Heli-Expo: No Impact of 417 Death on ARH?

By James T. McKenna | March 1, 2007

Bell’s Fitzpatrick insisted that cancellation of the civil 417 would have “no impact on the ARH program at all.” The former is the civil version of the aircraft with which Bell won the U.S. Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program in mid-2005. Its cancellation may reflect the depth of the problems that afflict what is now the ARH-70A Army program, which is nearly a year beyond schedule. In expanding on why there would be no impact on that program, Fitzpatrick insisted there was never a plan to put the 417’s newly designed main rotor on the ARH. However, ARH officials at an Assn. of the U.S. Army Aviation Symposium in January explicitly stated that changes to recover the ARH program schedule including reverting to the 407 rotor instead of the new-design 417 rotor. Stay tuned for more on that.


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