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Milagros, Retablos and Arte Popular FOLK ART & OTHER TREASURES FROM AROUND THE WORLD 209 CONGRESS AVEAUSTIN 512/479-8377 OPEN DAILY 10-6, FREE PARKING BEHIND THE STORE Visit us on the [email protected] Radio De La Comunidad Pros ra Aive rs For A aultu.rci Averse P.O. Box 2116 Austin, TX 78768-2116 Community Radio as testing finds new flaws. Furthermore, two helicopters now in production could easily fill the role the Marines envision for the V-22. They are the S-92, made by Sikorsky, and the larger US101, made by the European consortium, AgustaWestland. The twin-engine S-92 weighs about half what the V-22 does, and yet can carry similar payloads. It has a top speed of 175 miles per hour and can travel over 500 miles without refueling. It has a bigger cabin than the V-22 and it has proven to be far safer. In late 2002, the S-92 got its federal flight certification, meaning federal authorities have found the helicopter to be safe enough to enter regular commercial service. Sikorsky is selling the S-92 for about $20 million per copy. Thus, for the cost of one V-22, the U.S. military could buy five S-92s. The US-101 would also fill the Marines’ needs. The threeengine aircraft is exactly the type of aircraft that Dick Cheney envisioned in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was trying to kill the V-22: a medium-life helicopter built with familiar technology that was reliable and relatively inexpensive. Now in use in Canada, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, the US-101 is a military-ready helicopter that has proven to be reliable, easily maintained, and safe. The US-101 is lighter than the V-22, has a far bigger cabin and can fly nearly 800 miles without refueling. And there’s another fact that Dick Cheney would love: The US-101 was developed without spending a single dime of American taxpayers’ money. In addition, the US-101 is cheapera lot cheaperthan the V-22. For the cost of one V-22, the Pentagon could buy four US-101s. Despite all of their performance, safety, and cost advantages, the S-92 and the US-101 are both fatally flawedthat’s right, they’re not from Texas. And finally, what does Dick Cheney think about the V-22 these days? Well, Kevin Kellums, the vice president’s spokesman, said in a recent email that he is “not aware of any time the VP has taken a position on the V-22 since his tenure as Sec of Def ended.” Hmmm. Imagine that. Contributing writer Robert Bryce’s new book is Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate. write dialogue The Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St. Austin, TX 78701 6/18/04 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19