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NH-90 problems

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NH-90 problems

Old 2nd Oct 2023, 01:21
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 60FltMech
...And just for clarity in this discussion, by mechanical failure I mean defective in design, which is really what is being argued regarding the NH-90(which seems to lack evidence), not accidents related to improper maintenance action, which is it’s own human factors issue...
This is a further complication in analysis of root cause of aircraft accidents. Some months back I started compiling a list of Australian Defence Force helicopter accidents by helicopter type and cause. It all became "too hard". Australia lost a lot of Westland Seaking helicopters in RAN service. Many ditched due to apparent mechanical issues. However the last and most notable loss at Nias was finally found to be due to the installation of an incorrectly sized split pin. So while a mechanical failure, it was due to human error in maintenance. Investigation found more systemic issues existed with maintenance activities at the time, so not an isolated error.
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 13:48
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by helispotter
My point was that if Armed Forces withdrew a fleet of aircraft each time there was an accident, and so far in this case without any public clarity whether for technical reasons, then there would be next to no military aviation. We should learn from accidents and not repeat causes, but I don't like aircraft being tagged as “dangerous” without any real substance.
We appear to be in violent agreement.
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 19:37
  #303 (permalink)  
 
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Italian Marina final SH90 delivered and sim

In positive news, Italian Marina has taken delivery of its last SH90 NFH and a full motion sim.

https://www.leonardo.com/en/press-re...aeli-luni-base





cheers
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 22:03
  #304 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Blackhawk9
True , much of the problem with the MRH and ARH is Army originated but the difference with the 60M and 64E is they will be tied into the US Mil supply chain which has worked extremely well with the CH-47's with excellent serviceability and availability over the years which is a very complicated helo with high manpower requirements , the supply and tech support system for the ARH and MRH are unique with their tie in with Airbus, the same tie in with the 60M and 64E as the 47 should ease the whole spares and support system, and with the aircraft based where OEM support is rather than strategic/tactical reasons should help serviceability. (all Boeing products 47F and 64E based in Townsville with large Boeing support facility there and all Lockheed Martin (Sikorsky) products based down south, Oakey and Holsworthy for 60M and just down the road from Holsworthy at Nowra for the Navy's MH-60R's. We have very good serviceability rates with the MH-60R (Sik)so should carry over to the 60M (Sik)and the same with the 47F (Boeing) should work with the 64E (Boeing)
Here is hoping that the logistical co-location potential is realised. The "green" workforce impacts will be interesting. As for Romeo serviceability, it is not as good as you think. They are struggling and have been for a while. Training is taking far longer than it should and hours are low.
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 00:43
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Will be interesting to see how integrating with US Army supply system will work out. It seems that every iteration of modernization in regards to Army maintenance management and supply systems the promised efficiencies never seem to materialize.

Anecdotally, we we far more efficient when we were scanning through a paper log book, clearing deficiencies was faster and the biggest “crash” of the system was if you accidentally opened the binder rings on a windy day! 🤣 Then you would have to spend a bit reassembling the book, hopefully will all the pages intact.

Of course, the insanity of that system was the Army flew with that book actually on the aircraft, so a fair bit of information could be lost in an accident if it hadn’t been transcribed in a timely manner.

The new electronic systems allow more visibility in aircraft records and supply information, which means more people want to take advantage of that visibility(whether they REALLY need access or not) which creates layers of additional information security, thereby slowing network access.

FltMech


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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 18:40
  #306 (permalink)  
 
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My apologies for intruding into this forum/thread but I am confused how, if the '90 is such a dog to keep serviceable, is the RNZAF is getting 75% availablity on its fleet with a reported average 23 flying hours per aircraft last February? Cost per flying hour reportedly NZD1400 (USD826/GBP684 at today's rates)

“Our NH90 fleet availability rates are largely due to our deliberate maintenance planning and forecasting, which in turn delivers serviceable aircraft to meet outputs. This maintenance team includes NZDF military, civilian and Airbus contractor staff. The RNZAF has the highest availability rates across the NH90 user community globally.” RNZAF Logistics Commander (Air) Group Captain Susie Barns
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 18:54
  #307 (permalink)  
 
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Stop asking questions like that
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 19:28
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Probably opening a big can of worms here, but I’m genuinely curious, What is the RNZAF fleet size?

23 hours a month for every aircraft, or 23 hours/month for certain aircraft, on a rotating basis?

Don’t want to dismiss what RNZAF is doing as they have a different operational environment than other militaries, but that doesn’t seem like a lot of flying hours. I think a lot of aircraft could have that level of availability with that amount of usage.

And as discussed previously, the amount of manufacturer support available, and the structure of the maintenance system makes a huge difference.

