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THE HELICOPTER'S FUTURE: FRUITION OR FRUSTRATION? Gerald J. TobLas President Sikorsky Aircraft Division United Technologies Corporation Thank you. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to participate today in this discussion on the role of NASA in aeronautics and to present to you one viewpoint from the helicopter industry. My presentation this afternoon will consist of three parts. First, the helicopter market as I see it evolving in the next decade, including the key underlying trends and shifts that are occurring. Second, the role of the helicopter in our society. And, finally, the role that I believe NAS\ should play, not only in bringing this market to fruition, but also in ensuring that the U.S. helicopter industry receives its appropriate market share. Over the last decade as illustrated in Table l, the free world helicopter industry, which is primarily the U.S. and European manufacturers, produced 2l,000 civil and military helicopters, with revenue at $l5 billion. (All financial data are in l980 dollars.) In comparison, over the next decade we project that free world output of helicopters will rise to 29,000 units, with revenue estimated at $29 billion. These data provide an average annual growth rate in units of 3.2 percent, while, on a revenue basis, the rate is 7 percent. The inversion in these growth rates indicates another interesting statistic, which is that the average unit value will increase significantly. Summarizing then from a business point of view, we believe that there is an attractive rate of financial growth, coupled with a clear shift toward larger vehicles, which is a fairly typical aerospace trend. I will return to the question of vehicle size in a few moments, but first of all let me go over the question of the military/civil mix. Continuing with the statistics used earlier, Table 2 shows that the 2l,000 helicopters produced between l97l and l980 were made up of l07

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some ll,600 military and 9400 civil machines. Our projections for the next decade indicate production of 8000 military units and 2l,000 civil helicopters. The apparent decline in the military market is the result of the Vietnam War. It appears that the military market in units will change little over the next two decades, suggesting a replacement, rather than a growth, mode. With respect to the civil sector, unit growth is a strong 8.5 percent, while the revenue growth is an even stronger ll percent (Table 3). This strong growth of the civil sector in the helicopter market is of significance to NASA. What, perhaps, is even more important is the fact that the civil market is growing in a different technical direction—the military and civil markets are technologically diverging. I believe this is a factor of great significance in the context of this workshop, since traditionally the technical community has become accustomed to strong relationships between civil and military designs. As an example, compare the Lockheed C-5 and the Boeing 747. Although their specific designs and utilizations differ, the requirements they meet and the environments in which they operate are sufficiently similar to permit a high degree of technical cross fertilization. While this is common in the fixed-wing industry, it is rapidly diminishing in the rotary-wing sector. For example, our new helicopter, the Sikorsky SPIRIT, was conceived from the wheels up as a civil design (Figure l). The marketplace had reached a point where it was mature enough to make economically viable a privately funded venture. Of equal importance, that market could only be captured by an aircraft specifically designed for its needs. The potential market could no longer be won by a modified and repainted military aircraft. The reasons behind this divergence can be seen by considering our new military design, the UH-60A Black Hawk (Figure 2). In simple terms, six factors dominated its design: threat survivability, rapid maneuverability, ability to operate at altitude and ambient temperature extremes, ease of air transportation, improved reliability and maintainability, and crashworthiness. Unfortunately, as illustrated in Table 4, four out of six of these military attributes economically and/or operationally penalize the application of this aircraft in the civil market. Threat survivabi- lity features are irrelevant to operation of a civil helicopter and appear as added weight and cost in many vital components, such as rotor blades, drive systems, and controls. Rapid maneuverability requires excess installed power and design optimization for low-speed, rather than cruise, flight. The capability for operation at virtually any altitude and temperature around the world again leads to excess Installed power and a general lack of "balance" between the dynamic and structural components. The requirement for ease of air transportation physically limits the external dimensions of the Black Hawk in order to meet the internal dimensions of Air Force transport aircraft. The result is a passenger cabin envelope unsuited to civilian passenger standards. It is only in the areas of reliability/maintainability and crash- l08

