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GLOBAL MARKET CHANGES FORCE INCREASED TECHNOLOGY SHARING AMONG HELICOPTER MANUFACTURERS

 GLOBAL MARKET CHANGES FORCE INCREASED TECHNOLOGY SHARING
 AMONG HELICOPTER MANUFACTURERS
 ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Morris E. "Rhett" Flater, executive director of the American Helicopter Society (AHS), stated today that to reduce costs helicopter manufacturers would increasingly embrace more technology-sharing arrangements with domestic and international competitors and suppliers.
 These and other comments on helicopter industry developments are contained in an article written by Flater for the January/February 1992 issue of Vertiflite, a magazine published by the American Helicopter Society.
 "Three forces accelerating the trend to more strategic alliances, teaming arrangements and mergers," said Flater, "are the decline in defense spending, the rapid pace of technological advances in the industry, and the need for helicopter manufacturers to compete in global markets."
 "The development cycle of complex new aircraft, such as Sikorsky Aircraft Division's UH-60 Black Hawk, the McDonnell Douglas AH-64 Apache, the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Sikorsky-Boeing RAH-66 Comanche requires seven or more years and a capital investment well in excess of $1 billion dollars," Flater continued. "Manufacturers will increasingly seek risk-sharing partners to participate in those costs," he said.
 "In addition, the industry is undergoing fundamental changes because of the rapid pace of technological innovation," Flater said. "It is no longer possible for a single manufacturer to 'go it alone' and do all things."
 "Access to global markets is becoming more critical to assure the production runs necessary for manufacturers to recover these large investments," Flater said. "But at the same time manufacturers are learning that by sharing technologies with strong international competitors they can shorten development cycles, further reducing costs, while gaining overnight access to new markets and existing support structures," Flater added.
 "European airframe manufacturers are probably ahead of their U.S. counterparts," Flater said, observing that Aerospatiale, headquartered in Paris, and Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm, based in Munich, Germany, have recently combined their helicopter divisions in to Eurocopter International, which accounts for over 30 percent of world helicopter production. He added that Agusta S.p.A. (Italy) and Westland Helicopter, Ltd. (United Kingdom), recently combined as E.H. Industries to produce the EH101, an advanced design helicopter with both military and commercial applications.
 The American Helicopter Society is a professional and technical association founded in 1943 to advance vertical flight. The international society has more than 6,500 members; its corporate members include nearly all domestic U.S. and international helicopter airframe and turbine engine manufacturers.
 -0- 1/8/92
 /CONTACT: Janet Chaikin of the American Helicopter Society, Inc., 703-684-6777/ CO: American Helicopter Society ST: Virginia IN: AIR SU:


SB-DC -- DC005 -- 7702 01/08/92 10:51 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1992
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