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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:08 am

The Bell may be the safest, but that speed barrier is a weakness. I would also guess that the Bell would be down selected as a safe contender and either Boeing is Sikorsky as the second contender with more risk but higher performance ceiling.

bt
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texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:45 pm

I talked to someone at one of the majors recently who felt that regardless of FARA, the Army is very likely to split the awards on the various FVL requirements (mainly JMR-TD vs. FARA). With Boeing-Sikorsky jointly developing the Joint Common Architecture (JCA) and having been selected for the tech demonstrator phase there (Sikorsky (now Lockheed)-Boeing, and Bell-Lockheed), my guess is that the Sikorsky (Lockheed) Raider X bid is not selected for FARA here, and AVX despite working very hard with a small team to show it can 'do it' hasn't gotten much real support I don't think (and I think it's ducted concept would work better/best in a utility role).

Boeing and Bell seem most likely as a high-low mix then, yes, with Karem as a bit of a spoiler. I can't see any chance of, for instance, a Karem-AVX joint award.

The specifications for this (40 foot rotor limit) also mean very little is actually shared as between these FARA proposals with the troop transport bids, structurally (outside of the engines and aforementioned JCA).
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:08 am

It is hard to keep track of the helo programs right now - Isn't it FARA and FVL. I wonder if the Army is looking at the two programs to ensure good compatibility and reduce risk. There are several compound bidders which to me seems like a huge advance in tech, but it may not have enough in service time to eliminate risk. Surely one of: Raider, Raider-X, and SB>1 Defiant will be selected but not two. Now to figure out which of the three will be the best choice.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:52 pm

OK this is the FARA thread but there is no FLRAA thread. But today the Army did the down select to 2 - the Bell V-280 and the Boeing/ Sikorsky SB>1 are getting contracts to develop the design and bid for the final contract in around 2 years. All other bidders are out.

"Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor and the SB>1 Defiant coaxial compound helicopter are now the two official contenders for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA."

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bell-v ... selection/

The tilt-rotor and the compound advance here. I see where FLRAA, and FARA may actually split into getting 3 helo's instead of 2. The V-280 has lots of great capabilities, but the compounds have a great set of different capabilities. Could it become - the V-280, the Defiant or Raider as the compound choice, and the 3rd becomes the low risk conventional proposals of FARA.
 
angad84
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:52 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
OK this is the FARA thread but there is no FLRAA thread. But today the Army did the down select to 2 - the Bell V-280 and the Boeing/ Sikorsky SB>1 are getting contracts to develop the design and bid for the final contract in around 2 years. All other bidders are out.

"Bell’s V-280 advanced tiltrotor and the SB>1 Defiant coaxial compound helicopter are now the two official contenders for the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA."

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bell-v ... selection/

The tilt-rotor and the compound advance here. I see where FLRAA, and FARA may actually split into getting 3 helo's instead of 2. The V-280 has lots of great capabilities, but the compounds have a great set of different capabilities. Could it become - the V-280, the Defiant or Raider as the compound choice, and the 3rd becomes the low risk conventional proposals of FARA.

And let's not forget the USN is planning their MH-60R re-cap.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:11 pm

No, I think FLRAA will wind up selecting only one of the V-280/SB-1 ultimately for a production contract award after this program of record is concluded. Neither competitor there would meet the spec’s for FARA, mainly the need to fit in a 40 foot box.

Certainly, only one final FARA winner will happen, but the down-select to two for the TD (Tech. Demonstration) phase should happen next month. The two participants selected to continue into the prototype phase of the program would receive about $735 million each from FY20 to FY23, and it can’t really go faster due to the engine not being ready yet.

Back to your question Jay, the FVL program had originally anticipated/dreamt up to 5 categories of future aircraft, but I am skeptical more than 3 will result. The CH-47 replacement is likely to be last, with a nominal goal of 2035, but probably a decade later.

Once the Army starts getting, in essence, the armed scout and Blackhawk replacements, respectively (FARA and FLRAA), my guess is Boeing will push to re-engine the Chinooks with the T901’s common to those and there will be little funding to go for a replacement design. What would be particularly intriguing to me is if the T901 might be adapted to the S-92 for the heavy replacement.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:12 pm

And the answer is: Bell and Lockheed/Sikorsky!

https://twitter.com/fvlcft/status/12429 ... 77664?s=21

Congrats to both teams. I look forward to the next phase/flights.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:43 pm

texl1649 wrote:
And the answer is: Bell and Lockheed/Sikorsky!

https://twitter.com/fvlcft/status/12429 ... 77664?s=21

Congrats to both teams. I look forward to the next phase/flights.


Yep, DefenseNews has the following article.

Lockheed and Bell will compete head-to-head to build US Army’s future attack recon aircraft

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin-owned company, and Bell have been selected to build and fly Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) prototypes for the U.S. Army in a head-to-head competition, according to a March 25 Army statement.

