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texl1649
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FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:38 am

I thought a consolidated thread for FARA proposals/news makes some sense as more information is being made available now. This isn’t part of the Tech. Demonstrator program. Program Details: https://www.army.mil/article/219359/arm ... ft_by_2020

AVX/L3 just revealed their compound proposal shape, and took some shots at Sikorsky.

https://www.rotorandwing.com/2019/04/15 ... r-hopeful/

Sikorsky has at least hinted at a smaller/gunship variant based on the SB-1.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/9 ... er-concept

If so, and the above is correct, the V280 gunship based model Bell has shown off near the pentagon would seem to be the largest of the not-quite-publicly declared proposals. Still, it would look close in size overall.

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/bel ... -in-works/
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:01 pm

Well, ok, not much interest in this I guess. But, of note Bell is apparently not going the V280 route, opting for some helicopter version of “525” technology. Will be interesting.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... fa-457592/


Fair use:

“Though it has exceeded 200kt in test flights, the Bell 525 has an advertised max cruise speed of 160kt. It is designed to carry two flight crew and up to 16 passengers for corporate, emergency medical services, oil and gas, and rescue operations. Bell hopes to have the helicopter Federal Aviation Administration type certificated by the end of 2019.

Donnelly says basing Bell’s FARA proposal on the 525’s technology will give the company’s bid an edge in terms of affordability.

“This is obviously a big step in terms of a more conventional rotorcraft, but I think we have a proposal on the table that meets the requirements, that can do it in a very cost-effective, very highly reliable and sustainable way,” he says.”
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:21 am

An update on the FARA competition with the initial down selection to five manufacturers before the competition will be dropped to two at the end of the design stage.

US Army picks 5 teams to design new attack recon helicopter

AVX Aircraft Co. partnered with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Karem Aircraft and Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky have won awards to design a new Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) for the U.S. Army over the next year, the service announced April 23.

Only two teams will move forward, at the end of the design phase, to build flyable prototypes of the future helicopter in a head-to-head competition.

The Army laid out a handful of mandatory requirements that the vendors had to meet and also a list of desired requirements for initial designs, Col. Craig Alia, the Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team chief of staff, told a select group of reporters just ahead of the contract awards.

The service also looked at the vendors’ execution plans and evaluated timing as well as funding profile requirements. “The ones that were selected were clearly meeting the mandatory requirements and were in the acceptable risk level of the execution plan and the desired requirements," Dan Bailey, who is the FARA competitive prototype program manager, added.

AVX and L3 unveiled its design for the FARA competition at the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this month. The design uses AVX’s compound coaxial and ducted fans technology. The companies said its single-engine design meets 100 percent of the Army’s mandatory requirements and 70 percent of its desired attributes.

The CEO of Textron, Bell’s parent company, said during a recent earnings call, that its FARA design will be based on its 525 technology rather than its tiltrotor technology. Bell has built and flown a tiltrotor prototype — the V-280 Valor — for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.

Karem has been working to develop technology under a small contract to help build requirements for FVL aircraft focused on a medium-lift helicopter.

Sikorsky’s offering will be based off of its X2 coaxial technology seen in its S-97 Raider and the Sikorsky-Boeing developed SB-1 Defiant, which are now both flying.

“This is the culmination of years of investment in the X2 Technology Demonstrator and the S-97 RAIDER aircraft that have proven the advanced technology and shown its ability to change the future battlefield,” Tim Malia, Sikorsky’s director of Future Vertical Lift Light, told Defense News in an emailed statement shortly after the announcement.

