Thursday, November 05, 2009

DHRUV CRASH UPDATE #8: Ecuador Govt Meets Press, HAL Twiddles Thumbs

Ecuador's Defence Minister Javier Ponce and senior military authorities meet the press to discuss the Dhruv purchase. Juan Cortez, President of Sumila, which represents HAL in Ecuador, has announced legal action against entities casting aspersions on the Dhruv deal.


Anonymous said...

FF.AA. Helicopter Accidents

Anonymous said...

HAL's fumbling & bumbling in this case is very stupefying and frustrating. But then I remind myself that HAL is not some marketing/PR savvy aerospace biggie like Boeing/BAE. This is after all a 'sarkari' outfit with scarcely the kind of skills and muscle to deal with such exigencies.

Future foreign deals of the ALH should be attempted only through some capable foreign partner. And by the way... who/what the **** is Sumila?!! Some relative of Shakeela?!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is turning out to be Ecuador's equivalent of our BOFORS circus!!

Anand said...

Thank God! this issue was becoming a free for all.

Anonymous said...

HAL must now backup those telling the truth about Dhruv. They must also strongly criticize the likes of former Air chief who lie without battling the eyelid.

Truth for India said...

At last they are doing something. It must be a wake up call for HAL and DRDO. They need some drastic changes in management structure, not another 'babudom' just like other Govt companies.

PR is a very interesting and important issue now a days in arms business.

It looks like some part of Ecuador media used Dhruv to get public and international attention. It may be possible that some arms dealer have hands there.

Anonymous said...

The following is the google translation of the link provided at the top:

Quote: "Three of the five Dhruv helicopters that arrived in Ecuador this year did not meet technical specifications established in the contract. However, the minutes of the handover of the vessels passed between the Air Force and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited signature.

The fifteenth clause of the contract dated in Quito on 5 August 2008 - states that "the helicopters, composed of cells, parts and assemblies will be new factory.

But engines are made in three ships before. The helicopter received more signs of the Reception Committee Helicopter Dhruv is the SAF-601, which was assigned to transport the President, Rafael Correa.

According to the report of the Commission, submitted to Defense Minister Javier Ponce, the ship was six components manufactured before 2008: the four blades (propellers, three dated to November 2007 and to December 2007) and the two engines ( June and October 2007).

This despite the fact that the fourth clause of the contract specifies that "main rotor blades, the tail rotor blades, main gearbox ... manufacturing have to be 2008. "

The presidential helicopter is the only one to novelties. The FAE-602 engines were manufactured in June 2007 and December 2006. And the FAE-603 in April and March 2007. According to the report, the SAF-604 helicopter that crashed two days ago at the airport in Quito did have motors and blades 2008. To determine the cause of the accident, were suspended the operations of ships.

The anomalies were exposed to the Minister of Defense, after starting the process of reception of the helicopters in April 2009. The head of the Reception Committee of the Helicopter Dhruv, Victor Almendáriz, warned that the ships had no particle separators for engine air inflow. He said he had auxiliary fuel tank of 250 liters or maintenance manuals.

Yesterday, the commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE), Rodrigo Bohorquez, only recognized that an engine was manufactured in November 2007 and justified: "The company that manufactures (Turbomeca) begins to tell his life since it was used and not since it produces."
... to be continued.

Anonymous said...

... continued tranlation of the Ecuadorian newspaper article.
Quote: "But a senior Army Aviation explained yesterday that there is a time of use and a time schedule that is necessary to differentiate. The time schedule (from time of manufacture) must charge to the time of use. "If I buy a watch in 2009, but it says it was made in 2008, I can not say it again. There were weather conditions, embodegado ... that influence. "

The commander Bohorquez, on his side, said that "if the Commission on Reception of Dhruv helicopters disagrees with the engines, we will require to be returned.

But why was not that before signing the minutes of the handover? The Commander of the SAF said manufacturers justify the comments made to the vessels.

On May 21, Hindustan Aeronautics, through an office headed the Defense Ministry, said that his helicopters and equipment are the latest generation. The firm cited that a motor has 15 calendar years, but did not specify the date of manufacture.

The Commander of the SAF denied that the award of contract to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has been made 'a finger'. According to him, four filters ensure a transparent process. The pilots of the institution defined the profile of the helicopters. After his conclusions were adopted by the Board of Defense.

"From there it became a public contest, where four firms participated and the winner was evaluated by another committee," Bohorquez said. Finally a Recruitment Committee announced the winner, the contract was signed and carried out the handover process.

But the technical report of acceptance of five helicopters, Guayaquil dated June 2, 2009, noted that there are ships which operate systems "could not be fully verified.

He also warned that "not possible to make the total inventory verification in view that aircraft are fully assembled and many of its components do not have access to verify their serial numbers.

The technicians said they to disassemble the equipment required the presence of the maker, because in the process risked drifts off calibration or damaging them. "But that was never made, because the contract did not specify anything about it."

However, the report signed by five officers of the SAF, dealing favorably recommended the minutes of the handover.

That contrasts with the bases of the contract, which, according to the agreement itself, is grounds for termination, according to the nineteenth clause. That contract, which includes the presentation of two other ships, Ecuador undertook an outlay of USD 45.2 million."

Anonymous said...

