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Insights and opinions from our coverage.

Production-Ready V-280

I like how far the props are from each other, if we can call them that. May add to the survivability? Curious to know where the main fuel cell(s) are, too, and if that also adds to the crew survivability. Probably behind the cabin area? Max wartime lift capacity with floor plating? Overall length and width any wider than the main rotor disc and tail rotor area of an H-60? Foldable wings for C-17 transport? Phase maintenance times? So many questions. We all know that within 10 years the military adds 10,000 pounds to the operating weight. The future of military aviation plowing ahead. All my best to Bell in this endeavor.

“Joe the Riveter,”
in a comment on

Norway Report on 2016 Super Puma Crash

This is an astounding report, in many ways. That the crew had no warning is tragic, but that this failure seems to have not been due to a design or maintenance problem is equally troubling. The unexplained meat of the problem is how the (undefined) manufacturing defect occurred, and why it was not detected as the company followed quality procedures to meet “the most stringent, global airworthiness standards,” how widespread and long-lived the problem may be, and how operators may detect this fault.

Tim Kern,
Anderson, Indiana

No Link Between Flight Hours and Fatal Mishaps?

“Baloney” is the polite term for this rubbish. In many cases, human error is caused by low experience. Witnessed it Vietnam; no responsible commander made a low-time pilot an A/C. This report is knowing the answer and studying the matter enough to justify the foregone answer. I served on G staff at HQ 1st Aviation Brigade and saw daily reports and was sent to verify findings.

Ray Klett,
in a comment on

I agree with Ray’s statement. In more than 30 years of aviation service, most of it in standardization, we saw one thing that was consistent: The aviators most likely to have an accident were the ones in the 800- to 1,200-hour range. The common factor: All felt they “had the aircraft down pat.” As a result, they placed themselves in conditions where recovery was questionable. I’m amazed that anyone can say there is no correlation between hours and mishaps.

Bob Arms,
in a comment on

How Next-Gen Vehicles Can Succeed

It is unsurprising that the chief architect for a “message-oriented middleware” company is going to claim that data links are Uber’s biggest obstacle. The author belies a lack of familiarity with aerospace and paints a grim safety picture indeed if a single missed health monitoring alert on an eVTOL craft could have fatal consequences. Distributed sensor data by itself does a pilot no good at all. In fact, the stream of information, if not curated properly, presents human-factors problems for flight safety. The data link standard and infrastructure is the easy part. The hard part is how our future ATM system allocates limited space and responds to off-nominal situations with human safety as the first priority. I have to admire the buzzword mastery: “data river” is a new one for me. Is that what feeds a disruptive Smart City’s data lake?

Ben Brelje,
in a comment on