“We continue to fly the S-97 RAIDER to inform the design for FARA, which provides significant risk reduction to the program schedule and technical objectives. We are eager to continue to support the US Army, and we are excited that the Sikorsky FARA X2 will be ready for this critical mission," he said.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... elicopter/

More at the link.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:22 pm

I am curious, has anyone seen any indication of Karem's bid/current concept? They had seemed to previously have proposed about the most radical tilt rotor based option, but the Army wanted to keep the rotor diameter here to <40 feet so I am not sure if the image/idea in this older piece would work.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... rotorcraft

    AVX Aircraft (Fort Worth), an innovative design firm that’s now teamed with L-3 (Waco), which provides actual manufacturing capability AVX has lacked;

    Bell (also Fort Worth), whose gamble on offering an upgraded conventional helicopter seems to be paying off (see more on that below);

    Boeing (Mesa, Arizona), the aerospace titan that builds the Army’s AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook;

    Karem Aircraft (Lake Forest, California), known for innovative designs and small-scale projects but not mass production;

    Sikorsky (Stratford, Connecticut), a Lockheed subsidiary that builds the current UH-60 Black Hawk and is now developing radically innovative compound helicopter designs.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/04/far ... n-in-2028/
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:31 pm

Good to see Karen has teamed with NG.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/0 ... mpetition/
 
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:26 am

^ I'm glad you're here to keep track of this. Like I said in the other thread, sometimes I have trouble differentiating all of the concurrent rotor programs...

I saw this pop-up in Defense News yesterday, but I wasn't sure which thread it should go into, haha.
"Remember, no matter where you go... there you are." -- Buckaroo Banzai
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:29 pm

Looks like the VertiJet will be offered for one or more of the FVL programs. Nice to see entrance of a real outside manufacturer who can hopefully bring a different perspective and great technology to the competition.

Skyworks Global, Scaled Composites target US Army’s FVL with VertiJet

Skyworks Global and Scaled Composites will offer their VertiJet gyrodyne aircraft for one of the US Army's various Future Vertical Lift (FVL) competitions, according to an executive.

John Michel, Skyworks Global executive director and retired US Air Force (USAF) brigadier general, told Jane's on 9 July that VertiJet can fulfill a variety of military missions including combat search and rescue (CSAR); ship-to-shore logistics; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); armed escort, and special operations. While the US Army has an active competition in Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype (FARA-CP) and a potential competition for Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), Michel said the team had not determined which competition, or competitions, to pursue.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/89809/sky ... h-vertijet

What an interesting looking aircraft.
Image
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:42 pm

They can target whatever program they wish but I don’t think it can be FARA now, as the 5 contractors were awarded contracts in April 2019:

“AVX Aircraft-L3 Technologies, Bell, Boeing, Karem Aircraft, and Sikorsky were awarded other transaction authority (OTA) for prototype agreement deals. The contracts are for aircraft design, build, and test.

US Army spokesperson Sarah Tate said on 24 April that the service will downselect to two contractor teams in March 2020. The period of performance for these OTA contracts run through fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023), although not all teams will continue through that period.

Tate said companies must have aircraft ready to fly by November 2022. Both prototypes that are downselected, she said, will conduct flight testing at the same time in 2023.”
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:49 pm

My opinion is that Rutan, while a brilliant engineer with a track record of record breaking designs of brilliant convention-breaking layouts, doesn't associate with the types/organizational abilities required to win most major DoD procurement programs, such as the assorted FVL US Army requirements. It's sad, as I think it (his ability) is a bit of a lost national resource. The Scorpion/Ares come to mind.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:54 pm

And now we have the Bell 360 Invictus as their ‘official’ entrant. It appears to be a relatively low risk entrant, which given Bell’s record with proposals for attack helicopters to the US Army since the AH-1 is unsurprising.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/1 ... -aircraft/

The only hint of its plans came from the CEO of Textron, Bell’s parent company, who said during an earnings call that the FARA design would be based on its 525 technology rather than its tiltrotor design like the V-280.

The company revealed Oct. 1 at its Arlington, Virginia, office the Bell 360 Invictus, which is based on 525 technology, but with several key differences, including its size in order to adhere to the Army requirement of 40-foot in diameter rotor blades.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:37 am

texl1649 wrote:
And now we have the Bell 360 Invictus as their ‘official’ entrant. It appears to be a relatively low risk entrant, which given Bell’s record with proposals for attack helicopters to the US Army since the AH-1 is unsurprising.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/1 ... -aircraft/

The only hint of its plans came from the CEO of Textron, Bell’s parent company, who said during an earnings call that the FARA design would be based on its 525 technology rather than its tiltrotor design like the V-280.

