• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Bell V-280 Valor

Sundog

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
107
In response to the above post, the author of the quote, not Cordy, of course these vehicles can't outrun Pantsir. Hell, no helicopter can outrun any missile. That's why we have counter measures. The speed of the vehicle doesn't have anything to with direct defense, but responsiveness to the battle. The author is the perfect example of institutional stupidity.
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
The rotors (turning) are four feet wider than H-60.
Are you sure about that? As far as I know the V-280's rotors are 35 ft each and the UH-60's rotor is 53 ft.
You are correct on the diameters, however that V-280 rotor diameters are at the end of a 20 foot-ish wing. In fairness to you I could be incorrect with my actual numbers as I don't recall where I got them at the moment.
@ Sundog - I think the author has been made aware of his utter lack of brilliance.
 

VTOLicious

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
547
Reaction score
101
The rotors (turning) are four feet wider than H-60.
Are you sure about that? As far as I know the V-280's rotors are 35 ft each and the UH-60's rotor is 53 ft.
You are correct on the diameters, however that V-280 rotor diameters are at the end of a 20 foot-ish wing. In fairness to you I could be incorrect with my actual numbers as I don't recall where I got them at the moment.
@ Sundog - I think the author has been made aware of his utter lack of brilliance.
Ceck your math ;) The overall width must be at least 79 ft, to prevent those 35 ft rotors from slicing the fuselage.
 

Avimimus

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
1,938
Reaction score
38
In response to the above post, the author of the quote, not Cordy, of course these vehicles can't outrun Pantsir. Hell, no helicopter can outrun any missile. That's why we have counter measures. The speed of the vehicle doesn't have anything to with direct defense, but responsiveness to the battle. The author is the perfect example of institutional stupidity.
Not to mention that speed and nape-of-the-earth flight can minimise acquisition times to the point where such air-defenses wouldn't be effective in many types of terrain. The bigger vulnerability would be fighters or drones with look-down-shoot-down capability. Of course this doesn't apply in totally open terrains (flat steppe, some types of desert).
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
I am old enough to remember these arguments when UH-60 and AH-64 were the "new" phenomenally expensive high tech rotorcraft replacing reliable, dependable, less expensive UH-1 and AH-1. No, we did not replace them 1 for 1 then either. The Army had something like 5000 UH-1 on hand at the end of the Vietnam conflict. We traded them for ~2300 UH-60. There was then a wailing and gnashing of teeth at the horrible detriment to the Army of this outlandish decision.
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
It is correct that the O&S cost are the single most expensive component of the aircraft over time. I am sure that the Army leadership is keenly aware of the anticipated expense associated with new aircraft. The T901 engine is designed for current platforms and advanced rotorcraft that are expected to operate within the relative capabilities currently required. So the FARA (FVL Cap Set 1) aircraft can use the T901 as it is not expected to operate over significantly greater distances or significantly higher speeds than the current aircraft. But remember that some of the FARA are using big APU's for extra power (so...) The FLRAA (FVL Cap Set 3) is expected to do "twice the speed and range" of the H-60. I imagine the competitors looked very hard at how to do that with the T901, but came back to the Army and said they could not get numbers for what the Army wants. The FATE engine was always expected to be the engine for FVL Cap Set 3 (and possibly the H-47). While the funding for FATE looking grim, the vendors started looking at other options. Bell has a very good working relations with Rolls Royce obviously so they are expecting to have some cost savings in development no doubt. Also "if" they can make the Army FLRAA and the USMC AURA common enough with engines and components (less dynamics), their is a "Joint" savings that Congress will throw money at. Certainly time will tell with all of this. We ought to watch the "development" of the T901, how it drops seamlessly in H-60 and AH-64, and how well it revolutionizes those old and now weighty platforms.
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
135
The drop in body panels count will certainly help the O&S cost. Less tooling, less impact on contractor disappearing during the life of the program and less IP (a cured composite fuselage is just a composite shell that anybody can do*).

*That's where outside projected engines design will be favorably impacted.
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
As to how the FARA contenders meet the stated requirements, I will agree with you that we are not yet privy to all of the specifications of the contenders.

