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  • Sure, you've heard of Air Force Onethe luxury  plane reserved specifically for whenever the US  

  • President takes to the skiesbut what  you might not know about is Marine One,  

  • the state of the art, luxury $215  million Presidential helicopter  

  • often reserved for the direst emergenciesor yet another taxpayer funded round of golf.  

  • That's rightThe POTUS has their very own  personal chopper, ready to be utilized anytime,  

  • anywhere. The price of your average commercial  helicopter runs from lows of around $250,000  

  • to the low millions, which begs the question  – What makes Marine One so insanely expensive,  

  • with a cost around a hundred times what you can  expect for an average non-combat helicopter

  • Let's take a step inside this flying  presidential suite and find out

  • First, we need to get technical –  because Marine One isn't always just  

  • one helicopter. It's the military call sign  for any helicopter carrying the President,  

  • and is operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron  Onealso known by the way cooler name,  

  • Nighthawks” – who are based in QuanticoVirginia. The two varieties of Marine One  

  • currently available are a larger variant of  the Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King, and the smaller,  

  • lighter Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk – a name you may  find familiar from the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down.  

  • The respective unit costs for each of these two  helicopters are typically south of ten million,  

  • but they've still provided safety and  reliability for US Presidents for over a decade

  • However, this is expected to change in 2021,  with the introduction of an entirely new piece  

  • of Marine One technology, and the star  of today's video: The Sikorsky VH-92A. 

  • The VH-92A is the beast with the $215 million  price tag, per unit. This marvel of technology  

  • has been in the works since October of 2014, when  the US Navy granted a $1.24bn engineering and  

  • manufacturing development contract to Sikorsky – a  subsidiary of weapons development company Lockheed  

  • Martin. After several years of development and  testing, the Nighthawks themselves finally gave  

  • their seal of approval after a test take-off  and landing at the White House in 2018. Upon  

  • its release, the VH-92A will be one of the most  advanced helicopters in the world, with a list of  

  • design features that would make any mechanical  engineer worth their salt start blushing

  • So what goes into protecting the  most powerful golfer on earth

  • This new Marine One offers state of the art  encrypted mission communications technology:  

  • The Collins Aerospace Proline communication  and navigation radioswhich gives Marine One  

  • full-duplex satellite communications capabilitiesThe helicopter also takes advantage of an ARC-244A  

  • digital FM radio, twinned with a MIL-STD  1553 avionics data bus. In layman's terms,  

  • it uses a particularly advanced computer system  to transfer data efficiently between the various  

  • component parts of the helicopter with full  independence of any external computer systems.  

  • And, as a little cherry on top, Marine  One also has integrated onboard Wi-Fi,  

  • thanks to a Wi-Fi router and ethernet cableso the President can tweet from above

  • But the cutting-edge avionicsmeaningelectrical equipment fitted into an  

  • aircraftdon't stop there. The cockpitmanned by one pilot and one co-pilot, also  

  • boasts two high-tech display control panelsand four multi-functional display units,  

  • for unparalleled awareness and control. It  even features spare flight critical systems,  

  • preventing what is known as a “single point  failure.” Couple that with a traffic collision  

  • avoidance system, or TCAS, a health and usage  monitoring system, or HUMS, an enhanced ground  

  • proximity warning system, or EGPWS, and an  advanced weather radarand you have yourself a  

  • perfect recipe for a truly Presidential flight. But you're probably thinking: Well, accounting  

  • for traffic and the weather is one thing, but  what about other safety features? This thing  

  • costs an eighth of a billion dollars here, and  we're dealing with the leader of the free world.  