FltMech
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 20:28
  #309 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks, 60FltMech. It's a (very) small fleet, eight were purchased plus 'one for spares'. NZ deliberately bought the virtually the same config as Oz, to provide commonality in maintenance etc. with its closest operating partner. I understand NHI states worldwide availability is about 40%.
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Old 4th Oct 2023, 00:36
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the operating cost of $1400 hr is direct operating cost , fuel etc (450 l/hr x $2.00+ per L) not total operating cost , that cost doesn't include wages, maintenance etc. NZ and other countries like Oman are getting 60% + serv rates but at a substantially higher manning requirement. (combined Mil, Civil and Airbus personnel)
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Old 4th Oct 2023, 14:25
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“operating cost of $1400 hr is direct operating cost , fuel etc (450 l/hr x $2.00+ per L) not total operating cost , that cost doesn't include wages, maintenance etc”

So once those costs are added I would predict a similar operating cost per hour as other medium helicopters. I’d love to support a fleet of 9 or less helicopters…oh wait I have! 🤣

The 8 UH-60L aircraft of the Air Ambulance Detachment I was a contract maintainer/crewman on had to have at least 75% availability, below that someone had some explaining to do. Approximately 50 contractors directly supported that fleet initially then some of the major scheduled maintenance was done by another group.

it’s nice to be able to know in depth the condition of every aircraft, it’s little nuances etc. probably the most fun working I’ve had in 22 years in maintenance.

How is the maintenance structured in the Australian army? I’m always curious how others approach things.

FltMech
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Old 5th Oct 2023, 13:15
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Things got so bad and NH90 availability got so low, that the Australians were able to pool unspent funding earmarked for NH90 flying hours to buy four additional CH-47F Chinooks from the U.S. Army to get their soldiers back in the air, with two delivered in 2021 and another two delivered in 2022.
Don't think this has been posted.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...finally-ending
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Old 16th Oct 2023, 11:15
  #313 (permalink)  
 
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Tributes given today in Australian Parliament House for the four lost aircrew of the Australian Army MRH-90 which crashed off the Queensland coast. The Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Defence Minister and Shadow Defence Minister all spoke. A moment of bipartisanship.
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Old 16th Oct 2023, 14:00
  #314 (permalink)  
 
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Do we already know the cause of the crash? I guess it’s not technical as otherwise this would be put wide in the open to state: see the NH90 is dangerous, a terrible machine we’re grounding it and so should the rest of the world. As the rest of the world continues to fly “happily” I guess something else is going on?
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Old 16th Oct 2023, 17:12
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Originally Posted by casper64
Do we already know the cause of the crash? I guess it’s not technical as otherwise this would be put wide in the open to state: see the NH90 is dangerous, a terrible machine we’re grounding it and so should the rest of the world. As the rest of the world continues to fly “happily” I guess something else is going on?
The dedicated thread had some rumours, that resulted in the posters being flamed! But, I suspect time will show them to be true.
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Old 17th Oct 2023, 01:36
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Originally Posted by casper64
Do we already know the cause of the crash? I guess it’s not technical as otherwise this would be put wide in the open to state...
Not that I am aware from any public reports. My post #295 links to an NH Industries statement indicating no data so far suggesting accident relates to "aircraft design". However to be complete, NHI should also have included comment on the circumstances of the earlier two major, but fortunately not fatal, Australian MRH-90 incidents. Then again, if the ADF was more open with disclosure regarding such incidents, a manufacturer wouldn't feel compelled to publicly defend their product, at least from a safety perspective.

The opposition leader had an indirect dig at the MRH-90 as part of his tribute statement in parliament yesterday. He could be reminded that the decision to acquire this type in 2004 was made by the then Liberal Defence Minister Robert Hill, seemingly at odds with an earlier recommendation from the department (see my post #285). Hill also put us on the track of the much delayed JSF in what came across like an 'overnight decision' at the time.
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Old 17th Oct 2023, 22:26
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Originally Posted by helispotter
Tributes given today in Australian Parliament House for the four lost aircrew of the Australian Army MRH-90 which crashed off the Queensland coast. The Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition, Defence Minister and Shadow Defence Minister all spoke. A moment of bipartisanship.
We were in the public gallery on Monday and if you wish, consider that we represented Ppruners when the entire house
​​stood for a moments silence.
Lest we forget

Last edited by mickjoebill; 18th Oct 2023 at 22:36.
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Old 18th Oct 2023, 01:29
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I heard at the Global Defence Helicopter show today that many of the operators (especially Sweden) were ranting about how unreliable and expensive the NH90 is and how they're all planning on moving to Black Hawks.
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Old 18th Oct 2023, 05:41
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Originally Posted by PhlyingGuy
I heard at the Global Defence Helicopter show today that many of the operators (especially Sweden) were ranting about how unreliable and expensive the NH90 is and how they're all planning on moving to Black Hawks.
...well contrast that with the plans of NH Industries outlined in this article:

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...155235.article

A few extracts:

"NH Industries (NHI) is for the first time considering arming the NH90 transport, potentially offering a range of weapons – including rockets and guided missiles – as part of a future mid-life upgrade for the helicopter... the naval NFH variant carries torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare missions, options on the TTH troop transport variant have been largely limited to door guns, albeit Middle Eastern customer Oman has equipped some of its fleet with podded 20mm cannons..."

"Underpinning the upgrade plan are two key developments, however. First is an extension to the helicopter’s lifespan, taking it to 50 years from 30 currently... Feasibility studies supporting the lifetime extension (LTE) were completed earlier this year and revealed that no modifications would be required to achieve the longer service life... [The LTE] doesn’t come with a caveat or a pre-requisite: you take the aircraft as they are, and the lifetime can be extended without any particular intervention or retrofit.”

"NHI... has around 90 helicopters still in its backlog, having delivered the 500th example in March this year... Aloccio sees potential to add another 50-100 helicopters to the orderbook by 2028".
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Old 18th Oct 2023, 13:22
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A Service Life Extension Program ... without actually doing anything? That's an odd claim. This may be a case of less-than-thorough reporting.
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