As to engines, we will see. I recall that the Army has now gotten to the "F" model H-47 with all sorts of technology and engines and is still trying to regain the capabilities of the original aircraft requirement for lift. I will be very happy if the 901 lives up to the claims. O&S costs related to flight hours directly. So if an aircraft is able to do a mission in half the time it is not incurring as much O&S as the slower aircraft. I know this is not a 1 for 1 cost calculation. Also recall that the H-60 is a "utility" helicopter which is military parlance for "pick up truck". It mostly does unglamorous missions. So productivity is a function of the mission for these aircraft. The more missions that can be completed in a given day of flight operations has indirect impact on the value of the O&S cost. The U.S. Army was not able to complete more than half of the missions requested on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan due to aircraft availability (maintenance) and the dispersed nature of the forces in theater. In major combat operations it is likely that a significant number of units will be spread out over larger areas to reduce vulnerability of the force. Army writings call for the aircraft to operate from relative sanctuary. So they are operating further away than they have in the past. I think the Army will go with an existing engine for FLRAA while the FATE engine effort slowly progresses at reduced funding. The 901 took far longer than originally expected to develop due to reduced funding.

Sorry for the stream of consciousness aspect of this post but it is Sunday morning and I have only had one cup of coffee.
 

VTOLicious

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
547
Reaction score
101
The rotors (turning) are four feet wider than H-60.
Are you sure about that? As far as I know the V-280's rotors are 35 ft each and the UH-60's rotor is 53 ft.
You are correct on the diameters, however that V-280 rotor diameters are at the end of a 20 foot-ish wing. In fairness to you I could be incorrect with my actual numbers as I don't recall where I got them at the moment.
@ Sundog - I think the author has been made aware of his utter lack of brilliance.
Ceck your math ;) The overall width must be at least 79 ft, to prevent those 35 ft rotors from slicing the fuselage.
I've made an illustration to clarify my point. Please note that a width of 79ft is the minimum, without any clearance of the rotors to the fuselage.
 

Attachments

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
The rotors (turning) are four feet wider than H-60.
Are you sure about that? As far as I know the V-280's rotors are 35 ft each and the UH-60's rotor is 53 ft.
You are correct on the diameters, however that V-280 rotor diameters are at the end of a 20 foot-ish wing. In fairness to you I could be incorrect with my actual numbers as I don't recall where I got them at the moment.
@ Sundog - I think the author has been made aware of his utter lack of brilliance.
Ceck your math ;) The overall width must be at least 79 ft, to prevent those 35 ft rotors from slicing the fuselage.
I've made an illustration to clarify my point. Please note that a width of 79ft is the minimum, without any clearance of the rotors to the fuselage.
Not going to argue since it might actally be wider. However since its length is something like 50.5 feet, it can turn sideways and be shorter than the width of an H60. Also, since it is a dual rotor like a Chinook, it is less effected by wind direction. So it can land sideways into the LZ. As stated elsewhere if this is an overriding issue, then the US Army should never have bought the H60 because it cannot land int the same restricted places as the H1 it replaced. However since this is a concern for less than 1% of the missions executed by Army utility rotorcraft, I don't think this will be a significant decision point.
Could be wrong though.
 

Archibald

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
2,789
Reaction score
377
I am old enough to remember these arguments when UH-60 and AH-64 were the "new" phenomenally expensive high tech rotorcraft replacing reliable, dependable, less expensive UH-1 and AH-1. No, we did not replace them 1 for 1 then either. The Army had something like 5000 UH-1 on hand at the end of the Vietnam conflict. We traded them for ~2300 UH-60. There was then a wailing and gnashing of teeth at the horrible detriment to the Army of this outlandish decision.
and 5000 Phantoms were replaced by 2000 F-15s which were replaced by 187 Raptors :mad:
 

fredymac

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
1,729
Reaction score
216
Technically I think Bell has the range/speed contest won while meeting the other requirements the Army wants. They have a blurb posted on ASD News listing:
  • Speed > 300 kts
  • Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) > 6,000 feet altitude at 95º F
  • Low speed agility to meet the Army’s Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements
  • Executed numerous, consecutive multi-sortie days of flight operations
  • Test flights with Army pilots
The design brief for Bell was to get the natural technical benefits of tilt rotors but remove cost. If they succeeded there as well, it is hard to see them not winning.

 

Pioneer

Seek out and close with the enemy
Senior Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Messages
1,702
Reaction score
73
Sorry, this is probably obvious to many, but I'm curious as to how 'air transportable' is the V-280 design for carrying by the likes of C-5 and C-17 for strategic mobility/deployment? For example one of the most impressive and practical attributes of the United States Army's Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition was the requirement of design for air transport...... Looking at the V-280's how easy does it fold/breakdown for air transportation??

