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Setting the Record Straight on Failures and Successes in Army Aviation Development Programs Over the Past Forty-Five Years

Daniel Schrage, Georgia Institute of Technology

May 13, 2019

https://doi.org/10.4050/F-0075-2019-14622

Abstract:
Army Aviation Development Programs have had more failures than successes since beginning with the successful Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) and Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH) development programs in the early 1970s. While these follow-on failures have often been blamed on either the Army user, Army developer or industry; they often come with biases from sideline participants without firsthand knowledge. The author of this paper has had mostly firsthand involvement and knowledge on these Army Aviation Development Programs over the past 45 years and he will seek to set the record straight. It will start with a review of Army Aviation Air Mobility Doctrine in the 1960s and it development and implementation in Southeast Asia, for which the author directly participated in. The initial implementation in South Vietnam was based on using off the shelf modified aircraft, predominantly helicopters. These lessons learned had a major impact on developing new aircraft and major modifications in the 1970s, e.g. UTTAS, AAH, CH-47D and OH-58D for which the author also directly participated in. There are critical lessons learned from this Air Mobility Doctrine development and the major aircraft programs which resulted from it, which are especially critical as the Army seeks major new development programs over the next decade. Also, it appears that the current focus on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) with the incorporation of new eVTOL aircraft, such as air taxis and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into a low altitude Traffic Management (UTM) environment, also has a lot to learn from the Army's Air Mobility Doctrine development and the vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, e.g. helicopters,, that were developed to implement it.


Setting the Record Straight on Failures and Successes in Army Aviation Development Programs Over the Past Forty-Five Years

  • Presented at Forum 75
  • 8 pages
  • SKU # : F-0075-2019-14622
  • History
    July 2020 Paper of the Month.

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Setting the Record Straight on Failures and Successes in Army Aviation Development Programs Over the Past Forty-Five Years

Authors / Details:
Daniel Schrage, Georgia Institute of Technology