JMR (Joint Multi-Role) & FVL (Future Vertical Lift) Programs

Grey Havoc

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Latest JMR news:


Fourth Team To Join JMR Rotorcraft Studies

Sep 2, 2011



By Graham Warwick


A fourth team is to join Boeing, Bell-Boeing and Sikorsky in competitively studying concepts for the Joint Multi Role (JMR) medium utility rotorcraft, which could replace U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters beginning late next decade.

Boeing, Bell-Boeing and Sikorsky were awarded 18-month configuration trades and analysis contracts at the end of June. Each is worth around $4 million, with industry contributing a similar amount.

“We are negotiating with one more, and should award a contract in the next couple of weeks,” says Ned Chase, platform technologies division chief at the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD). He spoke Aug. 31 at a conference in Patuxent River, Md., organized by vertical-lift technical society AHS International.

Concept studies are the first step toward the planned awarding of contracts to build two different JMR technology demonstrators that would fly by fiscal 2017 as a precursor for development of a new medium utility rotorcraft to be fielded around 2027-28.

The three teams already under contract are taking different approaches. One is “doing a deep dive on a single configuration,” Chase says. Another is studying three different concepts, while the third is looking at all possible options, he says.

Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison has said previously that the Bell-Boeing team responsible for the V-22 Osprey proposed a tilt-rotor configuration for the JMR studies.

The fourth contract is taking longer to negotiate because the unidentified entity is not as experienced in contracting with the Defense Department, “but they have a good proposal,” Chase says.

The Pentagon has compiled a list of desired attributes for a JMR family of vertical-lift vehicles to replace its current fleet of helicopters, including the AH-64D Apache, UH-60M Black Hawk and CH-47F Chinook. These include 200-kt.-plus speed, 230-nm combat radius, 6,000-ft./95F hot/high performance and increased affordability, durability and survivability.

The configuration studies “will distill out the things that bring the most value, and get from a list of attributes to the design requirements for a next-generation rotorcraft,” Chase says. “They will provide the performance specification for the demonstrator aircraft.”

The same list of attributes for a medium utility JMR have been supplied to an independent government design team that is looking at advanced helicopter, compound helicopter and tilt-rotor concepts, Chase says.

The government designers are providing data on the three configurations to an operations analysis team at Fort Rucker, Ala., which will run scenarios to establish the relative operational values of the desired attributes.

AATD plans to award multiple contracts in fiscal 2013 to begin design of JMR demonstrators. Following preliminary design reviews, the Army in fiscal 2015 will downselect to two contractors to build the aircraft.

Phase 1 of the demonstration will involve flight tests of the demonstrator air vehicles. Phase 2, following two years later, will involve the design and integration of open-architecture mission systems into the demonstrator aircraft.


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/asd/2011/09/02/02.xml&headline=Fourth
 

Grey Havoc

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From Aviation Week:

Army Begins Defining Future Vertical-Lift

Sep 14, 2011



By Graham Warwick
Washington



Finally responding to calls from operators and industry to begin work on replacing its hard-pressed helicopter fleets, the U.S. Army is moving ahead with a program to develop the next generation of rotorcraft. But the service faces a challenge securing sufficient government and industry funding to sustain competition until a development program can begin around the end of the decade.

The Army has kicked off the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) program not knowing exactly what it wants or which of its helicopter fleets it will replace first. Instead it has a list of desired attributes and a rough timescale—2027-28—for fielding its first all-new rotorcraft in 50 years. The task of turning those attributes into requirements for a next-generation aircraft falls to a pair of technology demonstrators the service plans to build and fly in 2017.

In a sign the Army is getting serious, its budget for rotorcraft science and technology (S&T)—which has long run at a mere $100 million a year—is being augmented for the JMR demonstrators. But additional funding, as well as industry cost-sharing, will be needed if the service is to fly two robust demonstrators with mission systems and so keep its competitive options open.

“It’s a major breakthrough that we are not flat-lined at $100 million and they have been successful in getting Army leadership to increase S&T funding for the JMR demonstration,” says Michael Hirschberg, executive director of American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, a technical body. “It remains to be seen whether it will be enough to do everything they want the technology demonstrators to do.”

JMR is seen as a family of vertical-lift vehicles, from light to ultra-heavy, sharing common technologies. As a starting point, the Army has selected the middle of the range and the medium utility JMR. Not only would this replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks that make up its single largest helicopter fleet, but studies over the next two years will show to what extent technologies required in a medium utility JMR could scale down to the light scout and up to the heavy transport classes.

Distilled from several recent Army and Pentagon-level analyses that identified gaps in U.S. rotorcraft capabilities, the list of desired attributes for the JMR family of vehicles includes speed exceeding 200 kt., up from less than 150 kt. for today’s helicopters, a combat radius of 230 nm and 6,000-ft./95F hot-and-high performance. In addition to better affordability, durability and survivability, other attributes include a common core avionics architecture and an optionally manned capability.

“The capabilities demanded cannot be achieved through upgrading the current fleet,” says Ned Chase, platform technologies division chief at the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD). “We want to build two technology demonstrators to pursue capabilities lacking in the current fleet while maintaining competition and providing different alternatives.”