The company revealed Oct. 1 at its Arlington, Virginia, office the Bell 360 Invictus, which is based on 525 technology, but with several key differences, including its size in order to adhere to the Army requirement of 40-foot in diameter rotor blades.

I’m disappointed by this proposal but it is certainly low risk and designed to meet the threshold requirements, likely not getting anywhere near the Objective ones. Retractable weapons, additional power pack for sprint mode etc are nice options but several downsides such as the 20mm cannon and my impression of a lack of upgradability and spare internal volume are not going to cut it.

Worth posting an image as well.
Image
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:57 am

I think the Army has spec’d the 20mm General Dynamics cannon for all of the competitors to use. I am not sure how much ‘winning’ the higher end features would really provide for an armed scout chopper moving forward. They aren’t looking for stealth, and really the Kiowa survived in service as long as it did primarily by being cheap/easy to maintain and deploy, not advanced 250 knot speeds etc.

Bell’s probably ultimately right that they won’t have the same odds of winning with an “S-97 level” of performance for FARA as Lockheed will, so they just went lower/cheaper. Makes sense. I’m still interested to see what sort of compound variant of the Apache Boeing offers.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... -and-cheap
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:33 pm

Karem has shown artwork on their compound helo concept, AR40. I’m no longer an AWST subscriber and there’s not much more info out there (unless you speak Russian) on this that I can find so far. Also, Boeing held a quick briefing saying they won’t be revealing publicly what their contender looks like/does/specs.

https://aviationweek.com/awindefense/ka ... opter-fara
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:48 pm

Flightglobal has a writeup of the Raider X offering. Looks mean but also simple. I keep thinking about the gearbox on this beast. Counter rotating dual shafts, are the blades fixed or do they feather also? Is the Raider tech ready for prime time - get the popcorn out.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-461478/
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Oct 15, 2019 8:49 pm

That's a million dollar question, Jay #14.

I would think the 20,000 pound class Kamov KA-50 series has proven it can be done (using 2 ea. 2,400 shp engines). For a co-axial attack scout model, it's comparatively crude to the Sikorsky, and 20 years older at least, but it hasn't seemed to lead to a lot of reliability concerns.

Still, the S-69/SH-59 goes back a long ways too with Sikorsky/the US Army (50 years at least). I'd think they understand the limits/practicality of the basic design elements at this point if they're that invested in it. (Karem might be another issue).
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:08 am

texl1649 wrote:
That's a million dollar question, Jay #14.

I would think the 20,000 pound class Kamov KA-50 series has proven it can be done (using 2 ea. 2,400 shp engines). For a co-axial attack scout model, it's comparatively crude to the Sikorsky, and 20 years older at least, but it hasn't seemed to lead to a lot of reliability concerns.

Still, the S-69/SH-59 goes back a long ways too with Sikorsky/the US Army (50 years at least). I'd think they understand the limits/practicality of the basic design elements at this point if they're that invested in it. (Karem might be another issue).


I think it is unlikely that Sikorsky is going way out "on the limb" with this, they probably have a decent handle on the risk and cost of this. To me this looks far better than a tilt-rotor where there are portions of the envelope that could be nasty. The Raider X at least has the center of lift well above the CG so there is a lot of self righting.

Does anyone know if FARA is to have one or two T-901's for power?
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:47 pm

Jay, I believe all of these are single engined. The 40 foot box the army specified limits/eliminates a lot of mass/twin configurations.