The Army is planning to procure both a FARA and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) that will slowly replace the current fleet of Sikorsky-manufactured UH-60 Black Hawks utility helicopters and Boeing-made AH-64 Apache attack helicopters. The service plans to initially field both in the 2030s.

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

The service has tried and failed three times to fill the gap with an aircraft.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/army-mo ... -aircraft/

Good choices I think as as I previouslysuggested the Army has gone, IMO, for a high and low choice. I really like the chances now for something to come out of this and the Army actually get a production level aircraft in sufficient numbers.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:36 pm

Very true Ozair 10. My hope frankly is that the Army breaks the trend and selects the low end option, as I think Bell has a simple concept and hopefully to be frank I want them to get some of these ideas into a new single light civilian aircraft.

The interesting thing to watch will yes be Boeing's response. They could of course protest (but are highly unlikely to win that), or focus on other things (since their plate is, ahem, a bit full). Longer term, they have a lot of defensive interests at play; the legacy CH-47 and AH-64 fleets will need to be re-engined and upgraded. Boeing has studied for a long time some very radical Apache upgrades (stud wings, pusher prop to replace the tail rotor, etc.) I expect some updated AH-64X proposals over the next couple years with lowered sustainment costs. Keeping the Apache both in service and some form of new-build production (as they have done masterfully with the F-15) with the US Army would be my primary objective if I were them (in military vertical lift). The old Vertol product is great and all but has a limited long range future.

https://sofrep.com/fightersweep/heres-b ... he-apache/

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 27.article

Image

Boeing also says the compound helicopter is not aimed at any specific future request from the service, but would be part of a modernisation effort of the existing AH-64 programme. Images of the rotorcraft were first previewed at a Vertical Flight Society conference in 2016 where the aircraft was described as a bridge between the current Apache fleet and the US Army's Future Vertical Lift replacement. Boeing now speaks of the compound rotorcraft as a longer-term solution for the service's attack aircraft needs.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 06, 2020 3:43 pm

Interesting piece. I just realized Bell and LM/Sikorsky are the two contenders in both FARA and FLRAA. Likely, the Army won't award both to one vendor, and I'm pretty sure both would prefer to win the FLRAA over FARA. Anyway, final design review for FARA is this December, with summer 2022 for ground testing on each and first flight around November 2022, then in 2023 the Army will have them both at Redstone for final flight testing/analysis.

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/fara-c ... ical-lift/
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:59 am

Interesting analysis;

https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulkennar ... 6cf81d2687

“ With the potential slowdown in CH-47F production, and V-22 Osprey (a joint project between Bell and Boeing) also seemingly closer to the end than the beginning, there is no doubt that Boeing had industrial capacity to build the FARA in large numbers relatively quickly.

The answer, almost certainly, lies in politics and industrial strategy. Bell and Sikorsky are now the only two companies in both FLRAA and FARA (albeit Boeing do have a stake in the Defiant). It’s extremely unlikely, for both political and capacity reasons, that one company will win both competitions. However, by awarding one each, it guarantees the medium-term future of two major U.S. helicopter manufacturers.

Cynically, Boeing is probably considered as having enough reserves and a broad enough portfolio to take the pain of not winning FARA. Bell likely needs a large government contract to make up for the denouement of V-22, UH-1 and AH-1 production, not to mention stiff competition from Leonardo and Airbus in the civil helicopter market. Sikorsky, though shielded by the Lockheed Martin Corporation, need a ‘win’ and a Return on Investment for the X2/Raider technology. The CH-53K programme is late and over budget. Ironically, their signature product, the UH-60 Black Hawk, has rebounded on them as a number of third party companies are now offering overhauled and updated UH-60s at a significant discount. Whilst the S-92 continues to be a popular machine in the civil marketplace, a further, large volume military contract is essential to keeping the company going in its current form.

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:56 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Cynically, Boeing is probably considered as having enough reserves and a broad enough portfolio to take the pain of not winning FARA.


As a subtier supplier, Boeing is a high cost company, they are slower to react. However if you run in to trouble, they have enough mass to throw resources at the problem to get back on track.

The one ace card that Boeing has is their digital manufacturing process that can reduce the cost of your airframe significantly. That would mean a big chunk of the work share process though.

bt
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744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:05 pm

texl1649 wrote:

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”


Exactly what I am predicting, or at least hoping for. They are both worthy designs with new technology, particularly when compared to the AH-64 pusher and wing upgrade. Positively crude by comparison.
 
744SPX
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:10 pm

I would think new engines and BERP blades would be a more cost-effective upgrade for the Apache with lower risk and roughly the same speed increase, if the Westland Lynx record holder is any indication...
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:43 pm

An interesting RFI released by the FARA PM. They are seeking to improve or innovate across a number of the GFM that will be provided to FARA aircraft.

Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Request for Information - FARA Mission Systems

The FARA Project Manager (PM) seeks information on potential mission systems to be integrated and qualified on the FARA aircraft during engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) with eventual transition to production and fielding. Information provided as part of this RFI will inform FARA risk reduction activities and near-term aircraft configuration decisions. As a follow-up to this RFI, the FARA and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) Project Offices are planning a combined Industry Day event in Huntsville, AL in summer 2020. Details will be provided to all RFI participants at a later date.

https://beta.sam.gov/opp/08d4b8fe0d8e4d ... f7555/view

The specific areas they are seeking info and ideas on are the following,

FARA Mission Systems Domains

Sensors: Sensor systems and fused sensor systems capable of providing pilotage through a solid state staring array covering 360 degrees in degraded visual environments (DVE), day/night air and ground targeting at close, mid, and extended ranges to maximize target acquisition capabilities and support all munition types, low-light and wire/obstacle detection, radar detection, radar interferometry, weather detection, terrain avoidance, and situational awareness. Software that minimizes pilot workload through fusion of multiple sensor inputs and artificial intelligence to aid in pilot decision-making. All sensor data should be capable of internal transmission to pilot head-up displays and multiple cockpit displays and external transmission to other systems in the operational environment.

Communications: A multi-band and single band communications suite capable of providing line of sight and beyond light of sight communications in HF, VHF (AM/FM), UHF (AM/SATCOM), Link 16, advanced networking waveforms, Blue Force Tracking, workload-reduced manned/unmanned (MUM) teaming through Level of Interoperability (LOI) 5, identification/transponders, and internal communications. Aircraft Surveillance capable of Mode 5 Level 2 out/in, Mode 5 Level 2 Broadcast, Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) In/out, and interrogation of air and ground threats. The FARA PM is interested in a comprehensive suite that minimizes weight, simplifies integration for future modifications/upgrades, and is fully integrated with and conformant to the aircraft open system architecture.

Navigation: Aircraft navigation sets capable of legacy and next generation civil navigation modes in VHF Nav/ILS, TACAN, Doppler, EGI with M-code encryption, and assured precision navigation and timing (A-PNT), and Digital Terrain Elevation Data (DTED) assisted visual-based solutions for aerial navigation in GPS denied environments and under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). The FARA PM is also interested in solutions and software applications that support supervised autonomy / optionally-manned flight.

Survivability: Aircraft Survivability Equipment to provide spherical coverage of the host platform in order to defeat the FARA threats. Aircraft survivability systems capable of detecting RF, IR, and laser threats. Missile warning systems capable of threat launch detection. Hostile fire systems capable of ballistic fire detection. Countermeasure systems capable of protecting against RF and IR threats. Electronic Warfare (EW) to include RF jamming systems. The FARA PM is interested in a comprehensive ASE suite that minimizes weight, can be fused with aircraft navigation and pilotage systems, and fully integrated with and conformant to the aircraft open architecture.

Infrastructure / Digital Backbone: Components, technologies and standards that support and complement the Government’s MOSA objective to enable rapid development, integration, and modification of mission systems and enhanced mission systems capabilities by qualified third-party integrators without air vehicle OEM involvement.

Data Fusion: Technology that enables fusion of multiple aircraft data inputs to support creation of a synthetic operating picture to improve mission effectiveness and reduce crew workload.

Pilot Interface: Heads up / helmet mounted displays that are high definition, color-capable, and night-vision device compatible. Cognitive decision aiding tools such as voice activation technology, 3D audio, and other cueing capabilities.

Effectors: Fully-integrated 20mm cannon with minimum 180 degree, desired 360 degree of azimuthal coverage and 60 degree elevation coverage.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:46 pm

texl1649 wrote:

So, who wins what?

The simple answer is both Bell and Sikorsky win one each. My money is that the X2 technology looks very difficult to scale up for the SB>1, so I think the Bell V-280 will win the FLRAA contract having convinced the Army with mature tilt-rotor technology and a flight test programme which has met and exceeded every goal. It’s the low-risk option. For FARA, however, the manoeuvrability promised by the X2 technology, especially in an urban environment, and the relative success of the smaller scale prototypes such as the S-97, make me lean towards the Raider X – provided the US Army can swallow the increased risk.

It’ll be a couple of years before we know how cloudy my crystal ball is….”


That would seem a good bet although things can change significantly between now and then. I think the respective manufacturers would probably be happy if that was the split although both would of course be happy to win both!
 
IADFCO
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:59 pm

As to FARA, my opinion is that the key factor is going to be how much the US Army is willing to pay for speed.

My guess is that the Bell entry is designed to barely match the 180 kts cruise requirement, and even that may be a struggle. With the very little information available so far, with the same rotor diameter as the Comanche (and the same solidity, for the same Cw/sigma? we don't know, and we don't know the weight either), the Comanche cruised at 149 (165) kts (source: Wikipedia) with (without) the mast radar with a total 3000 SHP. The Bell 360 is claimed to cruise at 180 kts (presumably "clean" but with the extra wing drag) with about 3000 + 600 = 3600 SHP. Depending on weight, rotor solidity, and maybe rotor RPM, that may not be enough.