The list of attributes for the medium utility JMR has been provided to three industry teams that received configuration trades and analysis contracts at the end of June. Awarded to Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky, the 18-month contracts are each worth $4 million, with industry contributing a similar amount. “We are negotiating with one more, and should award a contract in the next couple of weeks,” says Chase.

The configuration studies “will distill out the things that bring the most value, and get us from a list of attributes to the design requirements for a next-generation rotorcraft,” he says. “They will provide the performance specification for the demonstrator aircraft.”

The JMR demonstrators will not be prototypes, as the YUH-60 and -61 were for the Black Hawk or YAH-63 and -64 for the Apache. For one thing, they are expected to be smaller than the objective vehicles to reduce cost. And secondly, Chase says, the Army has committed to industry to have another competition for development and production.

The three teams already under contract are taking different approaches. One is “doing a deep dive on a single configuration,” says Chase. Another is studying three different concepts, while the third is looking at all possible options, he says. Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison has said previously that the Bell Boeing team responsible for the V-22 Osprey proposed a tiltrotor configuration for the JMR studies. The fourth contract is taking longer to negotiate because the unidentified entity is not as experienced in contracting with the Defense Department, “but they have a good proposal,” says Chase.

The same list of attributes for a medium utility JMR has been supplied to an independent government design team that is looking at advanced helicopter, compound helicopter and tiltrotor concepts, he says. The government designers are providing data on the three configurations to an operations analysis team at Fort Rucker, Ala., which will run scenarios to establish the relative values of the desired attributes. “They will consider the performance of a fleet of aircraft to establish what operational value each attribute brings to the table,” Chase says.

“We need to understand which attributes are most important on the battlefield, and most cost-effective to implement,” he says. “We need to understand how to get the right mix of capabilities on the aircraft. The decisions we make will impact rotary-wing aviation operations for the next 50 years.”

The aim is to develop a draft requirement for the medium utility JMR—“it’s about this big, goes this far, does these things and we have an idea we can afford it,” Chase says—and use that to derive the demonstrator specification.

At the same time, an acquisition team involving the Army, Navy, Special Operations Command and other potential customers is developing an initial capabilities document (ICD) establishing the requirements for the JMR. This is expected to be completed by mid-fiscal 2012, says Chase. The ICD is a necessary precursor to an analysis of alternatives and Milestone A approval for a new acquisition program, and it is not clear yet whether the ICD will be for the overall JMR family of vehicles or just for the medium utility class.

“We have established a joint-service team through the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift [FVL] working group,” he says. This brings together rotorcraft operators within the Pentagon and was directed by Congress to determine capability gaps, develop an S&T road map and strategic plan for vertical lift, and identify funds for technology development.

With the ICD in place, AATD plans to award multiple contracts in fiscal 2013 to begin design of the JMR demonstrators. Following preliminary design reviews, the Army in fiscal 2015 intends to downselect to two contractors to build the aircraft. “We are putting funding in place for two. They may be the same or entirely different configurations,” he says. Phase 1 of the demonstration will involve flight tests of the demonstrator air vehicles. Phase 2, following two years later, will involve the design and integration of two open-architecture mission systems into the demonstrator aircraft.

Work on defining the common core architecture has already begun. “We’ve started that first, to build a Defense Department/industry consensus on an open systems architecture,” says Chase, adding that the program office responsible for developing the Army’s Victory open architecture for combat vehicles is involved. The goal is to develop a common standard for a scalable architecture to be used in mission-system development in Phase 2. As with the air-vehicle Phase 1, the plan is to award two demonstration contracts to avionics integrators “as a hedge against risk,” says Chase.

With U.S. military rotorcraft production facing a cliff around the end of this decade as procurement programs end, AHS has been campaigning for more investment in technology development to sustain industry capabilities and lay foundations for the next generation.

“The Defense Department needs to ensure there is enough funding for the JMR demonstrators to really be relevant,” says Hirschberg. “This is the Pentagon’s one chance to realize a significant advancement in capabilities—they can’t afford to be timid.”


ATTD concept [IMAGE CREDIT: Aviation Week]


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awst/2011/09/12/AW_09_12_2011_p30-366840.xml&headline=Army%20Begins%20Defining%20Future%20Vertical-Lift&next=0
 

Grey Havoc

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And the fourth JMR team is:


[IMAGE CREDIT: Ares Blog/ AVX]​

AVX Wins JMR Helo Study Contract

Sep 30, 2011



By Graham Warwick graham_warwick@aviationweek.com
WASHINGTON




AVX Aircraft, a small Texas company staffed largely by former Bell engineers, has won a U.S. Army contract to study a potential replacement for the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter.

AVX joins Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky in conducting 18-month configuration analysis and trade studies for the Joint Multi Role (JMR) program, which aims to fly two competing rotorcraft demonstrators in 2017.

No further awards are anticipated, says the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, which is managing the JMR technology demonstration program.

Under its contract, the Forth Worth-based company will identify technologies and develop concepts for both a demonstrator and an objective medium-utility rotorcraft that could enter service in the 2025-30 time frame.

