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

donnage99

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speed will be important since the army reduced its speed from original requirement to open up the competitions to more bids, which means the army does really want speeds exceed 200 kt. not just 180 kt.
 
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TomcatViP

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Great vid. The fact that they need a jet as chase is so cool.
The augmented reality maintenance tool with smart glasses rocks also. Much better than what other (I have Saab in mind) offer on assembly lines for example with fixed, secured flat screens one kilometer away from the operator position.
 
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Moose

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New V-280 video from Bell.

I'm really wondering how SB-1 can compete. Maybe it can find a role at sea.
The mast height of the SB-1 has me skeptical it can fit under the door and roof cranes of a DDG, and the tail would need to fold. Bell at least can point to the Osprey as indicative of how they can fold a tiltrotor into a fairly tight box, Sikorsky's going to need to do a lot of convincing.
 

yasotay

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So to jump on the bandwagon of woe for SB>1. As a fellow who had to worry about maintenance in a farmers field environment, V-280 = 6 x (small) rotor blades, SB<1 = 16 x (8 big, 8 little [as in two different types]) rotor blades. V-280 2 x AH-1 Cobra sized transmission and mast, SB>1 one very tall (large/heavy?) transmission and mast. The point is that it looks that field maintenance will be easier on the V-280, that can probably be done without special vehicles and equipment for the SB>1.

As to the AVX ducted fans; they do seem a little dainty, but that is only a mock up. Also given the seniority and qualifications of the AVX engineering staff I am sure there has been some pretty hefty analysis done on those fans.
 
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TomcatViP

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It's a good point but don't forget that SB-1 has rigid rotors that make them (nearly) maintenance free. Sikorsky will come with a shell life and a replacement time for the mainteners.
I would be more concern with the transmission size, weight and safety. But at least, Airbus is not involved in this (see how France as a state had to guarantee Airbus engine gear boxes for the Korean Surion).
 
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VTOLicious

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As to the AVX ducted fans; they do seem a little dainty, but that is only a mock up. Also given the seniority and qualifications of the AVX engineering staff I am sure there has been some pretty hefty analysis done on those fans.
I don't question the skills of the AVX engineering staff and I'm perfectly aware that mock-ups don't necessarily show all the details.
However, especially that ducted fan is an embarrassment. But maybe I'm just disappointed because I'm already used to the excellent mock-ups from Bell... V-280, V-247, 360 are all eye candys
 

yasotay

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... don't forget that SB-1 has rigid rotors that make them (nearly) maintenance free.
A fair point. I am honestly skeptical of ALL claims of vastly improved maintenance because if nothing else, the enemy and elements never seem to agree with what the vendor puts in the brochure.
 

yasotay

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Speed And Size Drive Advanced Options For U.S. Army’s Armed Scout

Oct 18, 2019

Graham Warwick | Aviation Week & Space Technology

The U.S. Army faces an array of options for its Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). To meet the demanding size and speed requirements, four of the contenders have each unveiled different rotorcraft configurations. The fifth, Boeing, is keeping its design under wraps.

The Army’s requirements for a maximum speed of at least 180 kt. in an armed scout rotorcraft that can fit within a 40 X 40-ft. “box,” enabling it to fly between buildings in urban combat, is pushing manufacturers beyond conventional helicopter configurations.

Externally, Bell’s 360 Invictus is the most conventional of the offerings revealed so far, with a single main rotor and ducted tail rotor. But the design is optimized for high speed, with a low-drag tandem-seat fuselage, a wing to offload the rotor and a supplemental power unit to augment the single 3,000-shp-class General Electric T901 turboshaft to help push the helicopter to its 185-kt. top speed.

- Karem offers high-speed, active-rotor compound
- Sikorsky proposes derivative of coaxial-rotor S-97

AVX Aircraft, teamed with L3Harris Technologies, is proposing its Coaxial Compound Helicopter. This has side-by-side seating, a wing to offload the coaxial rotor and dual ducted fans for speed and agility. Details of Boeing’s design are sensitive, and the company does not want to give its competitors an edge, but the Army is fully informed on its initial design work says Mark Cherry, Phantom Works president.

Sikorsky is emphasizing growth capability to stay ahead of evolving threats with its FARA offering, the Raider X. Based on the X2 coaxial rigid-rotor compound configuration, the aircraft is a development of the S-97 Raider prototype now in flight-testing. The Raider X is about 20% larger, with a 14,000-lb. gross weight, compared to 11,000 lb. for the S-97, and a 39-ft.-dia. rotor, compared to 34 ft. for the Raider.

The Raider X will surpass the FARA program’s threshold of 180 kt. Sikorsky is not saying how fast it will fly but notes the S-97 has reached 215 and 207 kt. in level flight. This exceeds the 205-kt. target in the Army’s initial capability requirements document, says Tim Malia, Sikorsky’s director of future vertical lift-light.

