National Geographic examines the science and engineering behind the EH101 helicopter which has been chosen by the Department of Defense to be the new Marine One.

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Episode credited cast:
...
Herself - Host
Robert Mason ...
Himself - Author, 'Chickenhawk'
Massimo Porro ...
Himself - Helicopter Pilot
Salvatore Vecchio ...
Himself - Narrator
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National Geographic examines the science and engineering behind the EH101 helicopter which has been chosen by the Department of Defense to be the new Marine One.

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28 November 2005 (USA)  »

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"Super Chopper" is just a hook, but still a well-made, basic documentary on a significant modern helicopter.
11 May 2015 | by See all my reviews

First off, I am not a pilot or aeronautical engineer, although I am trained in engineering and follow aircraft technology much more closely than an average layman, since it's a personal interest of mine.

Some "experts" are hitting this show with especially scorching criticism, but I really think that they are missing the point of it. I wish there had been more technical information presented too, but this show was intended for ordinary people. It did a pretty good job of holding the attention of the two people I watched it with, both of whom essentially know nothing about flight.

There really weren't any huge errors in the film, although as some reviewers have pointed out, "Super Chopper" has got to be a term made up for this production, but lighten up, the writers were just looking for a hook.

The "Rule of Three," which supposedly explains helicopter flight is the only part of the show I really take issue with, since I've never heard helicopter flight described this way, and the show presents it as if this is some sort of common expression. There are other helicopter configurations to which this "Rule" does not apply, but they are just skimmed over, seemingly in some kind of effort to make this so- called "Rule" more fundamental than it really is. Still, I feel that this is far from a fatal flaw, and I enjoyed the show for the basic presentation I expected it to be.

As far as selecting this helicopter to be Marine One, this foreign copter went through a fair competition and won it. After this film was made, for purely political reasons, congress halted this foreign purchase. Winning the competition to be Marine One is no doubt why they made this film on this particular helicopter in the first place. Congress reacted exactly the same way when foreign Airbus won the air tanker competition over domestic Boeing, for exactly the same political reasons. We very much want the rest of the world to buy our weapons, we just don't like it going the other way.


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