AVX’s design will feature a coaxial rotor and ducted fans for propulsion and control — a similar configuration to that being proposed by the company to upgrade the Army’s Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior to meet its Armed Aerial Scout requirement.

Bell Boeing is studying a tiltrotor, Boeing is looking at a range of configurations and Sikorsky is evaluating an advanced helicopter, tiltrotor and a compound helicopter using its X2 high-speed coaxial-rotor configuration.

The study contracts are each worth around $4 million, with the major manufacturers matching the government funding for a total of $8 million. “We will be close to that,” with funds from the company and nine industry partners, says Ian Brown, AVX director of program management.

AVX also is talking to industry partners and private investors about funding a demonstrator for the OH-58D upgrade. This would take a commercial Bell 206L and fit it with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and new transmissions.

The demonstrator could be flying within 18 months of go-ahead, Brown says, and would be flown for about a year to validate the configuration being offered to the Army. A 206-based design also could find application in the commercial market, he says.


LINK

Follow on Story at Ares:

JMR - Tiny AVX Joins the Big Boys

Posted by Graham Warwick at 9/29/2011 3:26 PM CDT


Fort Worth, Texas-based AVX Aircraft is the mysterious fourth team to win a $4 million contract from the U.S. Army to study concepts for the Joint Multi Role (JMR) medium replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk.


[IMAGE CREDIT: Ares blog/ Aviation Week]​

AVX, staffed largely by former Bell Helicopter employees, is best known for its proposal to meet the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout requirement by upgrading its OH-58D/F Kiowa Warriors with coaxial rotors and ducted fans, which would replace the tail rotor and provide both control and propulsion.

AVX is still pursuing the OH-58 upgrade, and working to corral funds from industry partners and private investors to build a demonstrator, but the JMR contract is the first time it finds itself head-to-head against the big players. Three other 18-month configuration analysis and trade study contracts have been awarded by the Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate: to Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky.

Under the cost-sharing contracts, the companies will identify and prioritize technologies to meet the Army's desired attributes (which include a speed of at least 200kt), and develop concepts for both an objective JMR medium rotorcraft that could enter service in 2025-30 and a technology demonstrator that could fly in 2017.


Tags: ar99, rotorcraft

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Matej

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I think that JMR deserves its own topic. I also recommend to visit the AWX Aircraft website for the nice high-res images:

http://www.avxaircraft.com/image-gallery.html
 

yasotay

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Ha! That will teach Bell what happens when you dump half of your development staff on the street.
It would be nice to have a little competition back in the rotorcraft industry.
 

amsci99

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I'm no aerospace engineer and pardon my ignorance but the coaxial rotor system employed by AVX (based on the concept drawings) seem to resemble those employed on the Kamov series. Would they not present a high drag profile when they are being offloaded by the ducted fans?
 

TomS

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Yes, coaxial rotors do impose some drag penalties, but they're not insurmountable. Even in a straight helo comparison, detailed design can matter more -- the coaxial Ka-50 is a hair faster than the conventional Mi-28 on the same engine power and roughly similar weights.
 

fightingirish

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Stargazer2006

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fightingirish said:
Four teams are under contract to conduct configuration trades and analyses for the US Army's Joint Multi Role (JMR) technology demonstrator program.
  • Bell-Boeing
  • Boeing (IMHO with Piasecki/Vertol heritage?!)
  • Sikorsky
  • AVX Aircraft
Maybe not so sure. Piasecki is very much alive and still a company. Boeing can only claim the technology developed by Piasecki prior to the takeover, circa 1960. All technology developed afterwards (which culminated in the X-49 Speedhawk and all the related designs) is in the hands of Piasecki.
 

yasotay

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Stargazer2006 said:
fightingirish said:
Four teams are under contract to conduct configuration trades and analyses for the US Army's Joint Multi Role (JMR) technology demonstrator program.
  • Bell-Boeing
  • Boeing (IMHO with Piasecki/Vertol heritage?!)
  • Sikorsky
  • AVX Aircraft
Maybe not so sure. Piasecki is very much alive and now part of Sikorsky. Boeing can only claim the technology developed by Piasecki prior to the takeover, circa 1960. All technology developed afterwards (which culminated in the X-49 Speedhawk and all the related designs) is in the hands of Sikorsky.
I think your news of Piasecki being a sub element of Sikorsky might be a surprise to Mr's. Piasecki. I think you are mixing them up with Schweitzer Aircraft that was bought out by Sikorsky.
 

