Service considering retrofitting late-model C-130's with new engines
Summary: The U.S. Air Force is interested in procuring commercial off-the-shelf engines to replace antiquated propulsion systems on C-130 aircraft. At a technology summit in Arlington, Virginia, General Philip Breedlove told of the service's efforts to follow up on the successes of the C-130J upgrade with commercially available fuel efficient engines. Breedlove says the prioritization of use of C-130J's in inter-theater operations for cost savings has tied up logistics. The C-130 also suffers from performance and maintenance issues that have led to the cancellation of the FCS Manned Ground Vehicles program that was unable to fall within weight parameters while maintaining protection requirements. While enhancing the current generation of aircraft, the Air Force is also heading an initiative to develop fuel efficient technologies for the next generation of propulsion systems. the ADaptive Versatile ENgine Technology program seeks to develop an engine that is 30% more efficient than the F119 or F135 engines that power the F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft. The Versatile, Affordable, Advanced Turbine Engines and Highly Efficient Embedded Turbine Engine programs are also being pursued to develop propulsion technologies for sub-sonic military aircraft.
The AH-56 Cheyenne was a four-bladed, single-engine attack helicopter developed by Lockheed for the United States Army's Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS) program to produce the Army's first, dedicated attack helicopter. Lockheed designed the AH-56 utilizing a rigid-rotor and configured the aircraft as a compound helicopter; with low-mounted wings and a tail-mounted thrusting propeller. It was armed with a 30 mm cannon in a belly turret and either a 7.62 mm minigun or a 40 mm grenade launcher in a nose turret, as well as six wing hardpoints capable of mounting 2.75 inch (70 mm) rocket launchers and TOW missiles. The compound helicopter design was intended to provide a 212-knot dash capability in order to serve as an armed escort to the Army's transport helicopters, such as the UH-1 Iroquois.
Mitchell deployed to France in 1917 when the United States entered World War I. While there he was promoted to brigadier general and placed in command American combat air units in France. After the war Mitchell was appointed the deputy director of the Air Service became a passionate advocate of air power. In 1921 he set up a demonstration to show the capability of airpower against naval vessels. During the course of the demonstrations aircraft successfully sank a captured German destroyer, the light cruiser Frankfurt, and the battleship Ostfriesland.
Mitchell regularly spared with his superiors over the role of airpower in the military. In 1925 he was reverted to his permanent rank of colonel and was transferred to San Antonio, Texas. Later than year, after a series of aviation accidents he accused Army and Navy leadership of incompetence and "almost treasonable administration of the national defense." In response he was court-martialed for insubordination, found guilty, and sentenced to a five-year suspension from active duty. Mitchell resigned on 1 February 1926 in lieu of serving the sentence. He continued to advocate airpower as a civilian until his death in 1936. In 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt posthumously promoted Mitchell to major general in recognition of his contributions to air power.
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