FG article does include some unique details on the AR40; I'd be dubious about some of this if NG weren't involved.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... my-461512/

The AR40 aircraft has a 12.2m (40ft) wingspan – wider than the helicopter’s 11m main rotor diameter. The wing can provide the majority of the aircraft’s lift and tilts upwards during the helicopter’s descent or ascent in order to make its vertical flight more aerodynamic.

The AR40 also has a swiveling tail rotor, which in forward flight is angled backwards to be used as a pusher propeller. The company says in forward flight the aircraft’s vertical stabiliser compensates for torque from the main rotor blades. The swiveling tail rotor should allow for the aircraft “to manoeuvre aggressively at low speeds,” says Karem.

The AR40’s cockpit has room for two pilots sitting side-by-side. It also has a small cabin directly behind the cockpit with room for four passengers, such as special operations troops. Behind the cabin is the rotorcraft’s internal weapons bay.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:15 pm

Breaking defense has a couple of articles on FARA competitors,

Bell 360: Will Slower & Steadier Win The Race For FARA?

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/bel ... -for-fara/

and

Tilting Wings, Tilting Tailprop, But Not A Tiltrotor: Karem’s FARA Design

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/til ... ra-design/

The competition is certainly seeing some interesting designs with some of the vendors going very conventional while others are looking to push the technological envelope. The USAF is moving towards on a rapid technological shift but will be interesting to see if the US Army remains conservative and selects a low risk design.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:27 pm

Interesting, thx. Not knowing Boeing’s bid (which is to say, discounting it), I’d be tempted to lean toward the Karem and Bell designs for prototyping for FARA. One is guaranteed to be cheap/simple, and the Karem one if it works should offer the high end capability option (again,subject to actual flight tests/demonstrations). I see no way Lockheed is cheap by comparison to either, and AVX seems like the odd man out again.

Boeing realistically I think is not doing the hybrid/Apache derivative but something similar probably vs. Karem with some MD DNA (NOTAR?) sewn in. Still, if Boeing did go the ‘radical’ apache derivative for FARA it would be fascinating if it were prototyped, as to whether they’d be able to parlay a derivative into future AH-64 upgrades/conversions. An “Apache ultimate” (based on the “Advanced”) would have different operating economics as it’d surely have 2 T901’s (they were designed as drop in replacements after all). Also, the Apache of course comes with a 48 foot rotor span? Would it make sense to up-rate that frame ever in power but shrink it to meet FARA specs? Perhaps, if a stub wing were also part of the “deal” as in the “X.”

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... n-its-tail
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:22 pm

Some additional follow up on the 18-month old Bell facility in Crystal City where they are pitching, among other things, the Invictus now, to various customer/government/industry folks.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/11/the ... velopment/

It's an interesting marketing pitch (with references to how Lockheed has done some similar things):

Schloesser said he was “aware of the Lockheed Martin facility” when he began developing Bell’s AVLC. “I thought it was state of the art at the time, and I wanted to go beyond that,” he said. “My inspiration came from our museums. If you go to some of our museums, either the Air and Space Museum, African American Museum, the Native American Museum, you go through experiences. It’s no longer the old museum experience where you have a dead thing on the wall and ‘oh by the way, that died 2,000 years ago.’” Those modern museums were “an inspiration, for sure, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

Boeing declined my request to visit a room they use for customer briefings in a big Crystal City office they opened in 2014, but possibly there wouldn’t have been much to see. Schloesser said Boeing “chose to do other things with [their] facility. It’s more of an office space and a meeting center.” Bell’s AVLC, meanwhile, though just a year and a half old, is paying off, Schloesser said.

“What it has done is, allowed us to play a constructive role with the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Office of Secretary of Defense in deciding to accelerate the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program,” he said. “It was actually really not going to come to fruition for first unit equipped until about 2035. We showed them the realm of what is doable and now they want to accelerate by about four and a half years to five years, up to 2030 for first unit equipped.”
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:45 pm

Bell is opting for an interesting design decision for the FARA submission by using a booster engine. I expect this will have a limit to how effective it will be and reduces some of the advantages Bell may have had as far as simplicity and reduced sustainment costs given the aircraft will have two different engines to sustain. I also wonder if this is the only way they will reach the 180kt speed requirement and why they won’t make it to the 205kt threshold.