Stargazer2006

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yasotay said:
I think your news of Piasecki being a sub element of Sikorsky might be a surprise to Mr's. Piasecki. I think you are mixing them up with Schweitzer Aircraft that was bought out by Sikorsky.
True. :-[ And it's not the first time I've made that mistake! What confused me was the X-49 Speedhawk, which is a Piasecki program using a Sikorsky helicopter. And yes, I got confused with Schweizer, which has indeed become part of Sikorsky... :-\

My deepest apologies to whomever might have been offended by my mistake, especially people from Piasecki — if ever they visited this site... I have the deepest respect for Mr. Piasecki's visionary take on rotorcraft, which are at long last developing in full swing, and very glad to see so many new projects emanating from the current Piasecki company! ;)
 

F-14D

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fightingirish said:
Four teams are under contract to conduct configuration trades and analyses for the US Army's Joint Multi Role (JMR) technology demonstrator program.
  • Bell-Boeing
  • Boeing (IMHO with Piasecki/Vertol heritage?!)
  • Sikorsky
  • AVX Aircraft
Source: Ares - A Defense Technology Blog: JMR Tech Demo -- the Concepts; posted by Graham Warwick at 10/31/2011 4:35 PM CDT

What's particularly (and pleasantly) interesting to me is that at this stage three of the four teams are considering Tilt-Rotor.
 

unclejim

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"What's particularly (and pleasantly) interesting to me is that at this stage three of the four teams are considering Tilt-Rotor. "
While tecnically interesting, ASAH gonna raise the cost through the roof!
[font=verdana, sans-serif][/font]
 

F-14D

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unclejim said:
"What's particularly (and pleasantly) interesting to me is that at this stage three of the four teams are considering Tilt-Rotor. "
While tecnically interesting, ASAH gonna raise the cost through the roof!
I must not be in the know because I am not familiar with the abbreviation 'ASAH' in this context, and neither, apparently is Google.

That aside, it's not particularly obvious at this point that Tilt-Rotor would be dramatically more expensive than other concepts shown, most of which are not as mature as it is.
 

yasotay

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F-14D said:
unclejim said:
"What's particularly (and pleasantly) interesting to me is that at this stage three of the four teams are considering Tilt-Rotor. "
While technically interesting, ASAH gonna raise the cost through the roof!
I must not be in the know because I am not familiar with the abbreviation 'ASAH' in this context, and neither, apparently is Google.

That aside, it's not particularly obvious at this point that Tilt-Rotor would be dramatically more expensive than other concepts shown, most of which are not as mature as it is.
Well it has been a few months since the last TRA* so why not...

I doubt there is an argument that somehow a tilt rotor is less expensive than other technologies, for acquisition. However there are other metrics that go into the argument and ultimately you have to take into account total operating cost for the aircraft over the lifespan of the aircraft. Indeed the American's now have a requirement to look at fuel efficiency when developing new weapons, and wingborn flight is more efficient than rotor born flight. This is one of the reasons three of four are looking at tilt rotor. The only place that a helicopter is more efficient is in a hover (unless you do interesting things with the prop-rotors, like morphing them). Now there are a few missions in the military where the rotorcraft spends a majority of time below translational lift, such as naval VERTREP, so the helicopter is not completely outclassed. However if you look at most of the missions attack, lift and sustainment, less than 10% of the mission is conducted at a hover. So one has to consider what and where one must invest. The ability to complete a set number of missions within a given day is another efficiency metric. There are any number of studies that show that missions below 100 miles (pretty sure they were all done in miles) there is no effective reason to go faster. The return on investment occurs beyond that. This is why the USMC has stayed the course with V-22 because as more countries get long range anti-shipping missiles the Navy has to operate further from shore to allow the ships defenses time to try and defeat those missiles. When you have a limited number of spots on a deck to operate from you have to make the evolutions from ship to shore very fast so that the initial assault force is not hanging out. The Army is now operating (and expects to continue to operate) over much more dispersed areas. This is what has caused the Army to announce that they expect any future aircraft to go faster. The old maxim: "Time is money" still rings true, especially for medical evacuation where the 'golden hour' is more than a catch phrase. So ultimately it will likely be the total aircraft cost that will drive the decision.

That said I think that there will be two technologies going forward; rigid rotor-ed compound and tilt rotor. In fairness the other compound rotorcraft currently in the hunt offers much less risk for an aircraft so it may actually get to move forward.

*Tilt Rotor Argument
 

F-14D

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yasotay said:
F-14D said:
unclejim said:
"What's particularly (and pleasantly) interesting to me is that at this stage three of the four teams are considering Tilt-Rotor. "
While technically interesting, ASAH gonna raise the cost through the roof!
I must not be in the know because I am not familiar with the abbreviation 'ASAH' in this context, and neither, apparently is Google.

That aside, it's not particularly obvious at this point that Tilt-Rotor would be dramatically more expensive than other concepts shown, most of which are not as mature as it is.
Well it has been a few months since the last TRA* so why not...