The Sikorsky entry would obviously have no problem with speed, and will have much greater maneuverability because of the stiff hingeless rotors and the pusher prop. There would be a big price to pay, though, in dollars and complexity. I don't know whether that aircraft is a monstrosity or an engineering miracle, probably a bit of both. That's the price to pay to cross 200 kts in a helicopter in a compact package.
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon May 04, 2020 2:40 am

Flight Global has a free article for subscribers that compares the two FARA options.

How Bell’s 360 Invictus and Sikorsky’s Raider X compare

For the US Army, speed means advantage, so it has set demanding targets for its planned Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). With a cruise speed of at least 180kt (333km/h), the aircraft that will replace the Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior as its scouting and light attack rotorcraft is to be designed, built, tested, flown and fielded to its first unit by 2028.

...

Adding FARA to its fleet is the US Army’s number one aviation priority.

...

https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 80.article

Some interesting parts of the article that compare the technological approaches

Bell
“When the aircraft is in the fleet or in the field, if it becomes a big resources drain that impacts everything else [negatively],” says Frank Lazzara, Bell’s director of advanced vertical lift systems sales and strategy. “We did not go after a complex propulsor because of the complexity and weight. With weight usually comes cost.” Bell also points out that it went with a four-bladed main rotor to reduce complexity. And, the company says its main rotor will be made of conventional materials, making it easier to manufacture.


Sikorsky
“The retreating blade stall that any kind of single main rotor aircraft is going to have, you don’t have with this aircraft,” says Jay Macklin

...

Sikorsky also notes that its side-by-side cockpit makes for a wider aircraft body which can hold additional munitions, fuel or soldiers, should the army want to make use of the extra capacity in the future. “While that wasn’t an explicit request or requirement on the army’s part, you can imagine as they evolve their tactics, techniques and procedures, and try to find new ways to use the asset, that could certainly be a warfighter enhancement,” says Macklin.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Mon May 04, 2020 1:41 pm

Thx. I still haven't seen much by way of explanation as to this boosting unit's configuration/power. Will be interested to learn more.

"The 360 Invictus also has a wing, a booster auxiliary power unit, tandem seating for better aerodynamics and a ducted tail rotor."
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 09, 2020 2:22 pm

No impact on FLRAA or FARA so far from COVID, for testing purposes this summer. ITE is of course a key pacing item.

“What’s the biggest impact COVID has had on FVL so far? Of the five project managers who spoke to reporters this morning, just one said he’s definitely delaying something, a Critical Design Review for the new Improved Turbine Engine. How big was that delay? Just two weeks.

The engine system CDR will start June 15th instead of June 1st, said the turbine PM, Col. Roger Kuykendall. But the deadline to complete the review wasn’t until October, he went on, “so we’re actually still ahead of our schedule.””

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/cov ... -army-fvl/
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun May 10, 2020 7:00 am

This article on the SB-1 Defiant vs V-280 Valor RFP for FLRAA but no thread on it. It discusses handling and controls, both seem to be great concepts. But as we all know, it is how well the design actually works in service. I feel like the compound helicopter has a lot of promise, hope that at least one gets selected.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/milita ... placement/
 
Ozair
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:27 pm

Bell is about to start the build of the Invictus with an aim to have first flight in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Bell to begin building 360 Invictus imminently

Bell will start building its 360 Invictus helicopter this week. The company is developing the 360 Invictus for the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft-Competitive Prototype (FARA-CP) programme, according to a company official.

Chris Gehler, Bell FARA vice president and programme director, told Janes on 8 October ahead of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual trade show that Bell has already begun building gearboxes, rotor pieces, and airframe structure for the 360 Invictus. Bell is about to begin building the rotor blades for the aircraft and has already started manufacturing main rotor blade extensions. The company, he said, has already built blades that it used to performed process verification and destructive testing.

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... imminently

Image
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:40 am

Writing about the attack helicopter...

An AH-64 costs $50M. It's replacement is going to cost much more, and be much faster. A Super Tuscano is even faster still, and cost something like $20M. But the Army is not allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft any more.

Suppose the Army was allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft. Would they prefer 3 Super Tuscanos over one FLRAA?

(Of course the Super Tuscano is not a one-one replacement for the FLRAA. But it might be awfully useful and is much cheaper.)

(Yes, I know the Air Force has a program, but that's Air Force people doing Air Force thinking. It's not the Army.)
 
mxaxai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:17 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Writing about the attack helicopter...

An AH-64 costs $50M. It's replacement is going to cost much more, and be much faster. A Super Tuscano is even faster still, and cost something like $20M. But the Army is not allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft any more.

Suppose the Army was allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft. Would they prefer 3 Super Tuscanos over one FLRAA?

Fixed wing aircraft don't usually have hover or VTOL capabilities. That makes helicopters much more adaptable to any situation. For example, you can hide behind a hill, pop up, do something, and hide again. You can maneuver in close vicinity to buildings and trees. You can stay focused on a target for a long time without interruptions. You can easily escort transport helos and secure the landing site.

