# ZENITH 801 WARBIRD

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Alan Waters, Dec 31, 2010.

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1. Dec 31, 2010

### Alan Waters

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Some time ago I entertained the idea of a thread titled "Zenith 801 Warbird" The thought being, why did the Army completely abandon fixed wing in favor of rotory wing. I think a STOL with the right stuff would be a compliment to helicopters and the two could work together very well. I don't know but I would venture to guess the cost of training and aircraft would be much cheaper. I'd like to hear your ideas on the subject. This was posted on another thread about Airtractors Home | www.802u.com

2. Dec 31, 2010

### pwood66889

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Beings as I work on em...
I thought the same thing myself. Then I spent time actually seeing the "miracle of the helicopter," and thought through it's features. Seeing em hover every day made me a believer.
What the Army is buying is insertion of organized troops, and more importantly, the ability to get em out! You can't do this even with micro-short-even-more-still airplanes. It has to Stay There relative to the ground!
Paratrooping it great! My hat's off to any body that jumps out of a perfectly good running airplane!! And the troops are Very Proud of that set of wings. Tough as they are, they are Meerly Individuals until they get on the ground and get organized. Each and every one of `em can be picked off as they float down. Hence they were used at night, which has it's own perrils.
So one can get troops out - from just about Any Where. Barring a reimposition of the draft, that is how the Army has to do business. No More "Cannon Fodder!"
Percy (at Ft. Rucker) in SE Bama

3. Dec 31, 2010

### Monty

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My understanding is that the Army decision to get away from fixed wing was not voluntary. It was a turf war between the Air Force and the Army during Vietnam. The Army at the time was operating a substantial fixed wing force. Probably still would if they could get away with it.

4. Dec 31, 2010

### Dan Thomas

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A good helicopter has a speed range of zero to as much as 240 MPH or so (Westland Lynx). A really good STOL airplane can't fly slower than about 25 MPH at the lowest, and that sort of wing is limited then to about 100 MPH. The Helio Courier can fly at 28 MPH in slow flight but that's when it's lightly loaded, and can max out at around 150. Most fixed-wing airplanes won't have a speed range anywhere near this good, and even the best still needs far more acreage than a helicopter for takeoff and landing.

Fixed-wing is great for range and speed. VTOL requires a helicopter. Attempts to create a hybrid have all ended in failures like the Fairey Rotodyne.

Dan

5. Dec 31, 2010

### Topaz

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That was my understanding as well, although the Army is now talking about getting some C-27s 'cause they say the USAF isn't giving enough priority to getting material into rough airstrips near the front lines. Even though the C-17 can do it, they aren't actually being used that way and C-130 purchases are way down the priority list. And the USAF recently abandoned their attempt to be the master of all UAV vehicles above the level of the hand-launched stuff like the Aerovironment Raven. Welcome to turf war, round two.

6. Jan 1, 2011

### Monty

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Helos are great for what they do....but.... They do not have the ordanance load, loiter or low maintenance costs of fixed wing aircraft....or damage tolerance. The Globemaster is impressive, but who is going to risk that much \$ on a rough strip in a dangerous place? No promotions in that.