I doubt there is an argument that somehow a tilt rotor is less expensive than other technologies, for acquisition. However there are other metrics that go into the argument and ultimately you have to take into account total operating cost for the aircraft over the lifespan of the aircraft. Indeed the American's now have a requirement to look at fuel efficiency when developing new weapons, and wingborn flight is more efficient than rotor born flight. This is one of the reasons three of four are looking at tilt rotor. The only place that a helicopter is more efficient is in a hover (unless you do interesting things with the prop-rotors, like morphing them). Now there are a few missions in the military where the rotorcraft spends a majority of time below translational lift, such as naval VERTREP, so the helicopter is not completely outclassed. However if you look at most of the missions attack, lift and sustainment, less than 10% of the mission is conducted at a hover. So one has to consider what and where one must invest. The ability to complete a set number of missions within a given day is another efficiency metric. There are any number of studies that show that missions below 100 miles (pretty sure they were all done in miles) there is no effective reason to go faster. The return on investment occurs beyond that. This is why the USMC has stayed the course with V-22 because as more countries get long range anti-shipping missiles the Navy has to operate further from shore to allow the ships defenses time to try and defeat those missiles. When you have a limited number of spots on a deck to operate from you have to make the evolutions from ship to shore very fast so that the initial assault force is not hanging out. The Army is now operating (and expects to continue to operate) over much more dispersed areas. This is what has caused the Army to announce that they expect any future aircraft to go faster. The old maxim: "Time is money" still rings true, especially for medical evacuation where the 'golden hour' is more than a catch phrase. So ultimately it will likely be the total aircraft cost that will drive the decision.

That said I think that there will be two technologies going forward; rigid rotor-ed compound and tilt rotor. In fairness the other compound rotorcraft currently in the hunt offers much less risk for an aircraft so it may actually get to move forward.

*Tilt Rotor Argument
Agree with Yasotay.

Generally speaking, a Tilt-Rotor is going to be more expensive to acquire than a conventional helicopter of comparable size, although you'll get that back in fuel and overall maintenance. If all you want/need is what a conventional helicopter can do, then it's harder to make the case for TR. If, on the other hand, your requirements take you beyond that limited region, then you're looking at an advanced rotorcraft concept, and all of them cost more. TR's leg up, if you will, is that it is a mature technology while other technologies are still in the experimental or "hope for" stage. Sikorsky's X2 technology has the potential to fill part of the need, but at this point, it has only demonstrated a few limited flights above the regular helicopter performance envelope. It looks like the S-97 is unfortunately out of the running for the OH-58 replacement, because it won't be flying in time. Brave press releases notwithstanding, it's not likely the Army is going to accept , on such an advanced concept, "It's OK, we'll do simulations. Trust me".

It's interesting to note that both the Boeing and Bell-Boeing Tilt-Rotor concepts seem to now have the engines in the fuselage vs. in the nacelles. There are advantages and disadvantages with both concepts. Ironically, Sikorsky's Tilt-Rotor seems to have the engines in the nacelles.
 

Triton

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Bell Boeing responded to the US Army's joint multi-role (JMR) studies with concepts for next-generation tiltrotors. These images were displayed in Boeing's exhibit booth at the Association of the US Army's annual convention on 10-12 October in Washington DC. Note the three pairs of scissor blades and the V-tails.
Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2011/10/picture-v-22-tiltrotor-version.html
 

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Triton

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The US Army wants to buy a new family of high speed rotorcraft by 2030. Four companies have been awarded study contracts by the Army Aviation Technology Directorate (AATD) -- AVX Corp, Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky.

Three of the four concepts were on display in the exhibit hall of the Association of the US Army's (AUSA) annual convention in Washington DC. It was especially nice to see Boeing's future rotorcraft concepts, which we had not seen before this event.

Boeing future rotor.jpgBottom-left image seems similar to the Piasecki X-49 Speed Hawk, and we're told the pusher propeller can swivel for anti-torque capability.

The next image shows a growth version of a conventional CH-47 Chinook.

The third image from left to right shows Boeing's futuristic DiscRotor concept, which is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA.)

The upper-right image is a second-generation tiltrotor by Bell Boeing, which we'll write more about later today.
Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2011/10/ausa2011-boeing-displays-ideas.html
 

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500 Fan

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I don't know if this has been posted already, but it looks interesting.

500 Fan.

Quote

" U.S. Army developing next-generation helicopter
[/t]
[/size]

12:50 GMT, December 13, 2011[/size] (Released Dec. 9, 2011) WASHINGTON | The Pentagon and the U.S. Army are in the early stages of a far-reaching Science and technology effort designed to engineer, build and deliver a next-generation helicopter with vastly improved avionics, electronics, range, speed, propulsion, survivability, operating density altitudes and payload capacity, service officials said.

The Army-led Joint Multi-Role, or JMR program is a broadly-scoped Pentagon effort, including input, officials and working group members from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, other military services, Coast Guard, Special Operations Command and NASA, among others.

"Our overall philosophy from a program perspective is to leverage what we are learning from the user communities and establish what technologies will provide the desired new capability. Right now the Future Vertical Lift community is working on developing the capabilities document," said Ned Chase, chief, Platform Technology Division, Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, and science and technology lead for the JMR Technology Demonstrator Program.

VISION OF CAPABILITIES

Building a helicopter able to sustain speeds in excess of 170 knots, achieve an overall combat range greater than 800 kilometers (combat radius of 424 kilometers) and hover with a full combat load under high/hot conditions (altitudes of 6,000 feet and 95 degrees F) are among the many capabilities sought after for the JMR.

Plans for the next-generation aircraft also include having a degree of autonomous flight capability or being "optionally manned," successful weapons integration and compatibility, a core common architecture in terms of next-generation electronics, sensors and on-board avionics, manned-unmanned teaming ability and shipboard compatibility.

