Author Archives: Dan Parsons

About Dan Parsons

Reporter: Ground Forces/Marine Corps Defense Daily Ph: 703-522-5917


Boeing Nets $140M Deal For US Special Operations Chinooks

Boeing [BA] has received a $139.8 million contract to build four MH-47G Block II Chinook helicopters for U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command. The heavy-lift helicopters mark the start of Block II production for SOCOM that is expected to run into the late 2020s. The Army has 69 MH-47G Chinooks in operation and eventually will […]

Bell 407GXi over Ft. Worth, texas. (Photo by Dan Parsons)

Bell Pitches 407GXi as Evolutionary Upgrade to Navy TH-57 Trainer

With its 407GXi, Bell [TXT] is offering the Navy an evolutionary upgrade to its TH-57 fleet, and the company is banking on the service seeing value in a modern version of the single-engine training helicopter it has now. Based on a request for proposals published in October, the Navy is in the market for a […]

Boeing will build and test three U.S. Army CH-47F Block II Chinook helicopters as part of a modernization effort that will likely bring another two decades of work to the company's Philadelphia site. (Boeing illustration)

First Boeing Chinook Block II Enters Final Assembly

The first of three U.S. Army CH-47F Chinook Block II test aircraft was loaded into final assembly Wednesday, marking a major milestone in the effort to dramatically overhaul the Boeing [BA]-built heavy-lift helicopters. Boeing developed and is now producing the evolutionary upgrade package for the U.S. Army and Special Operations Forces under a $276 million […]

AH-64 Apache Helicopters
Photo: U.S. Army

DoD IG: Army Miscounted Apaches Needed For Training, Test

U.S. Army officials have justified the number of operational AH-64E gunships it will buy, but not the 167 Apaches the service says it needs for test and training at a price tag of $3.5 billion, according to the Pentagon’s spending watchdog. In an audit report of the Apache program published June 25, the Defense Department […]

The V-280 Valor prototype on the flight line at Bell's Amarillo, Texas, manufacturing facility. (Photo by Dan Parsons)

Bell: V-280 Built From Scratch As Production-Ready Aircraft

Call it a prototype or an experimental aircraft, but with the V-280 Valor, Bell is offering the Army a vertical lift platform it can take almost directly into production, according to company officials. “This is meant to be a production aircraft,” Scott Drennan, director of innovation at Bell, said June 25 at the annual expo […]


Army Wants Experimental Attack Helicopters Flying By 2023

  Within the next five years, the Army wants at least two AH-64 Apache-sized armed reconnaissance helicopter prototypes up and flying, according to a notice the service issued June 22. The so-called “Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft Competitive Prototype (FARA CP)” seeks to design, build, and test technically mature aircraft in an operationally relevant environment, the […]


Sikorsky/Boeing ‘Defiant’ Utility Rotorcraft Prototype On Schedule For 2018 First Flight

In Palm Beach, Fla., a team of Sikorsky and Boeing [BA] engineers is diligently progressing toward a 2018 first-flight of the SB-1 Defiant next-generation rotorcraft. “We continue to achieve milestones in support of flying Defiant in 2018,” the company said in a prepared statement emailed to sister publication R&WI. “The Sikorsky-Boeing team continues its rigorous testing program […]

Report: Switching From Russian To U.S. Helicopters Undercuts Afghan Capability

Afghanistan’s military is fielding UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that lack the lift capacity and flight capabilities of the Russian Mi-17s it currently flies, which are also simpler to fly and maintain than the U.S.-made aircraft, according to a U.S. Defense Department watchdog report. The Defense Department is replacing the Mi-17 with Black Hawks to provide […]

Sikorsky S-97 Raider during its first flight in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Sikorsky’s Prototype Attack Chopper Lifts Off After Nearly A Year On The Ground

The Sikorsky S-97 Raider’s flight test program has lifted off after being grounded for nearly a year. The demonstrator met its flight objectives Tuesday. Sikorsky Vice President for Future Vertical Lift Dan Spoor said test pilots Bill Fell and John Groth flew the complete flight test card, flying the aircraft for 90 minutes at Sikorsky’s facility […]

Bell Pushing Tiltrotor Envelope With V-280

AMARILLO, Texas — At six months old, the V-280 Valor already is flying 160 knots. Bell [TXT] will tell you it has cruised at 190 knots and after a demonstration of the aircraft here, there is every reason to believe it will meet or exceed that speed. What’s lost in raw numbers is how this […]