The army will not retire the attack helicopter.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:47 pm

mxaxai wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Writing about the attack helicopter...

An AH-64 costs $50M. It's replacement is going to cost much more, and be much faster. A Super Tuscano is even faster still, and cost something like $20M. But the Army is not allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft any more.

Suppose the Army was allowed to buy fixed winged aircraft. Would they prefer 3 Super Tuscanos over one FLRAA?

Fixed wing aircraft don't usually have hover or VTOL capabilities. That makes helicopters much more adaptable to any situation. For example, you can hide behind a hill, pop up, do something, and hide again. You can maneuver in close vicinity to buildings and trees. You can stay focused on a target for a long time without interruptions. You can easily escort transport helos and secure the landing site.

The army will not retire the attack helicopter.


Of course helicopters can hover. And of course the Army will not retire the attack helicopter. No one suggested that! But given the option to operate fixed winged aircraft, maybe the Army would change it's mix of aircraft?????
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:00 pm

The Army doesn’t have nor has it requested the ability to operate fixed wing aircraft since the agreement with USAF in 1966.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson-M ... nt_of_1966

It’s the Tucano, no “S” required (it’s not named for Tuscany), in the Super Tucano nomenclature. SOCOM is a joint command (meaning both USAF/USA), and plausibly (as has been requested) could operate both a future FARA winner and the Super Tucano (A-29).
 
RJMAZ
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:46 am

In summary we have two programs. With two contenders left in each.

FARA - Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Light weight, single engine, two seat attack helicopter.
Bell 360 Invictus - conventional design with wing.
Sikorsky Raider X - coaxial with pusher prop.

FLRAA - Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft.
Medium weight twin engine transport helicopter.
Bell V-280 Valor - tilt rotor
Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant - coaxial with pusher prop.

Each design has their own advantages. It will be a tough job picking only two.

Last year the General Electric T901 was also selected as the winner of the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) and will power these new helicopters.

Bell V-280 Valor
This tilt rotor is faster and has significantly longer range than the others but it is significantly heavier and needs engines bigger than the GE T901 to achieve the VTOL payload requirement. It is really in a class above its competitor when you do a rolling takeoff you can fly 2-3 times as far with the same payload.

Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant
This compound helicopter is slower and has less range than the V-280. Using the GE T901 is a big advantage. Agility will be much higher than the tilt rotor competitor.

Bell 360 Invictus
The most conventional and slowest design. We assume it will be the cheapest but we now know the assembly process and parts count plays a bigger part to the total cost.

Sikorsky Raider X
This compound helicopter with pusher prop is faster than the Bell 360. The biggest advantage is the side by side seating design. This will make it easy to convert this to a 8 seat transport in the future. This design is basically a 20% scaled up S-97 Raider which was a 6 seat light transport.

I expect the Bell V-280 and Sikorsky Raider X to win.

The V-280 extreme range is a game changer will actually have a big impact on the JMR-Heavy competition which is yet to come. The heavy and ultra lift requirement could be merged into a single design as a result.

Sikorsky Raider X can easily have the fold out weapon bays swapped out for a 8 seat passenger cabin like the S-97. Both types would have very high commonality. It might not be able to carry as much max payload as a blackhawk but the increased efficiency means it could probably carry 8 troops further than 8 troops in a blackhawk.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:12 am

texl1649 wrote:
The Army doesn’t have nor has it requested the ability to operate fixed wing aircraft since the agreement with USAF in 1966.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnson-M ... nt_of_1966

It’s the Tucano, no “S” required (it’s not named for Tuscany), in the Super Tucano nomenclature. SOCOM is a joint command (meaning both USAF/USA), and plausibly (as has been requested) could operate both a future FARA winner and the Super Tucano (A-29).


Sorry for the dumb spelling error.

The Army has not asked because they would be told no. But I'm sure they'd like the option. And given the option ... I imagine they would want to operate fixed winged attack aircraft. They did operate such aircraft before the ban.
 
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kitplane01
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:18 am

RJMAZ wrote:
In summary we have two programs. With two contenders left in each.

FARA - Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.
Light weight, single engine, two seat attack helicopter.
Bell 360 Invictus - conventional design with wing.
Sikorsky Raider X - coaxial with pusher prop.

FLRAA - Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft.
Medium weight twin engine transport helicopter.
Bell V-280 Valor - tilt rotor
Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant - coaxial with pusher prop.

Each design has their own advantages. It will be a tough job picking only two.

Last year the General Electric T901 was also selected as the winner of the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) and will power these new helicopters.

Bell V-280 Valor
This tilt rotor is faster and has significantly longer range than the others but it is significantly heavier and needs engines bigger than the GE T901 to achieve the VTOL payload requirement. It is really in a class above its competitor when you do a rolling takeoff you can fly 2-3 times as far with the same payload.

Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant
This compound helicopter is slower and has less range than the V-280. Using the GE T901 is a big advantage. Agility will be much higher than the tilt rotor competitor.