"We're trying to create a vision," Chase said, referring to the effort to harness technological innovation with a mind to looking beyond current force technology and identifying possible next-generation solutions in a range of areas such as propulsion, airframe materials, rotor systems, engine technology, survivability equipment and Mission Systems, among others.

The JMR program, which seeks to begin designing several "demonstrator" aircraft by 2013 and conduct a first flight in 2017 as a series of first steps toward developing a next-generation fleet of helicopters, is a subset of the Pentagon's Joint Future Vertical Lift effort squarely aimed at exploring emerging technologies and best identifying the realm of the possible with respect to future aircraft and helicopter capabilities.

The DOD plans to begin fielding a new fleet of next-generation helicopters by 2030.

TECHNOLOGY TO YIELD SAVINGS

"The JMR Program is a key part of our strategy to modernize vertical-lift capability long term. With current budget pressures, it is critical that a strong industry-government-academia team be fleshing out the technology enablers in integrated relevant contexts to establish a solid case for both the operational and fiscal benefits of these advanced aircraft," said Army Chief Scientist Scott Fish.

"This team will be leveraging not only lessons learned from recent conflicts, but a broad spectrum of Army and DOD basic and applied research investments made in areas which include: engine and driveline efficiency and cost reduction, advanced materials including polymeric and metal matrix composites, sensor/weapon/other payload integration cost reduction, and very high-performance aerodynamic and reliability modeling and simulation. These investments position us well for risk and cost reduction in our vertical-lift endeavors," Fish said.

JMR CONFIGURATIONS

Planned mission sets for the JMR include cargo, utility, armed scout, attack, humanitarian assistance, MEDEVAC, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, land/sea search and rescue, special warfare support, vertical replenishment, airborne mine countermeasures, and others, according a Nov. 9 Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator Phase 2 Mission Systems Demonstration Request for Information, or RFI.

The over-arching JFVL efforts span a range of four classes of future aircraft, ranging from light helicopters to medium and heavy-lift variants and an ultra-class category designed to build a new fleet of super-heavy-lift aircraft. The ultra-class aircraft will be designed to lift, transport and maneuver large vehicles around the battlefield such as Strykers and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles known as MRAPs. The ultra-class variant, described as a C-130 type of transport aircraft, is part of an Air Force led, Army-Air Force collaborative S&T effort called Joint Future Theater Lift, or JFTL.

TWO PHASES

The JMR Technology Demonstrator effort is broken down into two distinct, measurable phases; phase one includes an 18-month Configuration and Trades Analysis, or CT&A, designed to explore technological possibilities for a new platform or Air Vehicle. Phase one also includes the design, fabrication and test of several demonstrator aircraft, Chase explained.

Phase two will be focused on trade studies and the development of mission systems. The idea is to build several "Technology Demonstrator" helicopters as a method of refining and informing the requirements for the new aircraft, requirements which will likely evolve and change as technologies mature and emerge over time, officials said.

The JFVL effort, which includes both the JMR acquisition program as well as the JMR Technology Demonstrator effort, is designed to incorporate findings from a series of OSD-led studies and analyses on Future Vertical Lift directed by the secretary of Defense in 2009, including a Rotorcraft Survivability Study, a capabilities-based assessment, an S&T plan and a strategic plan.

FOUR INDUSTRY TEAMS

The JMR S&T effort, led by the Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., has awarded "concept trade and analysis" deals with four industry teams tasked with examining the set of attributes, designs and technologies needed to build a new, more capable attack or utility helicopter, said Dave Weller, science and technology manager, Program Executive Office - Aviation.

"The real focus of JMR is to get at the three major tenets: improve the performance, improve the survivability and significantly reduce the operating cost. The next-generation aircraft will have to be a whole lot less expensive to operate than the current fleet," Weller added. "Also, a big issue is increasing reliability and shortening the supply chain to get the logistical benefits of commonality of parts. When we did an adjunct capability-based assessment done to identify gaps, we came up with some 55 gap areas. The number one gap was reliability."

While the JMR program includes the exploration of light, medium and heavy-lift helicopter variants, the effort will initially focus on medium-lift options.

The Army' s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, or AATD, at Fort Eustis, Va., which leads the execution of the tech-demo effort on behalf of AMRDEC, awarded 18-month Technology Investment Agreements to Boeing, a Bell-Boeing team, Sikorsky and a 15-month contract to the AVX Corporation. The first phase of the process will be for the government and its industry partners to conduct analytical studies and trade assessments designed to articulate the scope of what might be technically possible. These initial findings will help inform the specifications to describe the rotorcraft demonstrator vehicles which will then be built.

TWO DEMO AIRCRAFT

"Right now the plan is to go through the first phase to define what the state of the possible would be, followed by a down-select to build two demonstrators. The idea is to identify, develop and demonstrate the best trade solution that covers the attribute matrix. The government is doing the same kind of analysis that industry is doing, so we plan to compare our results," Weller explained.

Initial results from these efforts are due by the end of next year, Weller said.

