I was one of the pilots that was selected to fly in the simulator fly-off between the McDonnell Douglas-Bell (MacBell team) and Boeing-Sikorsky (BoSki team). The aircraft, as simulated was amazing to fly and it's notar tail rotorless design allowed for some fun maneuvers we developed like a 180 degree pedal turn (no pedals-just twist the right three axis controller) full deflection at 160 knots and you were looking at your attacker, could lock on a stinger, fire and return to forward flight with another twist--pretty cool and possible with the altitude hold feature built into the "delta" collective. Other neat stuff that was worked on during the train-up and pilot selection was training at the NASA Aimes laboratory using a configurable fiber optic fed simulator that we were tested for the best mix of flight controls whether two on left and right or the final three right and 1 left with no pedals, although we kept stamping the floor, well into the test. Too bad it wasn't purchased as it would saved a lot of scout pilot lives.
Plint Hickman LTC (Ret), e-mail, 07.07.2011 18:57
During the early R&D phase I was responsible for the Human Factors/Man Machine Interface Trade Off Analysis (TOA) The LHX had a lot of potential but was just too expensive. Especially with the end of the Cold War. But we all got to see the fan T/R in Pakistan and I bet alot of the HF/MMI technologies are flying throughout the world today. Thanks to DR Tom Furness, Dick Armstrong and last but definitely not least; Colonel Clark Burnett for giving us the support and top cover "to and go see what's out there".