The stated 5 tonnes payload is a max combat payload and most surely not a typical Adm Gorshkov carrier takeoff load

That's interesting actually, do you think it'll be worth it doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation to guesstimate what would be the max load for the Gorshkov? Take the basic MiG-29 for wing area (though the fuselage also generates lift, I don't know what to do about that..). Then use Bernoulli's Equation: L = C(l) * 1/2 * p * v^2, but rearranged to work out the coefficient of lift. Use Newton's 2nd law backwards to work out acceleration, and a SUVAT equation (v^2 = u^2 + 2as) to work out v. The problem is, we don't know how much runway a fully loaded MiG needs for take off, so we'll just assume a standard military aerodrome runway length. Put the numbers in and we get the missing lift coefficient. Use our SUVAT equation again but for 160-180 m (Gorshkov's runway) to get max velocity, bung that into Brenoulli's equation, along with pressure and C(l) and we get lift produced. Take away the mass of the Mig plus fuel and we get a veeeery rough estimate of max load.

I guess if it's 5 tonnes theoretically, and a standard airport runway is 1.8 km, which is 9 times longer than on the Gorshkov, and v is proportional to the square root of runway length, v will be 3 times less. Thus the aircraft will produce 9 times less lift, and must thus be... 9 times lighter?? That's impossible. It'll mean the aircraft will have to weigh about 2 tonnes. Something's wrong with the numbers, and I strongly suspect it's the value for length of runway required. Are you sure that 5 tonnes is not in fact, the actual stated max mass or ordnance carried during normal operating conditions, ie. on the ship?

After all, that's an increase in mass of about 25% compared to the base mass of the MiG (20-ish tonnes). It is stated that the MiG is able to take off from the deck because of the improved RD-33MK (7% increase in thrust). This means a 7% increase in acceleration, which is a 7% increase in velocity for the same runway length, which is a 49% increase in lift. MiGs have operated off carriers before, no problem, it's just that this increased thrust means a greater take off weight can be carried. So theoretically, the MiG-29K can carry 10 tonnes of stuff, though of course that's only a very, very simple estimate. The actual number probably is around 5 or 6 tonnes, accounting for extra drag, low pressure, wind blowing the wrong way, little rodents on runway etc etc.

I can put the numbers in and do a proper calculation but I fear that will only muddy the waters further...

Anonymous said...

I think this is a good move by HAL. Not coming into the limelight. If they had gone to the media there, that would only have inflamed the media there.

I think that now with the Ecuadorean military itself coming out in support of the deal, and the media having blown its steam off over this, and as things cool off, some reason will prevail.

Valid or not, but I remember the halla raised by our media in the 80's when an Agusta Westland helicopter had crashed in Vaishno Devi. There was talk then that the helicopter was operated only by Brazil, and even the British didn't operate it. The media frenzy then by the our media was similar.

In its defense, the Dhruv is an excellent piece of machinery, which is doing quite well with the Indian Armed Forces, and barring this unfortunate accident, will likely perform well with the Ecuadorean Air Force too.

Anonymous said...

The Ecuador govt is real time beggars that's what for a single crash it also due to pilot error , they are creating such a long drama.

anthony said...

Dear Anon @ 3:01 PM

The Ecuadorian gov wants to play childish games with India's HAL for selling them a 'substandard' chopper when in fact their pilots survived the crash.

Anonymous said...

This crash is not entirely due to pilot errors. If you read what shiv has posted, this is a risk that pilots take when flying close formations and at such low height from the ground.
Say if the chopper had been at an altitude of 1000m from the ground, the pilot probably would have recovered, the sad fact is that the 60 m height from the ground did not allow for the chopper to be recovered from the draft, it was further compounded by the pilot's over correction - IMHO one can't fault the pilot fully and squarely for this.

The media meanwhile are the real culprits, there are most likely lifafa journalists in Ecuador who are in the pay of the companies who were booted out of the contract, who are raising issues of the date of manufacture of the engines as a route to somehow terminate the contract. These are dirty games that the big manufacturers play.

Another dirty game is being played in the comments sections by a few pakis (real or closet) who are calling names while addressing Ecuador. Their aim appears to be to show that there is bad blood in the indian media and public over this issue.

Anonymous said...

So the "anti Dhruv" lobby in HAL, Shiv talks about in recent blogpost, are Pakis.

Anonymous said...

Ecuador's air chief itself announced its due to pilot error , now they are changing the game , because they want another machine in free of cost

they should learn something from india , we have losing at least some air based machine in each and every month, do india really care about it , no . don't u see our indian govt keeps cool , i don't no why these Ecuador guys jumping like any thing.

P.K.Chaudhuri said...

I was following the concerns expressed by various personalities in this forum regarding the accident of DHRUV. Let us not be too much worried for non-issues. The ALH, DHRUV is the best in its catagory and will be able to speak for itself. Also, do not make the mistake that the customer is ignorent or not sufficiently informed.
Today, the real concern is that during war conditions, only hundred percent indigenously manufactured DHRUVs will be the real strength of the nation. We must make a target of manufacturing all the components of DHRUVs within the country.
The other concern is that by now a few 'Technology Demonstrator' of LCH should have been developed for starting the trials. It is already delayed. India should finalise a target of induction of the LCH in IAF and Navy by 2014. It is also time to expedite all activities of developing the Medium capacity Helicopter. We must export more number of DHRUVs and re-invest the earnings in the development of the Medium Capacity Helicopter. Let us make India a leader in Helicopter development and hub of manufacturing.