Bell 360 Invictus
The most conventional and slowest design. We assume it will be the cheapest but we now know the assembly process and parts count plays a bigger part to the total cost.

Sikorsky Raider X
This compound helicopter with pusher prop is faster than the Bell 360. The biggest advantage is the side by side seating design. This will make it easy to convert this to a 8 seat transport in the future. This design is basically a 20% scaled up S-97 Raider which was a 6 seat light transport.

I expect the Bell V-280 and Sikorsky Raider X to win.

The V-280 extreme range is a game changer will actually have a big impact on the JMR-Heavy competition which is yet to come. The heavy and ultra lift requirement could be merged into a single design as a result.

Sikorsky Raider X can easily have the fold out weapon bays swapped out for a 8 seat passenger cabin like the S-97. Both types would have very high commonality. It might not be able to carry as much max payload as a blackhawk but the increased efficiency means it could probably carry 8 troops further than 8 troops in a blackhawk.


Love the summary.

Isn't side-by-side seating bad for an attack helicopter. That was done for things like the Gazelle, but modern attack helicopters (AH-1, AH064, Tiger, etc) are never side-by-side. Too large a profile, to big a target.

I understand one might make the Raider X into something like a Mil-25 with a cabin in the back, but that's nothing like the Army's current usage. Would they really want that especially if it came at a cost of having a larger helicopter than needed for the attack mission?
 
RJMAZ
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:38 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Love the summary.

Isn't side-by-side seating bad for an attack helicopter. That was done for things like the Gazelle, but modern attack helicopters (AH-1, AH064, Tiger, etc) are never side-by-side. Too large a profile, to big a target

Thanks.

I think in terms of target size there is not much difference. Tandem seating like the Apache has a longer nose and a larger side profile but a smaller frontal profile.

The main advantage to tandem seating is both crew have a 270 degree view for improved situational awareness. However since the 2003 attack on Karbala attack helicopter tactics involve high speed and no hovering. When traveling at speed all the targets will be in the forward hemisphere so side by side seating might actually be preferable.

kitplane01 wrote:
I understand one might make the Raider X into something like a Mil-25 with a cabin in the back, but that's nothing like the Army's current usage. Would they really want that especially if it came at a cost of having a larger helicopter than needed for the attack mission?

The F-35 replaced multiple aircraft types. The Future Vertical Lift program will also replace multiple types with fewer more versatile types.

The Raider X clearly has the internal weapon bay doors located where the passenger doors are located on the original S-97 Raider. The Huey still needs a replacement and a single engine utility aircraft would eventually be needed. An 8 seat Raider X would be perfect.

The V-280 makes a poor replacement for the Blackhawk in some roles. The 8 seater Raider X would become crucial to fill in this capability gap where high agility and extreme low level flight is required.

The V-280 in my opinion must be selected at any cost even if that means a smaller 6-8 seat helicopter has to be purchased. The V-280 will allow for the entire supply chain during a war to be moved further from the front line. The cost savings and lives saved would be huge. Forward operating bases can then be located in areas that are safer or closer to major airports to reduce tactical fixed wing airlift.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:03 am

RJMAZ wrote:
Sikorsky Raider X can easily have the fold out weapon bays swapped out for a 8 seat passenger cabin like the S-97.


This reminded me of a book I read called "Chicken Hawk". It was about a Viet Nam war Huey pilot. He was on the heavy size so he was relegated to fly troop Huey instead if gun ship Huey. They wanted the extra weight to cary more amo.

Today's birds will have better efficiency and more powerful engines, but the need to carry more amo or fuel will still be preferred, so you'll want to optimize for one or the other and not try do both with the same frame, if you have the option.

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

Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:09 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The main advantage to tandem seating is both crew have a 270 degree view for improved situational awareness.


Another advantage of tandem seating is the smaller frontal area let you squeeze a few extra knots.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
texl1649
Topic Author
Posts: 1709
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:38 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
Love the summary.

Isn't side-by-side seating bad for an attack helicopter. That was done for things like the Gazelle, but modern attack helicopters (AH-1, AH064, Tiger, etc) are never side-by-side. Too large a profile, to big a target

Thanks.

I think in terms of target size there is not much difference. Tandem seating like the Apache has a longer nose and a larger side profile but a smaller frontal profile.

The main advantage to tandem seating is both crew have a 270 degree view for improved situational awareness. However since the 2003 attack on Karbala attack helicopter tactics involve high speed and no hovering. When traveling at speed all the targets will be in the forward hemisphere so side by side seating might actually be preferable.

kitplane01 wrote:
I understand one might make the Raider X into something like a Mil-25 with a cabin in the back, but that's nothing like the Army's current usage. Would they really want that especially if it came at a cost of having a larger helicopter than needed for the attack mission?

The F-35 replaced multiple aircraft types. The Future Vertical Lift program will also replace multiple types with fewer more versatile types.