Bell discloses booster engine for 360 Invictus

Bell’s 360 Invictus, the company’s proposal for the US Army’s Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition, will receive a power boost from a supplemental power unit, a Pratt & Whitney PW207D1 turboshaft.

The PW207, which is used on the Bell 429 light, twin-engined helicopter, will serve not only as an auxiliary power unit for starting the helicopter and powering its electronics, but will provide power to the main rotor shaft in certain situations, says Frank Lazzara, programme director for FARA, at the company’s Arlington, Texas Flight Research Center on 12 December.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 06.article
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:22 pm

Thanks Ozair. It’s a very interesting design choice, to be sure. I think Bell realizes their historical successes with the US Army have started with simple/light/affordable designs, going back over 60 years now (47, Huey, cobra, 207, etc). That the Cobra is still selling internationally is sort of stupefying, given it’s age.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:33 pm

$34 Million cut from FARA, but more allocated elsewhere; still proceeding to March down-select to two.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/0 ... down-risk/

“ While the Army received a plus-up in funding for its FLRAA program, it received a decrement in the FY20 appropriations package for its other future helicopter program to build the future attack reconnaissance aircraft, or FARA.

Rugen didn’t know why Congress cut $34 million from the FARA program, but noted the cut would affect the Army’s ability to provide some government-furnished equipment to competitors that will be chosen to build and fly prototype aircraft as part of the effort. The Army plans to provide the service’s new Improved Turbine Engine Program engine, a 20mm gun, an integrated munitions launcher and its modular open-systems architecture to the competitive prototyping effort.

“The cut that we received,” Rugen said, “will be blended throughout those GFE [government-furnished equipment] items ... and we’re finding creative ways to just absorb the cuts, but what we will not do is we will not impact the schedule on FARA [competitive prototyping].

“We want the GFE to be as robust as it possibly can be, but we’re going to have to pull back a bit on that.””
 
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:33 am

A recently posted video/sales pitch of the 360 Invictus,

https://youtu.be/8V1svIM_DFw
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:49 pm

Boeing have released an image of their FARA design. Not much to tell other than the most interesting feature being a lack of a wing, suggesting a pusher design.

Boeing teases its US Army FARA design

Boeing has released a teaser video of its US Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) design.

The outlines of the helicopter are seen in a darkened promotional video released by the company online on 11 February.

From the video, Boeing’s FARA appears to be a conventional helicopter, perhaps with a pusher propeller. The number of rotors on the helicopter cannot be conclusively determined.

The helicopter does not appear to have a wing, as some of its competitors do, to help it achieve lift at high speeds.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 51.article

Image
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:34 am

Wow, that has almost a “T-7” feel about it, from what very little we can see; light, simple and easy to prototype/minimize risk.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:55 am

More images of Boeing’s design (including from rear).

https://twitter.com/thedewline/status/1232492988095295489?s=21

Pusher with a tail rotor as well.[photoid][photoid][/photoid][/photoid]
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 03, 2020 3:54 pm

Boeing has released the full details (compared to competitors) today.

Boeing FARA is designed to meet the Army’s current mission needs while evolving as technologies and missions change. The thrust compounded single-main rotor helicopter boasts a six-bladed rotor system, a single engine, tandem seating and a modular, state-of-the-art cockpit with a reconfigurable large area display and autonomous capabilities.


http://www.boeing.com/defense/FARA/index.page

It looks compact in some images and quite elongated for a 40’ radius and a single engine in others.
 
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 03, 2020 4:44 pm

Image
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:10 pm

Interesting that from the way the front gun is housed, it will have a limited angle of sweep, similar to the EOIR pod.

bt
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Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:34 pm

aumaverick wrote:
Image

Not a great image.

texl1649 wrote:
Boeing has released the full details (compared to competitors) today.