Regards
Pioneer
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
135
Looking at the V-280's how easy does it fold/breakdown for air transportation??

Regards
Pioneer
Who need a C-5 when you can fly long range?
Read some posts earlier where I show that Valor can self deploy to Africa via Brazil instead of being unbolted, airlifted to Germany and then hitchhike on any available transport (if any left) to its destination.

Less fuel, less manpower, less dollars, compressed delay and... Less blood spill.
 
Last edited:

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
One of the critical rationales for the FVL/FLRAA is that it can self deploy, thus freeing up critical space on strategic transport. That said, I think the Army will still require the FLRAA aircraft to be able to be carried by C-17. They will do so for two reasons. First because that is the way they have always done it, and the Army will stay with what they know. Second, but more rational, is that "broken" aircraft tend not to fly anywhere on their own. So you want to make sure that in some way the aircraft can be put into a C-17 without having to completely disassemble the aircraft. Of course one has to remember that there is still a need for strat-lift when deploying an aircraft unit because aircraft showing up someplace without ground equipment and a staff to assist with the planning and coordination are not very effective.
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
135
Obviously, non-flyable airframe have to be airlifted when required. Thank you for the reminder, I should have included it in my reply.
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
135
Not confirmed if there is any related delay to expect impacting the program at this time but:

Stephanie Harder, a spokeswoman for Beechcraft’s parent company, Textron Aviation, said the building that partially collapsed houses composite manufacturing and experimental aircraft operations.
 

Mark Nankivil

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
226

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
Imagine Spirit will remain core member of the Bell FLRAA team given how well things worked. I imagine Spirit is also looking for work since 737's are not selling well at the moment.
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
12,508
Reaction score
571
Imagine Spirit will remain core member of the Bell FLRAA team given how well things worked. I imagine Spirit is also looking for work since 737's are not selling well at the moment.
They also make the fuselage of the CH-53K.
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
1,147
Reaction score
135
Spirit is a Tier I supplier for Airbus! They are doing well anyway the business goes ;)
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
40
Obviously, non-flyable airframe have to be airlifted when required. Thank you for the reminder, I should have included it in my reply.
Thought questions:

1. How often do we airlift broken airframes now, as opposed to loading them on trailers, railcars or ships? My point being is that is it really worth it to design an aircraft that would easily fit inside a C-17 (assuming one is available) in case you wanted to move a broken one or two, given that when it's not broken it doesn't need the C-17 to get where it's going?.

2. What if the broken airframe doesn't happen to be where a C-17 can get to it? See previous point.

3. Is it worth what it will cost to build in the capability to be airmailed one or two at a time, given that on those ocassions where you can't wait for it to get there by ship, it can fly itself there?
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
It is correct, I think, that the C-17 requirement is something of a hold over from the need to move AH64 and UH60 great distances in short times. Another customer, SOAR, is also used to stuffing MH platforms into C17, so they can deploy in a matter of hours.

If an aircraft is broken to the point of extensive repair to be airworthy I think you would still want it to fit in a C-17. While you could move it by train and ship, these are not always available (any more than C17). If your aircraft is broken in the Sahal, or backwater Afghanistan you would likely disassemble it and use a CH47 or Mi26 to move it to where you can then load it into a C17.

As to the worth the cost, hard to say. Having as many options as possible for the situations is certainly desirable.
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
40
I believe you are correct that it is a holdover from the old days, although correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm not sure that stuffing into a C-17 is a requirement for anyone except SOAR. Quite frankly, USMC's AURA program is closer to what SOAR wants (although the Marines don't care about C-17 transport) anyway. As far as a sudden deployment goes , go through all the steps necessary to coordinate with a C-17 (if available and USAF is willing), take it to where the C-17 is, break it down, load it, fly it where ever the C-17 can go, reassemble it, do a Functional Check Flight, fly it to the staging area then launch, when you can just just fly the bird there (even across the Atlantic) no doubt in less time overall.

If a bird is broken somewhere, is it really urgent that you fly it back to CONUS, assuming USAF will even make a C-17 available for such a mission? What if there are 10 of them? As you stated, it would still have to be broken down, but that kind of break down doesn't require any special features built in, you can do that with any aircraft because you aren't expecting it to fly soon after the C-17 arrives. so, building in a quckly-fold-to-C-17-size doesn't buy you anything in this scenario. Most likely, if it can't be fixed abroad, you'd ship it back.