"We're doing these trade studies to figure out the best way to optimize aircraft. We are working very closely with our user committees who have identified the types of capabilities they would like these future aircraft to have," Chase added.

Building a new aircraft from the ground up is part of an overall strategic effort to harness the best new technologies, allow for the platform to be upgraded as new technologies emerge, integrate systems into a common architecture and, perhaps most of all, drive down costs.

AFFORDABILITY IMPORTANT

Affordability is the utmost priority with the JMR effort, Chase and Weller emphasized.

"It is envisioned that some of these novel ideas may not only drive down the acquisition cost, but also allow much easier and cheaper incorporation of upgrades to the aircraft and its systems," the JMR RFI documents state.

With these Configuration Trades and Analysis studies, Army S&T has taken the lead in exploring the operational benefit and technical feasibility of advanced vertical lift air vehicles, working in concert with the Army's acquisition and requirements communities, said Mac Dinning, AMRDEC aviation liaison for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

"While this program is currently wholly funded by the Army, other services are actively participating to define and develop a Joint Service Air Vehicle system that might replace the existing Black Hawk/Seahawk and Apache medium fleet aircraft," Dinning said.

PHASE I - Air Vehicle

The goal of the JMR S&T program is to leverage the S&T needed to successfully influence the development of a program of record, Weller explained. The program plans to have an approved initial capabilities document by April 2013.

The areas of S&T focus on the JMR Technology Demonstrator program span a wide spectrum of emerging technologies from composite materials to electronics and various rotor configurations designed to increase speed without compromising hover ability, Weller said.

For example, one of several existing "compound helicopter" technologies under examination is the potential use of a coaxial rotor system. With this technology, the idea is to place auxiliary propulsion technologies or "thrusting" devices at the back end of the aircraft to provide extra speed, Weller explained.

Another example of these so-called configurations is to build a helicopter which uses two turbo-shaft engines and two small fixed wings on each side of the aircraft fitted with a pusher-propeller for extra propulsion.

TILT-ROTOR TECHNOLOGY

Also under examination is the potential use of tilt-rotor aircraft technology such as that currently used for the V-22 Osprey; with this design, the aircraft can reach high speeds in airplane mode and then maintain its ability to hover successfully in helicopter mode.

"When you develop capability like these, however, you give up some hover ability. A main focus of the research is to look at ways of increasing speed without sacrificing the ability to hover," Weller said. "Part of the Science and technology program is to look at different configurations."

One of the options being taken up through this effort is the exploration of multi-speed transmission capability, a unique configuration designed to increase speed while avoiding the aerodynamic phenomenon of transonic shock, Dinning explained.

"All of the helicopters we develop now are built with a single-speed transmission. We are looking at how we can leverage technology and put in a multi-speed capability," he said.

NEW MATERIALS

In addition, the new Air Vehicle may contain composite materials and or items now in development, Chase explained.

"We are exploring how to get the most efficiency out of the new structure that we can. One way to do that may be by using composite materials," he added.

Increasing Air Vehicle speed can shorten the response time for these extended missions or combat radius, a critical necessity for saving lives through MEDEVAC operations, and getting supplies such as food, water and ammo to forward-positioned forces, Dinning explained.

"Current helicopter systems are designed to operate for about two hours without refueling. Typical cruise speeds of 140 knots limit the range that these aircraft can operate in," Dinning said.

Short of off-loading payload (troops, weapons, cargo) to add extra fuel bladders, extended-range operations must rely on Forward Arming and Refueling Points, or FARPs, where fuel and armaments are prepositioned.

"The Army recognizes the need to reduce the manned footprint of these forward operation positions," Dinning said.

Non-linear, asymmetric or counterinsurgency-type environments, such as the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, underscore the need to reduce the risks associated with having deployed units travel to potentially hostile prepositioned locations to set up FARPs, he said.

Phase 1 will be followed by a Phase 2 extensive Mission Systems and Aircraft Survivability Equipment, or ASE S&T developmental effort.


----
By Kris Osborn / Army News Service "
Unquote.
 

TomS

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Already discussed here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,13812.0.html

Worth merging, because I think there are more numbers here.
 

mboeller

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maybe the Design from Oliver-VTOL has a place here too:
http://olivervtol.homestead.com/AHL.html
 

Triton

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yasotay

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DoD reveals FVL thinking

06 November 2012 - 15:14 by Tony Skinner in London



The US Department of Defense (DoD) has revealed more of its thinking about its next generation rotorcraft, following an industry conference on 1 November.

At Fort Magruder in Williamsburg, Virginia, attendees were briefed on the first two phases of the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD), which will eventually lead to a formal Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme of record. The FVL aircraft will replace the majority of DoD rotorcraft sometime from 2034.

According to briefing slides released on 5 November, the Phase 1 of the JMR TD programme – now in its third year – will include the design, fabrication, and test of two air vehicle demonstrators, with contract awards expected to be made in FY13.

Alongside this effort, Phase 2 will concentrate on the ‘concepts, tools and processes’ to develop the required mission systems architecture – although it is too early to design the actual mission equipment package (MEP) for FVL. Phase 2 will concentrate on the attack mission as the most ‘stressing’ for mission systems development.