  • Thankfully, the VH-92A has you covered theretoo. The engineers behind Marine One have truly  

  • thought of everything, including de-icing systemslightning protection, flaw tolerance, built-in  

  • protections against electromagnetic interference  – to keep the helicopter protected from an  

  • electromagnetic pulse in the event of a nuclear  explosionand even bird-strike protection,  

  • for if the world decides to go all Alfred  Hitchcock during one of the President's flights

  • What if someone decides to attack the  President while in transit though

  • Of course, the system isn't just designed to  defend against potential acts of godMarine  

  • One is also designed to account for potential  enemy attacks. One of its two main lines of  

  • defence are its laser-based directional infrared  countermeasures, or DIRCMs. Because most offensive  

  • air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles  work on the principle of infrared seeking,  

  • the DIRCMs on Marine One pulse out infrared  flashes that confuse the tracking systems  

  • of potential incoming missiles, essentially  jamming them. But that's not all Marine One  

  • has up its exceedingly expensive sleeves. This  chopper is fitted with decoy launchers, capable  

  • of firing out a distracting payload to redirect  the attention of an incoming deadly projectile

  • Throw in ballistic armour and advanced sensors  that can warn the pilots of impending attack far  

  • in advance, and you have a flying Presidential  fortress that's exceptionally hard to take down  

  • through any but the most extreme measures. But hey, nothing's foolproof. What if these  

  • defence or safety systems failed, whether from  an incoming missile or a flock of particularly  

  • Anti-American pigeons? If the helicopter ever  fell from the sky, would it become a fiery lump of  

  • metal filled with Presidential puree? Thankfullyno, because those engineers are at it again. The  

  • Fuselagemeaning, the main body of the aircraft  – has been designated crashworthy by all testing  

  • metrics. According to official releases from  Sikorsky, the Fuselage has a “twin turbo-shaft  

  • power-plant and a fully-articulated composite main  rotor.” The helicopter's retractable try-cycle  

  • landing gear includes three separate twin-wheel  units, ensuring a soft and stable landing

  • And the crash-safety measures don't stop  there, either. Special care has been taken  

  • to make sure the self-contained fuel system  is as crashworthy as physically possible,  

  • reducing the risk of a fire breaking out in the  event of a crash. Even the seats are designed  

  • to absorb the energy of a crash, keeping  the Marine One helicopter's passengers safe  

  • if it ever came crashing down. So, you can rest  assured that Marine One is the safest anyone could  

  • possibly be inside a helicopterwhich definitely  contributes to its utterly insane price tag

  • The engine is no slouch in this departmenteither. The craft is powered by two General  

  • Electric CT7-8A turboshaft engineseach of which  is probably worth more than your house. The Marine  

  • One helicopter's power plant is also fitted withpneumatic starting system and an integral particle  

  • separator, with a Honeywell 36-150 auxiliary  power unit to supply emergency juice to all  

  • the revolutionary onboard systems we've just  described to you. All this power equates to an  

  • impressive flying height of 14,000 feet above sea  level, and a startling speed of 165 knotswith  

  • a cruise speed of 151 knots. This equates to  around 189 miles per hour and 174 miles per hour,  

  • respectively. For some perspective, the top speed  of the new Marine One is around twenty-five knots  

  • greater than that of an average helicopterwhich typically levels out at around 140 knots

  • Only the best for the  President of the United States

  • Of course, no vehicle would ever be truly  presidential if it lacked the creature comforts  

  • that America's highest political office has become  synonymous with. Air Force One is a luxury plane,  

  • so is Marine One a luxury helicopter? You better believe it

  • In addition to the free Wi-Fi, the new Marine One  has the rare helicopter luxury of true standing  

  • room, at 1.83 metresor six feet. So, President  Trump, who's believed to be 6”2, would only need  

  • to crouch slightly to fit in the main cabinThe Marine One helicopter is roomy by anyone's  

  • standard with its 1.2 metre, or around four  feet, widthwith a capacity of around nineteen  

  • passengers, or ten passengers if you want to have  a little more leg room. And while helicopters are  

  • typically unbearably noisy, the Marine One cabin  is designed with low acoustics in mind, so the  

  • passengers can speak to one another in a normal  tone of voice despite the powerful rotor outside

  • While there are certain limitations to what we  can currently know about thecor of the new  

  • Marine One, based on the fact it isn't supposed  to enter service until next year, we can make  

  • some reasonable assumptions from President  Trump's very specific interior design tastes.  

