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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LAXPAX
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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?

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