Six companies have been awarded Missions Systems Effectiveness Trades and Analysis (MS ETA) contracts to help define the scope of work undertaken under Phase 2. These included: Boeing, looking at mission scenarios/interoperable communications analysis; Honeywell Aerospace, carrying out a sensor fusion study; Lockheed Martin for a range of efforts, including cockpit HMI, MEP and weapons studies; Rockwell Collins, for a mission systems architectural study; Sikorsky, for a survivability optimisation analysis; and Survice Engineering for lethality and survivability systems analysis tools.

It was also confirmed that the FVL is unlikely to be a conventional helicopter design. Ned Chase, JMR TD programme manager at the US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, revealed that ‘operations analysis’ had found that compound helicopter and tiltrotor aircraft were more effective than the conventional helicopter across ‘all of the aviation missions studied’.

Chase noted that the higher speeds achieved by such rotorcraft were most valuable in medevac, air assault/movement and close combat attack missions.

‘The ability to operate army aircraft over a broader altitude range presents opportunities to widen the possibilities for executing aviation missions,’ Chase stated.

Programme managers had considered demonstrating Phase 2 mission systems components on the Phase 1 air vehicles but cost and risk considerations meant they will now be kept as independent efforts.

A draft solicitation for Phase 1 is expected to be issued at the start of December, with a formal BAA release at the start of January. Proposals will be due within 63 days followed by multiple initial contract awards in mid-September.

An indication of the JMR Model Performance Specification (MPS) was also given, which is currently on its fifth iteration. While the current MPS does not define the performance of the final FVL aircraft, the DoD is currently looking at a rotorcraft suitable for a range of missions (ASW, ASuW, VERTREP, SAR, medevac, special ops), which has utility/attack commonality.

The utility variant will be required to carry 12 troops over a 424 km radius, have a 30 minute loiter capability, and provide ballistic protection and crashworthy attributes. The cabin height must be at least 1.67m and the FVL will either be self-deployable or transportable in a C-17.
 

Triton

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"Army Targets High Speed For Rotorcraft Demo"
by Graham Warwick
Aviation Week & Space Technology
December 03, 2012

Source:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=%2Farticle-xml%2FAW_12_03_2012_p26-522523.xml&p=1

As it draws up requirements for an advanced rotorcraft to replace its Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks after 2030, the U.S. Army wants to demonstrate configurations capable of speeds up to 230 kt.—50% faster than today's helicopters.

The Army's initial requirements for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Medium utility rotorcraft call for speed in excess of 170 kt.—still faster than current helicopters. But its Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) plans to focus the upcoming Joint Multi-Role (JMR) technology demonstration (TD) on the 230-kt. target.

The FVL Medium model performance specification (MPS) now being finalized with inputs from government and industry configuration trade studies “reflects what we think would describe the aircraft if we snapped a line today,” says Ned Chase, AATD's JMR TD program manager. “It's a reasonable place to start.”

The “singular difference” between the model performance specification and AATD's science and technology (S&T) plan is speed, says Chase. That is because the Army has already invested heavily in conventional helicopter technology. The JMR TD program is an opportunity to balance the portfolio by investing in high-speed rotorcraft so a wider range of options will be available when FVL Medium begins around 2020.

“We have an MPS to provide an overarching description of the next-gen aircraft. It is intended to reflect the thinking of the requirements community across the Defense Dept., and their view is still 170-kt.-plus,” says Chase. “[But] we want 230 kt.”

Configuration studies by AVX Aircraft, Bell Boeing, Boeing and Sikorsky, as well as a government team, will be completed in the next 2-3 months. But results so far suggest only a compound helicopter or tiltrotor can meet the FVL Medium requirements. The analyses point to a 30,000-lb. gross-weight aircraft, down from the original 40,000-lb. estimate, but heavier than today's Black Hawk at 22,000 lb.

Under Phase 1 of the JMR TD, AATD plans to issue a broad agency announcement in early January calling for proposals to build demonstrator aircraft to fly in 2017. “We expect a compound or tiltrotor, but there may be others,” says Chase. AATD has funds for two demonstrators.
 

yasotay

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Boeing Teams with Sikorsky on JMR program
http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/rotorhub/sikorsky-boeing-team-us-armys-jmr-td/
Nice way to hedge your bet. As Boeing is also teamed with Bell on Tilt-Rotor there is a good chance now that Boeing will be involved in the Joint Multi-Roll effort regardless of who wins.
As the only potential game in town in the US, it will be interesting to watch the coalesence of the teams in the next few years. Assuming the program survives the budget.
 

Evil Flower

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That last concept interestingly looks a lot like the swiveling tailrotor which was tried on the S-61F and intended for the S-66.
 

AeroFranz

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I tend to concur with the assertion the tail prop is swiveling. Unless the single, main rotor is tip driven, there is no other way to counter torque in hover. The kamov has co-ax rotors which can deal with that. Anyway, anyone remember why the swiveling arrangement (called 'rotoprop' or 'rotaprop') was not pursued? I guess the AH-56 Cheyenne did the same thing but with two separate fixed rotors.
 
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