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Their wartime value is even more significant.  Effective military operations in Vietnam require a high degree of reliability and full utilization of the aircraft.  Design failures and restricted TBO's are particularly serious since parts and supplies must be transported over 12,500 miles in a pipeline burdened with high priority materiel.  Continuing subsidy eligibility will assure that NYA can conduct an operation of the kind and quality which will assure its continuing contributions to the national defense in improving reliability and increasing utilization of the large helicopter fleet in Vietnam.

While NYA is proud of its significant contribution to the effective use of military helicopters, NYA is not asserting that its contribution rivals that of the Defense Department.  It recognizes that helicopter development has been heavily dependent on military research and procurement activities.  Moreover, although there have been major equipment developments that have been privately funded and produced for the commercial market 32/, the Government has been the prime customer for both helicopters and helicopter engines.  Indeed just as there would probably be no commercial jets without military developmental efforts, the improvement of helicopters is heavily dependent on these efforts.

Whatever the value of the governmental efforts -- and they are of significant value -- NYA has made additional and important contributions which have benefited the national defense.  The tremendous expenditures by the Defense Department in the procurement, development and improvement of helicopters are a measure of the importance of vertical lift air transportation to the defense effort.  They make the contribution of the commercial operators even more significant.


32/  Mr. Holt testified that Sikorsky funded the development of four helicopters for commercial use, the S-61, the S-55, the S-62, and the S-64.  (Tr. 145-6)  The improvement of the S-61 to permit operation with a more powerful engine is financed by Sikorsky.  (Tr. 132-3)  While the V-107 was related to the YHC-1-A which had been funded by the military, the military had abandoned interest in this size helicopter and the Boeing Company went ahead on its own initiative to sell and produce the V-107 for commercial purposes.  The ultimate commercial development was based on the commercial market itself.  (NYA T-6, p.1; Tr. 212, 213, 217)
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