Boeing FARA is designed to meet the Army’s current mission needs while evolving as technologies and missions change. The thrust compounded single-main rotor helicopter boasts a six-bladed rotor system, a single engine, tandem seating and a modular, state-of-the-art cockpit with a reconfigurable large area display and autonomous capabilities.


http://www.boeing.com/defense/FARA/index.page

It looks compact in some images and quite elongated for a 40’ radius and a single engine in others.


It feels a lot like the X-32, some angles it looked alright but others were not pretty at all.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:30 pm

Outside of potentially being priced differently (note "life cycle" being mentioned below) I can't see how the Boeing design would be favored vs. the Karem one, and the Bell Invictus would surely be similarly low risk/affordable. Here is a good piece on the present state of the competition;

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/0 ... r-systems/

...Boeing is paying close attention to life cycle costs and is using its “extensive background in design testing to ensure that we have the data that supports our analysis to ensure that the Army understands what we’re providing, and more importantly, all of the parameters, so they can make their evaluations on the right capability for their needs.”

FARA is intended to fill a critical capability gap currently filled by AH-64E Apache attack helicopters teamed with Shadow unmanned aircraft following the retirement of the Bell-manufactured OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

Boeing is competing with AVX Aircraft Co. partnered with AVX Aircraft partnered with L3 Technologies; Bell Helicopter; a Karem Aircraft, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon team; and Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky. The Army awarded each a design contract in April 2019.

The AVX and L3 team unveiled its design for FARA at the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 2019. The single-engine design uses AVX’s compound coaxial and ducted fans technology.

Bell revealed its design — the Bell 360 Invictus — based off its 525 technology shortly before the AUSA annual conference last year. It features a single main rotor in a four-blade configuration and a low-drag tandem cockpit fuselage.

Karem announced it would team with Northrop and Raytheon and came out with its design at AUSA — its AR-40 — with a single main rotor, tilting compound wings and a rotating tail rotor.

Sikorsky’s offering — Raider X — is based on both its X2 coaxial technology seen in its S-97 Raider and the Sikorsky-Boeing-developed SB-1 Defiant, which are now both flying. Raider X is already under construction.


Edit to add this note from Breaking Defense;
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/fvl ... ut-design/

“It would be feasible to expect the prototype aircraft to be able… to start, taxi, take-off, perform its mission, return, land, taxi, and shut down autonomously,” he said, without a human either on board or flying the aircraft by remote control. (In test flights, there’d be a human pilot aboard as a backup, just in case).

How complicated a mission are we talking about? “In the near term, the prototype phase, it’s the ability to go out to a destination and perform some rudimentary tasks,” he said. But with rapid advances in robotics and AI, he expects the limiting factor to be the Army’s willingness to let machines make decisions in combat, not the technology itself.

“It will be less of a technology limitation,” he said, “[than] there’ll be concern about what the rules of engagement might be… The capabilities will move faster than the rules of engagement will.”
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:32 pm

I'm hoping the Raider X gets the win. At least it should.
On a related note; still not clear to me how a comparably draggy Westland Lynx could do 249 mph 34 years ago and these super streamlined and in some cases coaxial rotor helicopters still need a pusher to make the same speed. Why are we not seeing BERP blades on any of these new designs? I'd think by 2020 we'd be able to have a pure helicopter (probably coaxial) be able to do at least 300 mph. Am I missing something? I mean ok, the Lynx in question was overpowered for the record but it had a lot of extra drag to overcome with its landing skids, wide side by side cockpit, no rotor hub fairing, etc.

The idea of just using a pusher prop or jet to make a helicopter faster has always seemed incredibly crude to me, and is certainly not "advanced tech" despite all the manufacturers boasting to the contrary. The Eurocopter X3 is the crudest and most impractical/unwieldy of them all, like a grade-school kid designed it.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:42 pm

I don't think that's particularly fair, 33. The Lynx was highly modified to hit that record over a 15km circuit (the 'ordinary' Lynx after all rarely hits 200 mph).

