Monday, September 19, 2011

How The Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare

Guest blogger Nicole Daddario on Walter Boyne's presentation, How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare:

Col. Walter Boyne, USAF (Ret.) is a true expert of this subject. He has earned many honors in the Aviation field, including the esteemed Lifetime Achievement Award from AFA, as well as an induction into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and many more accomplishments. He shared his knowledge in a very interesting breakout session at the 2011 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition.

Col Boyne began his session with a brief history of the helicopter, which was introduced to warfare during World War II. He taught us about the many men who attempted to perfect this marvelous machine. Among them, the most successful were Igor Sikorsky and Frank Piasecki. Sikorsky designed the first operable American helicopter, and modified his design to become the world's first mass-produced helicopter in 1942. Following Sikorsky's creation, Piasecki designed and sold a series of tandem rotor helicopters to the US Navy. Col Boyne emphasized the advancement of these creations by acknowledging the mission in which our Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden. He supported the fact that only a helicopter could have brought this mission to fruition. However, he also revealed the vulnerablity of the Black Hawk helicopters whose design dates back to 30 years or more. Col. Boyne pointed out the sad reality that our troops are faced with the challenges of flying into hostile territory with an outdated base designed helicopter that has aftermarket additions. He identifyed the need to simplify and accelerate our acquistion process to get new and improved combat helicopters to our troops.

His inspiring speech helped us understand how the success of air techniques in the use of helicopters has affected the way we view airpower, and how keeping them up to date will help save more lives.

No comments: