Rotor & Wing, "Investing in the Future"

Rotor & WingInvesting in the Future, May 2012

Some believe the U.S. is falling behind in the development of new military rotorcraft. "We are decades behind in developing new rotorcraft capabilities," said Michael Hirschberg, executive director of the American Helicopter Society International.... 

Hirschberg is particularly concerned about cuts to basic rotorcraft research and development funding as part of the Fiscal 2013 budget submitted to Congress in February. He points to the 52 percent cut in applied research funding for the National Rotorcraft Technology Center (NRTC), from $8.2 million in 2012 to $3.9 million in 2013. NRTC is a joint effort involving the Army, Navy, NASA, industry and academia. Industry and academia match R&D funding dollar-for-dollar.

NASA’s rotary wing budget—already at a paltry $28 million—was cut an additional $4 million [in the[ FY13 budget, “which puts many of its projects below the sustainment level,” said Hirschberg.