The US Army has tried to go after this FARA replacement program now 2 previous times (RAH-66 and with modified OH-58's). It's seeking an affordable, sustainable option moving forward. The blades on any of the designs are pretty far from 'conventional' a la 20 years ago.

If it were easy to have a single engine co-axial helicopter do 300 mph I think it would have been done in many locations by now. FARA is about an affordable, evolvable acquisition, that they'd like to see in service by 2028. It's very difficult to handicap the odds, but the 40 foot box it has to fit into limited a lot of the more 'creative' tilt rotor etc. designs that otherwise might have been possible (or a real twin engine planform that might be able to hit 300 mph).
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 6:53 pm

744SPX wrote:
I'd think by 2020 we'd be able to have a pure helicopter (probably coaxial) be able to do at least 300 mph. Am I missing something?


What you are missing is some basic vector analysis and some complex aerodynamics.

The basic part comes from the fact that a rotor blade provide lift parallel to it's axis. To have a conventional helicopter go fast you have to angle the disc, so much that you start losing lift.

Furthermore as you change the angle of the disc, the air flow toward the leading edge of the blade start coming in at wierd angles, reducing your efficiency.

A pusher prop give you the speed but let you keep the main rotor at an angle for optimum lift.

Just visualize an airplane with wings and engines, as an extreme. You don't use your wings to provide forward thrust. :airplane:

You can also see this by comparing a prop vs. blade design. A prop with flight path parallel to the axis aka V-22 looks much different than a Huey rotor blade with flight path normal to blade axis.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:05 pm

The other thing about pusher prop is it makes for a less complex main rotor. Thus even with the three rotors, there would be less maintenance vs the standard helecopter rotor. Specially if the two secondary rotors are electric instead of mechanical.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:08 pm

Got it- thanks!
 
aumaverick
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 8:18 pm

Now that the Boeing FARA proposal has been revealed, I gotta say, I like their chances. Of the proposals currently on the table, in terms of pure eye test (and this is just my opinion) I see them as follows ranked as best to least likely to be chosen:

1. Bell 360
Invictus Image

2. Boeing FARA
Image

3. Sikorsky Raider X
Image

4. Karem AR40
Image

5. AVX - L3 CCH
Image
I'm just here so I won't get fined. - Marshawn Lynch
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:06 pm

aumaverick wrote:
Now that the Boeing FARA proposal has been revealed, I gotta say, I like their chances. Of the proposals currently on the table, in terms of pure eye test (and this is just my opinion) I see them as follows ranked as best to least likely to be chosen:

1. Bell 360
Invictus Image

2. Boeing FARA
Image

3. Sikorsky Raider X
Image

4. Karem AR40
Image

5. AVX - L3 CCH
Image


I was googling the images for them yesterday so nice to see them all in one place in this thread.

The question I have is of the two to be down selected designs what is the US Army looking for. Will they go for one low spec aircraft and one high spec aircraft or go for two low spec aircraft? I would be tempted to look for a low and high spec coverage but that may also introduce the potential for a protest if one of the designs you move forward may never be able to compete on price. Whatever the decision is it will have to be protest proof as, per previous recent competitions, I can see a couple of potential sore losers.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:16 pm

If you had a 'high' pick what would it be though? I think AVX is the obvious answer for me, followed by Sikorsky. And yet, Lockheed/Sikorsky has shown to be a bit of a 'sore loser' the past 10 years when not selected.

Bell/Boeing would surely be the low end (of risk/price) options, yes?

Karem I'd rank as the most 'out there' concept.
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:25 pm

Boeing's is certainly the most streamlined. It should be pretty fast
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:12 pm

texl1649 wrote:
If you had a 'high' pick what would it be though? I think AVX is the obvious answer for me, followed by Sikorsky. And yet, Lockheed/Sikorsky has shown to be a bit of a 'sore loser' the past 10 years when not selected.