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worthiness that the military attributes have a direct applicability to the civil design. Now, let me return to the civil market projection I discussed earlier. You will recall from Table 3 we projected 2l,000 units worth $l3.6 billion for the next decade. In Figure 3, we divide this market into three gross weight categories—light, defined as aircraft below 6000 Ibs.; intermediate/medium; and heavy, which are aircraft above 35,000 Ibs. Just over three-quarters of the units are projected to be below 6000 Ibs., and less than l percent are above 35,000 Ibs. However, above 35,000 Ibs. the civil market potential revenue is a miniscule l.5 percent of total dollar volume and the lightweight class has shrunk from its 75 percent of units produced to only one-third of the total market revenue. I believe, therefore, that NASA should pursue areas involving the central core of the helicopter market—the intermediate/medium class. Based on this premise, let us reexamine the civil/military technical divergence I mentioned earlier. Figure 4 shows some of the salient designs in this migration toward heavier gross weights in relation to the first flight of each aircraft. This trend indicates, I believe, that NASA should not only throw its technical authority generally into the intermediate/medium weight class but specifically into the 25,000- to 35,000-lbs. sector, which we anticipate will be emerging in the late l980s. It is through the development of vehicles such as this that the U.S. helicopter industry will aid in the continuation of its role in keeping our air transportation system the envy of the world and an efficient servant to the expansion of the United States economy. Before proceeding, let me take a few moments to define the role of the civil helicopter in society as I perceive it. As you know, this aircraft has two very unique capabilities whose significance is frequently not fully appreciated, namely, the fact that it takes off and lands vertically and that it can sustain flight in a hover. This means that the helicopter serves both remote and congested areas with minimum investment in facilities and equipment. At the same time, in l980 the helicopter is much more economical than circa l960-l970 predecessors and is, therefore, becoming more competitive with fixed- wing aircraft in a wide variety of applications. Helicopters are also more attractive to potential users because of substantive increases in creature comforts and convenience. For example, the new-generation helicopters can provide faster point-to-point transportation than current fixed-wing aircraft within a radius of 300 nautical miles or so. The halicopter can now fill a number of roles in society as a complement to our existing transportation systems. It provides economic point-to-point transportation for key business and government people, not only in developed areas, but also in regions inaccessible by other means. In our population centers, the helicopter is ready to provide a flexible and economically viable solution to the problem of our congested fixed-wing airports. When flying point to point, helicopters can use "unused" airspace via helicopter air routes, thus contributing to the reduction in fixed-wing route congestion. l09

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Additionally, as a service of Lnest imable value to society, the helicopter can provide emergency service to vast areas of the population at high speed and without the need for fixed-wing facilities. In the 40 years of the helicopter's existence, it is estimated that helicopters have been instrumental in saving over l00,000 civilian lives, not to mention the million plus military combat rescues and medical evacuations. Now let me be more specific about the threat that the U.S. helicopter industry is facing, the help that is needed to defeat that threat, and the way in which NASA can provide the help. Figure 5 shows what is happening in the world helicopter market. While the U.S. helicopter industry has been holding its own, our European competitors, all heavily supported by their respective governments, have doubled their output. My concern increases when I consider NASA's list of potential markets: —Tactical fighter —Long-range subsonic transports —Supersonic transports —General aviation —Short-range/commuter transports —Military V/STOL —Improved military and civil rotorcraft I fully appreciate the point that this is not a list of priorities, but the fact remains that of the seven items listed, six are fixed-wing oriented. Furthermore, while four of the six fixed-wing items are quite specific, the rotary-wing item is almost a meaningless generality. An analysis of NASA spending does nothing to alleviate my worries. The data in Table 5 show that NASA expenditures in the last decade for fixed-wing transport research equates to one-fifteenth of the next decade's market revenue. The comparative figure for helicopters is l in 54. NASA would have to spend $600 million on helicopters to catch up, or 2.5 times as much as in the last decade. And the payoff, in technical terms, will be rapid. I believe it is generally agreed that the helicopter has reached only about 50 percent of its technical potential, whereas the fixed-wing subsonic transport is very close to maturity. Helicopter research will provide rapid and visible advances, whereas fixed-wing research will require increasingly heavier funding for relatively marginal gains. How can NASA help the U.S. helicopter industry? The greatest service I believe NASA can provide is to halp us find out where we are now technologically, or to put it another way, to help us turn our remaining "black art" into a more formal science. Those of us who have been around the industry for a little while will not forget the enormous contribution Tiade by NASA in the l930s, l940s, and l950s to the total understanding of the aerodynamics of the subsonic aircraft. I don't mean to belittle their contribution to the ll0

