Comanche Production Begins… Cautiously
At a time when the progress of big-ticket military helicopter programs is measured in decades, it is worth noting that the first Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche production line opened September 17 at Sikorsky’s Bridgeport, Conn. plant. Sikorsky and program partner Boeing are building nine Comanches at Sikorsky’s newly renovated Bridgeport plant, the historic factory where Igor Sikorsky first developed the VH-300, the pioneering rotorcraft that validated much of what has come to be accepted as the modern helicopter. While the Department of Defense has stated a need for as many as 650 Comanches, Sikorsky maintains that the order depends on the performance of these initial nine production aircraft. The first of the nine should be complete by 2005.