Bell/Boeing would surely be the low end (of risk/price) options, yes?

Agree that AVX and LM/Sikorsky seem the high end options and I also agree LM would be a candidate for a protest, likely Boeing as well.

I think the Bell option is likely the cheapest and lowest spec given it is the only one that doesn’t have a pusher and would put Boeing then Karen in next.

Do you think the Army would go that route though, chose a low and high option or will they look at future budgetary considerations as a high priority and go for two low risk options?

texl1649 wrote:
Karem I'd rank as the most 'out there' concept.


The Karem design looks reasonably simple to manufacture and with such a large wing should have a reasonable spec but it feels like they are proposing a light FW aircraft and not a RW aircraft.
 
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Slug71
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:58 am

The Bell 360 looks the best IMO.
The Boeing looks like a Tadpole. Lol
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:40 am

Slug71 wrote:
The Boeing looks like a Tadpole. Lol


Or a mud fish.


bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:41 am

texl1649 wrote:
The US Army has tried to go after this FARA replacement program now 2 previous times (RAH-66 and with modified OH-58's). It's seeking an affordable, sustainable option moving forward. The blades on any of the designs are pretty far from 'conventional' a la 20 years ago.


I don't think that's true AT ALL!

An "affordable, sustainable option" would not have the very high speed requirement. The result would be something like an even-more-modern NH-90, or a modernized Blackhawk. It would have a more fuel-efficient, less maintenance-required engine of the same power class, a better rotor system with the BERP blades, a composite structure to reduce corrosion, a better and cheaper set of avionics, and more built in test/logging equipment to increase maintainability.

The army could have a conventional helicopter that's cheaper to run than what it has. But they want much higher performance, and are going to pay a much higher price.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:47 am

As I recall, the Comanche was cancelled after some nasty experience with an Apache raid during the second Gulf War. Maybe technology has finally catch up to a point where the lessons learned can be applied - AKA speed.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:01 am

An interesting side issue around FARA is the T-901 engines are not in production yet, so the actual flying done to date is with T700's. Imagine what 50% more power does to performance. It just went thru the mockup being installed in an Apache to verify it can be maintained. But it does complicate things when the engine is not certified yet.

https://www.geaviation.com/press-releas ... ne-program

https://www.geaviation.com/military/eng ... aft-engine

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/364015/ar ... l-fit-test

https://www.airforcemag.com/ges-angelel ... as-flight/
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:57 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
An interesting side issue around FARA is the T-901 engines are not in production yet, so the actual flying done to date is with T700's. Imagine what 50% more power does to performance. It just went thru the mockup being installed in an Apache to verify it can be maintained. But it does complicate things when the engine is not certified yet.

https://www.geaviation.com/press-releas ... ne-program

https://www.geaviation.com/military/eng ... aft-engine

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/364015/ar ... l-fit-test

https://www.airforcemag.com/ges-angelel ... as-flight/


Question: Can it hover with the 50% weaker engines on one engine? The answer (I would imagine) has to be yes. It must be very over-powered when the production engines arrive. Wow!
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Mar 07, 2020 9:24 pm

(Most) any helicopter (in military service) can hover just fine if it is around half MTOW. The flight tests and prototypes (for the two selected) are mainly going to be just proof of concept and basic validation of the engineering components, not real ‘maximum’ tests.
 
CX747
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:29 am

To me, the Bell 360 looks like the most ready to go, proven technology based design in the field. I think that alone puts it head and shoulders above the rest. The Army has swung and missed big time in procurement activities of the past. I think the 360 is a perfect blend of new technology, on a more proven design.

At the end of the day, we need a helicopter that can bring more to the fight than the OH-58 did. Bless that birds heart but in reality it was a flying 50 cal with a rocket or two that could lay rudimentary killing tools on those that needed a friendly hello.

My dark horse is the Boeing design. Are they pulling a second coming of the T-7, with a clean sheet design that does everything, at a price that can't be beat?
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