  • Some preliminary renderings show the plushwhite leather interiors we've come to expect  

  • when we think ofPresidential opulence.” As  indicated by the interior of his private 757 jet,  

  • and modifications to the interior of  previous Marine One models, President  

  • Trump shows a preference for chrome, cream, and  woodgrain surfaces, none of which come cheap

  • If his gold-plated New York apartment wasn't  enough of a clue, President Trump has a taste for  

  • conspicuous consumption, and the interior of the  new Marine One is unlikely to buck that trend

  • From the outside, the livery of the new Marine  One is best described asclassic.” It's largely  

  • a dark military green, with the iconic white top  of all the Marine One helicopters. This colour  

  • scheme is so intrinsic to every model of Marine  One that the helicopters are often colloquially  

  • known asWhite Tops.” And if you think the  hefty $215 Million price tag on one of them could  

  • leave you without any money left for rentwait until you hear that the US Government  

  • put in an order for six of them as part offirst low rate initial production contract.  

  • A little excessive, don't you think? After allthe President can only fly one of them at a time

  • Well, yes and no. While buying six Marine Ones may  seem like a classic exercise in Trumpian excess,  

  • it's actually part of a wider safety tactic  employed by the Nighthawks for a number of years  

  • called thePresidential Shell Game.” In an  emergency situation, when the Marine One flies,  

  • it does so with a formation of five  identical decoy helicopters meant to  

  • protect the president's personal helicopter  from attack. It seems bizarre that the US  

  • Government would employ a technique typically  reserved for aspiring magicians to protect  

  • the President, but seeing as Marine One hasn't  been downed yet, there must be something to it

  • While it'll never be the President's  primary mode of transportationafter all,  

  • Air Force One is just more practical for  long-distance and cross-country travelit  

  • does accompany the President everywhere he goesMarine One and its doppelgangers are typically  

  • transportedalong with the President's luxury  limousineon either a C-17 Globemaster or C-5  

  • Galaxy military transport aircraft, ready to  roll out and take off at a moment's notice.  

  • In a situation where the President is under  direct attack, there's rarely time to gear  

  • up Air Force One for an immediate flightand  the Presidential Motorcade is considerably more  

  • vulnerable than Marine One to all forms of  attack, from improvised bombs to roadblocks

  • While, as helicopters go, Marine One is built  with luxury in mind, it's never been the primary  

  • intention. The function of the Marine One  helicopter in all its forms since President  

  • Eisenhower's tiny, cramped Bell H-13J during the  Cold War is to facilitate a quick getaway for the  

  • President if the situation turns South, whether  the problem is a terrorist attack or the beginning  

  • of a nuclear war. In the beginning, the duty of  Marine Oneonce referred to instead as Army  

  • Onewas shared between the US Army, the Marinesand the Secret Service. The title made the final  

  • switch toMarine Onein 1976 after the United  States Marine Corps took over operation entirely

  • Unsurprisingly, the whole program got a major  shot in the arm after the September 11 Attacks  

  • in 2001. With the fear of another attack on the  nation's key power centres imminent, the pressure  

  • to drive innovation towards better-protected  presidential vehicles increased massively.  

  • It was a few years after this, and against stiff  competition from other defence contractors, that  

  • Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircrafts secured  the contract for designing and building the  

  • President's personalised Marine One helicopters  from then on. While, thankfully, the second attack  

  • on the United States never actually came, we  were left with a path of design innovation  

  • that lead to the $215 million technological  marvel that keeps President Trump safe today

  • If a United States President is lucky, they  won't have to use Marine One all that much,  

  • seeing as it's reserved for less-than-ideal  situations. However, without this piece of  

  • cutting-edge aviation technology, the President  is under considerably greater risk of attackand  

  • considerably greater risk of that attack being  successful. As a heart-warming final touch,  

  • during a presidential inauguration, the Nighthawks  offer the outgoing President one final ride in the  

  • Marine One from the Capitol to Joint Base Andrewwhere their tenure as President officially ceases

  • And thanks to that $215 million price tag, it'll  be the safest helicopter ride they've ever taken

  • Check outThe INSANE Protection of the President  of The United StatesandThe President's  

  • Escape Plan if the US is Attackedfor more  fascinating facts about Presidential Protection!

Sure, you've heard of Air Force Onethe luxury  plane reserved specifically for whenever the US  

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Why Does Marine One Cost $215 Million?

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/11
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