Saturday, June 6, 2009

Presidential super-luxo copter project on the rocks?

chopper.pngWhen John McCain quizzed President Obama about the spiraling costs of his upcoming presidential uber-copter, otherwise known as the "21st Century Oval Office in the sky," Obama said the current Marine One "seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I've never had a helicopter before — maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it."

He then ordered his defense secretary to do a thorough review of the $11.2 billion project. Too bad the Lockheed Martin VH-71 helicopter project is already so far underway — an entire 176,000 square-foot facility for the project was built and prototypes have already been competed — that it would be more wasteful to cancel than continue. The first five aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2010.

If the entire fleet of 28 choppers does get built, the new Marine One will be the fanciest presidential copter yet, complete with plush carpeting, a bathroom, kitchen, untold luxuries and bristling with so much top-secret security and navigation gear that if we even gave you a hint at what's in there, some government spook would probably make us disappear.

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