I agree that more options are desirable, but it comes down to cost/benefit. No one would argue that high speed supercruise would certainly be a desirable option for the F-35, but for the F-35's missions designing that in woudl cost far more than the benefit gained, so it wasn't a requirement.

IMHO.
 

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
C-17 availability is always a factor. There are never enough of them to do all of the missions required. So your broken aircraft may sit on a ramp for days/weeks till it can be picked up (been there, done that). I think the Army is going to push hard for far better maintenance capabilities for the new aircraft but I also think they will want to be able to put them in C-17. The frequency of needing that will hopefully diminish for the reasons already mentioned in this dialogue. To your point about having a great number of aircraft broken, I suspect there will be C-17s going back and forth anyway if you are sitting on a significant number of "hangar queens". Does anyone know how all the Apache replacement parts got to Iraq in a week after the 11th Aviation Regiment fiasco? I know stateside aircraft were stripped of parts overnight to go replace damaged parts. Really don't know if they used DHL or not. I have seen CH-47 (disassembled) and heard of MV-22 (disassembled) get put into C-17. Really the urgency is an unknown factor. If told to leave a place in days it might be necessary to air move the broken systems. Even CH-53E can get jammed into a C-5 if necessary.

I do not think the Army will buy into folding aircraft due to expense. I really do think they will expect with some level of disassembly, the aircraft can be loaded into a C-17.

On your point about SOAR going with AURA, they are in the fortunate position of being able to wait and see what comes of the FVL/FLRAA and USMC/AURA. I would agree that on the face of it AURA spec. seems to be more in line with SOAR desires. Will be interesting to see how the budget arguments between U.S. Army and JSOC push that decisions.
 

F-14D

I really did change my personal text
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
40
I think you and I are in basic agreement; in that the Army might want their FLRAA to be able to be disassembled, but you can always disassemble anything. I suspect we'll see what we've seen before, make sure you don't have to cut anything or remove anything major. My point is that previously, if there was a sudden need to get a few assets across the pond, disassembling them and putting them into a C-17/C-5 (if the priority was high enough) was pretty much the only option. With FLRAA, you can fly them there as a routine option, which is especially important if there is a gaggle that has to get there quickly, which reduces the need for how much you really to build in to fit them inside an airlifter, since normally you won't have tobe doing that.

Regarding the -53E, for special situations, they would be flown in C-5s. I described the steps in my post. Beyond just the flight time, total time also had to allow for getting the MH-53s to where the C-17/C-5s were, the time it took to take them apart and put them back together as well as the necessary FCF and then getting them to the launch point. With FLRAA you have the option of having a ferry crew (if you want the mission crew to get more rest) fly them point to point, either with auxiliary fuel in the cabin or just on regular fuel load, depending on time available and tanker resources. Of course, if there's no particular hurry (i.e. routine deployment) you can always just load them on a boat. Ships carry a lot: during Gulf War II one carried over 8,000 tons of gear, while another delivered 437 containers and 999 pieces of rolling stock.

Regarding bringing back broken birds, with all there other taskings I just can't see USAF making a number of airlifters available on a regular basis to act as aircraft ferries. Special case, yes, but on a routine basis for aircraft on normal ops that require depot level repairs, I think they'll probably just put them on a boat.

Regarding SOAR/JSOC, their hopes are going to have to be tempered by the reality that whatever they get is going to be a derivative of something developed for someone else, they are just too small a "market" to get their own bird. Since AURA seems to be closer to their wish list, if it is allowed to come to fruition I'd wager that's their bird. It'll be interesting to see what happens if FLRAA and AURA turn out to be from two different manufacturers.
 
Last edited:

yasotay

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,073
Reaction score
166
We are in agreement. The biggest challenge for the Army with FLRAA will be learning to "package" (they used to know how to do this) ground equipment, to fit into whatever airlifter is available. Certainly the FLRAA would be able self deploy anywhere in a matter of days, however if you don't have all of the support personnel and equipment able to deploy within the same timeframe it becomes a less viable option. Another method is to preposition equipment and materials, but this is expensive to put redundancy in all of the possible locations. A deploying USAF Squadron gets X number of lifters to move their ground equipment when told to deploy. U.S. Army will have to compete for the precious lifters. If they can figure out how to do this with C-130 there is a better chance as there are a lot more of those available.

I will be waiting with considerable interest to see what comes of the SOAR/JSOC requirement as FLRAA matures and AURA takes shape. Whatever it is I am sure of two things: air-refueling capability and God only knows how much extra weight for "special" survivability equipment
 
Top