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understanding of the supersonic regime, but rather to give special recognition of the totality of their work in subsonic aerodynamics. The value of this work to the U.S. aerospace industry and the world was immeasurable, and it played a large part in placing the American commercial aircraft industry in the position of preeminence it holds today. I urge the NASA of today to parallel the efforts of their NASA pioneers and help the helicopter industry get a total understanding of the very complex aerodynamic field in which our product must work. Obviously, we have made great strides but there is, I believe, much more to learn. A truly great effort on the part of NASA in fundamental helicopter research could contribute much to the American helicopter industry and most importantly to society at large. And the industry must participate so that the most effective use can be derived from all resources. Beyond this, I have my own particular priority candidates for helicopter research. They come under the general heading of improved operational capability and are as follows: —Development of helicopter instrument approaches —Noise abatement —Dedicated helicopter airways —Cockpit integration and human factors —Crashworthiness In my view, success in these areas of research is essential if we are to enable the helicopter to play its appropriate role in relieving the traffic constriction in this country's air transport system. While the FAA also has a vital role to play in this arena, there is much that NASA can do to help. Important areas in which there is much to be done include the development of helicopter instrument approaches, the reduction of noise, the establishment of dedicated helicopter airways, cockpit integration and human factors, and crashworthtness. The payoff for this work would be almost immediate. Airport congestion is now widespread, and saturation is becoming a serious problem in many major metropolitan areas. The airports that have already reached saturation are Washington National, Philadelphia International, Chicago's O'Hare, Los Angeles International, San Francisco International, New York's La Guardia, and New York's Kennedy International. Considerable relief can be obtained by establishing independent helicopter airways and public-use heliports close to the centers of population. These can be made to work if the research is properly funded. In summary, then, I see the role of NASA assistance to the helicopter industry to be, first, recognition of the separate needs and uses of the helicopter as an essential air transportation vehicle. I have expressed my views relating to the problems the helicopter industry faces in many professional forums. The most serious is being packaged in the same technical and operational box with our fixed-wing brothers. NASA must view the future by recogniz- lll

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Lng the significant distinction between fixed-wing and rotary-wing air vehicles and their respective contributions to society. Second, NASA should provide assistance, along with the efforts of the FAA and industry, to develop a specific helicopter operating environment. Third, NASA should provide a firm foundation of basic research by funding to a level that is appropriate to the potential contribution of the helicopter. These actions will assist the U.S. industry in its effort to main- tain a competitive posture with the rapidly expanding and nationally supported helicopter industries of Europe. ll2

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FREE WORLD HELICOPTER MARKET Units l97l-l980 2l,000 Value of new Helicopter Production (l980 Dollars) $l5 Billion Average Unit Value $0.7 Million Average Annual Growth l98l-l990 Rate 29,000 3.2% $29 Billion 7.0% $l.0 Million TABLE 1 FREE WORLD HELICOPTER MARKET DISTRIBUTION OF CIVIL & MILITARY MARKETS Total Units l97l-l980 2l,000 l98l-l990 Military Civil ll,600 9,400 8,000 2l,000 29,000 TABLE 2 ll3

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CIVIL MARKET GROWTH l97l-l980 l98l-l990 Units 9,400 2l,000 Value $4.7 Billion $l3.6 Billion Average Annual Growth Rate 8.5% ll.0% TABLE 3 FIGURE l Sikorsky SPIRIT TM ll4

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FIGURE 2 Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk BLACK HAWK Military Attributes o Threat Survivability o Rapid Maneuverability o World Wide Capability o Ease of Air Transportation o R & M o Crashworthiness Civil Market Penalty o Weight Irrelevant Features o Excessive Installed Power Optimized for Low Speed o Excessive Installed Power Dynamics-Heavy Design o Design Constrained Cabin Size Unacceptable o None o None TABLE 4 l15

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Heavy Heavy 21,000 Units $13.6 Billion FIGURE 3 CIVIL MARKET FORECAST BY WEIGHT CATEGORY l98l-l990 30,000 r 1 20,000 CO O 10,000 rr Bell 47 1945 1950 1960 1970 FIRST FLIGHT X Sikorsky Spirit 1980 1990 FIGURE 4 EVOLUTION OF CIVIL DESIGNS ll6

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1970-1974 1975-1979 S5.6B $7.5B FIGURE 5 GROWTH OF EUROPEAN COMPETITION (l980 Dollars) NASA RESEARCH SPENDING VS. MARKETS Fixed Wing Transport Research (l97l-l980) = $7.0 Billion Market (l98l-l990) = $l03.0 Billion Rotary Wing Research (l97l-l980) = $0.25 Billion Market (l98l-l990) = $l3.6 Billion TABLE 5 Ratio l:l5 Ratio l:54 ll7

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