The Raider X clearly has the internal weapon bay doors located where the passenger doors are located on the original S-97 Raider. The Huey still needs a replacement and a single engine utility aircraft would eventually be needed. An 8 seat Raider X would be perfect.

The V-280 makes a poor replacement for the Blackhawk in some roles. The 8 seater Raider X would become crucial to fill in this capability gap where high agility and extreme low level flight is required.

The V-280 in my opinion must be selected at any cost even if that means a smaller 6-8 seat helicopter has to be purchased. The V-280 will allow for the entire supply chain during a war to be moved further from the front line. The cost savings and lives saved would be huge. Forward operating bases can then be located in areas that are safer or closer to major airports to reduce tactical fixed wing airlift.


I agree on the V-280 on all counts, and think it should be selected at all costs as well. It’s just too much capability to turn down, and I don’t think it’s likely to cost more long term given...Lockheed’s track record on the other hand. Bell has said they expect it to cost the same as the MH-60, which is pretty remarkable. Still, Bell has also shown some alternative/possible future variants too;

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/bel ... -in-works/

Most of us expect the LM-Bell teams to get a split award, out of the two competitions, regardless. Regarding the Huey’s that aren’t yet replaced (in US service I think that’s just the UH-1Y’s with USMC), I would be surprised if the marines didn’t as usual go their own way, paying a fortune to do so, and not get a type in common with the army. That’s just the service’ MO.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:44 am

bikerthai wrote:
Another advantage of tandem seating is the smaller frontal area let you squeeze a few extra knots.

It seems the opposite based on real world speeds. At a guess the wider fuselage might provide some body lift.

texl1649 wrote:
Still, Bell has also shown some alternative/possible future variants too;

https://breakingdefense.com/2018/08/bel ... -in-works/

Having both the small FARA and medium FLRAA able to carry weapons or troops with extremely high commonality between types would be amazing. The mission set this covers would be extremely large.

The Gunship/Attack V-280 is a no brainer. The normal V-280 and V-22 needs an escort and no normal attack helicopter can fly as fast or as far. Likewise a troop version of the Raider X looks to be simple development.

Hopefully the marines buy both versions of both types. The Raider X platform could replace the Sea Hawk in all its unique roles. I'm not sure if a single engine is an issue. The T901 will have unprecedented reliability. It is an extremely simple single spool design using the latest but mature GE core tech.
 
Max Q
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:33 am

bikerthai wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Sikorsky Raider X can easily have the fold out weapon bays swapped out for a 8 seat passenger cabin like the S-97.


This reminded me of a book I read called "Chicken Hawk". It was about a Viet Nam war Huey pilot. He was on the heavy size so he was relegated to fly troop Huey instead if gun ship Huey. They wanted the extra weight to cary more amo.

Today's birds will have better efficiency and more powerful engines, but the need to carry more amo or fuel will still be preferred, so you'll want to optimize for one or the other and not try do both with the same frame, if you have the option.

bt



‘Chickenhawk’ was the best, have you read the sequel?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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bikerthai
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:20 am

RJMAZ wrote:
It seems the opposite based on real world speeds. At a guess the wider fuselage might provide some body lift.


The speed may have to do more with the push propeller.

Max Q wrote:
, have you read the sequel?


Didn't know there was a sequel. Will have to look in to it.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
IADFCO
Posts: 235
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Wed Mar 17, 2021 10:20 pm

Well, at least it looks like it's not going to end up like the Comanche...

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/03/fvl-army-can-afford-both-scout-transport-general-pledges/
 
texl1649
Topic Author
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:16 pm

Some news. Well, show and tell more than news...

https://www.military.com/daily-news/202 ... aders.html

For the first time, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, flew its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft prototype in two demonstrations this week for service leaders and soldiers at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

In demonstrations Tuesday and Thursday, the S-97 Raider, which is based on the company's X2 coaxial-rotor technology, flew high-speed passes, hovered and showed off its maneuverability, according to a Lockheed Martin news release.

Sikorsky's S-97 is competing against Bell Textron Inc.'s 360 Invictus single-rotor prototype helicopter for the Army's FARA program, designed to fill a capability gap left by the retirement of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters. FARA is the Army's top priority in the Future Vertical Lift, or FVL, effort, which modernization officials see as a critical tool for penetrating enemy air defense networks.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 3:30 am

An interesting article written by a former V-22 test pilot, he strongly is for the Defiant X. A huge issue is the time to train on a tilt rotor. Learn the helicopter phase, then learn the plane phase, and finally train for tilt rotor operation. The Defiant X training is basically for the helicopter phase. Also brings up the difference in footprint between the two.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/fvl ... ells-army/
 
IADFCO
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 3:47 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
An interesting article written by a former V-22 test pilot, he strongly is for the Defiant X. A huge issue is the time to train on a tilt rotor. Learn the helicopter phase, then learn the plane phase, and finally train for tilt rotor operation. The Defiant X training is basically for the helicopter phase. Also brings up the difference in footprint between the two.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/fvl ... ells-army/


