply that the obvious 'facts' are in this case not so obvious.

As far as an incident goes I will always agree with Mr F Gump

'If you've got nothing good (or factual) to say, say nothing'

Peoples livelihoods depend on it

DM
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Old 15th Apr 2004, 03:02   #119 (permalink)
 
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goffered again - I think Occasional Aviator was meaning that the Mk3 can turn on the spot, so to speak, even with twin mains. 'castor' is the switch position to get the nosewheel to turn to the 90 deg position to allow a spot turn, normally the steering is restricted to 45 deg either way. It seemed to confuse the poor marshaller the first time we took one for a visit (can't remember if it was Benson or Odiham or wherever), he wasn't used to stuff that could turn on the spot. The spot around which it turns is where the Deck-lock is on the RN aircraft, so you can spin around with the deck-lock engaged. As always my memory is about 4 years out of date.

I can't see why the RN ones couldn't have twin wheels, I seem to remember the oleos and sponson where the same anyway, and I can't sea how deck handling would have been made more difficult.

If I was bobbing around some nice cold bit of sea, anything would look good to me, even a RAN Seapsrite, which looks pretty ugly in any other situation.
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Old 15th Apr 2004, 08:35   #120 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
I can't see why the RN ones couldn't have twin wheels
Easily answered because there was only one reason at the end of the day; yeah, you guessed it.......................cost!
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