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ARH-70 Prototype Crashes

By James T. McKenna | February 22, 2007

An interoperability testbed for the U.S. Army’s ARH-70 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program crashed on a golf course near Bell Helicopter’s XworX development facility in Arlington, Texas after losing power about 30 min. into its maiden flight. The Bell and Army test pilots flew “a really good autorotation” to the No. 4 green on the course 5.5 mi south of the Bell facility, according to a Bell official. But the System Design and Development No. 4 aircraft (SDD 4) caught a landing skid tip on a slight rise in the soft ground and rolled on its side. Neither pilot was hurt. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash of the aircraft, which carries an N-number registration. The Bell program is struggling to overcome a delay of nearly a year. That delay is due in large part to problems with integrating the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System and the target acquisition sensor system based on FLIR Systems’ BriteStar 2 sensor suite. Army officials expect to have an assessment of the impact on the program tonight or tomorrow. The Army’s vice chief of staff, Gen. Richard Cody, is to get a briefing on the matter this weekend.  For related news

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