I fully agree with that assessment. I would add maneuverability to the advantages of the Defiant. Instead, I'm concerned about the Defiant transmission, which is likely to be very complex: I wonder what maintenance is going to look like. As to downwash, I expect Defiant to be better, but not by a whole lot. The disk loading of the V-280 is supposed to be a bit lower than the V-22, and the Defiant's somewhat higher than that of the UH-60, but we'll have to wait until we get some reliable weight figures.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 12:47 pm

Good piece, he’s very qualified to give an opinion. I respectfully disagree as I think the V-22 was, in fact, hamstrung by a lot of things such as (but not limited to):
-1st gen operational tiltrotor
-USN/USMC rotor loading consequence of need for shipboard wing/rotor folding
-older generation of controls (poorly understood vortex mode for instance as tragic accidents in development proved)

The Bell bid is much lighter, and uses much more advanced avionics/controls (as well as not tilting the nacelles of course), so I think controllability and training will be much more advanced/simpler (also note there are even drone tiltrotors about nowadays). We could analogize it to perhaps any number of things, such as the challenges of learning to drive on a 1960’s stick shift with no power steering vs. a Tesla of today.

I think speed, relative cruising efficiency, and a decrease in spacing are more important than his guesses as to which is louder as it lands (and I think it is just a guess). More importantly, I don’t trust Sikorsky/Lockheed to deliver cost effective updates/upgrades/unit/sustainment costs vs. Bell over time, but that’s just my bias, I realize.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 12:52 pm

RFP coming this summer; program is accelerating, final award in summer 2022.

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... pping-soon

The service has been undergoing a competitive demonstration and risk deduction phase with the companies, Phillips said during a media roundtable with reporters. In late March, the Army awarded phase 2 contracts to both teams for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction phase.

Sikorsky-Boeing is offering its Defiant X platform and Bell is offering its V-280 Valor aircraft.

The Army is working to accelerate the FLRAA program, Phillips said.

“We looked at the schedule we're on — which we knew was aggressive — … [and] wanted to move some of that design work to the left,” he said. “We want to do that in a competitive environment … [and] optimize those designs going forward before we award our contract next summer" in 2022.

Requirements for the program were informed by a precursor effort known as the joint multi-role technology demonstrator, which both Bell and Sikorsky-Boeing participated in.

Following the selection of a vendor next year, the Army will launch directly into the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program, Phillips said.

“We're maintaining … the momentum of the program, the digital engineering environment, the model-based systems engineering,” he said. “We're getting to realize those efficiencies in real time.”

Phillips said the final RFP will not likely have any major changes relative to the draft RFP.
 
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Daetrin
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 2:30 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
An interesting article written by a former V-22 test pilot, he strongly is for the Defiant X. A huge issue is the time to train on a tilt rotor. Learn the helicopter phase, then learn the plane phase, and finally train for tilt rotor operation. The Defiant X training is basically for the helicopter phase. Also brings up the difference in footprint between the two.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/fvl ... ells-army/


Hanger space is non-trivial. It's not just all those active duty units but there are a lot of National Guard units that would also have to have hanger space modified too, and not all of them easily. Being able to use the same footprint as the Blackhawk is certainly a factor that some may gloss over. I'm also thinking of how much the blade hours are for each. Not sure how it is today, but at least when I was in the ARNG that was a big factor in flight time.

Not saying it's as motivating as the other factors mentioned, but is part of the calculations.
 
texl1649
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Re: FARA US Army Proposals Thread

Sat May 01, 2021 3:14 pm

Daetrin wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
An interesting article written by a former V-22 test pilot, he strongly is for the Defiant X. A huge issue is the time to train on a tilt rotor. Learn the helicopter phase, then learn the plane phase, and finally train for tilt rotor operation. The Defiant X training is basically for the helicopter phase. Also brings up the difference in footprint between the two.

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/fvl ... ells-army/


Hanger space is non-trivial. It's not just all those active duty units but there are a lot of National Guard units that would also have to have hanger space modified too, and not all of them easily. Being able to use the same footprint as the Blackhawk is certainly a factor that some may gloss over. I'm also thinking of how much the blade hours are for each. Not sure how it is today, but at least when I was in the ARNG that was a big factor in flight time.

Not saying it's as motivating as the other factors mentioned, but is part of the calculations.


They claim they can fit the same number of units per soccer field, for what it is worth, vs. a Blackhawk.

Some have questioned the larger footprint of the V-280 compared to traditional helicopters like the Black Hawk and how it could adversely impact certain mission sets. What's Bell's view on this?

"The V-280 has a slightly larger footprint than the UH-60. However, you get speeds and ranges to fight against near-peer threats with unprecedented operational productivity. You can’t win the fight unless you’re in the fight. As an example, if you put 10 UH-60s on a soccer field for an air assault, you can put 10 V-280s in that same field, but you could execute missions with twice the speed and twice the range."


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

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