How to Get a Free Helicopter: Lessons from Australia

May 10, 2013 No Comments by

Australia will receive an extra Eurocopter NH90, known by that country’s military as the MRH90, after the program fell three years behind plan. Australian Aerospace, Eurocopter’s local arm, will deliver a 47th MRH90 for free, the country’s defense ministry said in a statement Thursday, adding that the agreement will help put the program “back on a positive footing.”

Australia ordered the MRH90 in 2005 and 2006 to replace Bell Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois and Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk troop transports and AgustaWestland Sea King Mk. 50 maritime machines. A series of glitches including component failures on the RTM322 engine from Safran and Rolls-Royce delayed completion of the contract.

“Australia is a relatively harsh environment in which to operate helicopters and the MRH90 has experienced some teething problems,” the Department of Defence said in an e-mailed response to questions.

For the complete story by Robert Wall of Bloomberg News, click here.

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Online Editor I've been around airplanes since I was a kid. That's when my uncle, a professional pilot, showed me how to fly his Cessna 177 Cardinal. l later became a writer and editor, so covering the exciting and ever-changing aviation industry -- which I've been doing in Flight Journal's Flybys since the late '90s -- was a natural fit.
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