The Army subsequently reduced the threshold maximum speed to enable a wider competition for the FARA program. But Malia says the greater speed and payload capability of the X2 configuration compared to a conventional helicopter provides growth capacity. “We looked at a single main rotor helicopter for FARA, but it would be minimally compliant in the early 2020s.

We need to be able to stay ahead of the threat into the 2030s and 2040s,” he says.

“Single main rotor will not be able to keep up. It’s already tapped out meeting the minimal FARA requirements. It does not have the ability to grow capability over time,” says
Malia. “We didn’t want to pull out all the stops to be minimally compliant when we had X2 able to carry more payload and go faster.”

The Raider X has four-blade rotors and a pusher propulsor. The coaxial rotors generate lift only on the advancing sides, eliminating retreating-blade stall and enabling higher speed. At high speed, 90% of the engine power goes to the propulsor, says Bill Fell, senior experimental test pilot. The propulsor is declutched at low speed to reduce noise.

The Raider X closely resembles the S-97 prototype, with side-by-side seating. Compared with tandem seating, this improves crew coordination and situational awareness, says Malia. “And we can do it aerodynamically because of the robust performance inherent in X2. We are not trying to get out every last ounce of drag.”

Behind the cockpit is a large internal weapons bay. Internal carriage of missiles and unmanned aircraft—which the Army calls air-launched effects (ALE)—is a FARA requirement, but Malia says the cabin-like volume of Raider X’s bay provides growth space for future, larger systems. “The minimum threshold works now, but what if in 2030 there are new ALE that can be decisive but can’t be carried?” he asks.

The Raider X is powered by a single T901—which will be government-furnished equipment to all FARA bidders. “We do not have an additional engine to increase speed,” Malia says. “We use the power available and have a solid design built around it. The T901 provides speeds out of the chute in excess of requirements, and as it improves we can take direct benefit.”

Sikorsky is using the industry-funded S-97 prototype to reduce risk for its FARA bid, conducting flight tests to validate models and optimize the Raider X design. This includes flying new rotor blades designed to reduce drag and vibration. “We are getting exactly the results the models said,” says Malia.

With two rotor systems and a propulsor, Sikorsky is paying close attention to the Raider X’s cost. “We have done a complete affordability analysis and design to cost. We are extremely confident we will come in under the cost goal,” he says.

Several divisions of parent Lockheed Martin are part of Sikorsky’s FARA team, Malia says, including Aeronautics, Missiles and Fire Control, and Rotary and Mission Systems. Swift Engineering will build the airframe if Sikorsky wins one of two FARA competitive prototype contracts scheduled to be awarded in March 2020. The Army flyoff is planned for 2023, with the first unit to be equipped by 2028.

Teamed with Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, Karem Aircraft is proposing a winged compound helicopter with an actively controlled main rotor, the AR40. “The hallmark feature is it can fly fast,” says Thomas Berger, Karem’s FARA program manager. “We go past the threshold requirement by about 20% and do it without any additional auxiliary propulsion on a single T901.” This implies a speed of about 215 kt.

Founded by Predator designer Abe Karem, the company is better known for its development of the Optimum Speed Tilt Rotor (OSTR). But the Army’s requirement that FARA fit within a 40 X 40-ft. box ruled out a tiltrotor design. The designation AR40 stands for “40-ft. active rotor.”

The AR40 has a single main rotor, wing and a unique swiveling tail rotor, which provides anti-torque control at low speed but swivels aft to provide propulsion for higher forward speed. “This is the best design we know to attack the requirement. It has low drag and low vibration at high speed,” Berger says.

In a conventional rotor, a swashplate and pitch links mechanically transmit cyclic and collective blade-pitch command to the rotor head. In Karem’s active rotor, the blades are individually controlled by electric actuators in the hub. This allows blade pitch to be precisely controlled to maximize performance and minimize drag and vibration at high speed, says Berger.

Additionally, power for the full-authority individual blade control actuators is generated in the hub, says Berger, eliminating the need for slip rings to transfer electrical power to the rotating rotor. The rotor has three stiff, lightweight blades and a rigid, hingeless hub. The lack of a swashplate and pitch links results in a slim pylon between fuselage and rotor, reducing drag.

To achieve high speed, “we reduce drag significantly and unload the rotor to the wing,” says Berger. “The swiveling tail rotor means we do not have the edgewise drag of a tail rotor. We store all the ordnance inside, stow the gun and fair the targeting turret.” The AR40 has side-by-side seating. This improves crew coordination and provides additional room behind the cockpit for mission equipment or a cabin for personnel. “It’s space for free,” he says.

While no active rotor has progressed beyond the R&D stage yet, Karem is developing the component technology under the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) program. Under this program, the company will ground-test a 36-ft. variable-speed active rotor for its OSTR design for the Army’s planned Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft.

The OSTR uses the same active control, lightweight blade and rigid hub technology as the AR40. The JMR TD rotor “is under component test, with the integrated test next year,” says Berger. “It will directly help reduce risk for [the AR40’s] individual blade control, rigid hub, blades, etc.”

Karem has worked with the Army’s science and technology community for many years, first on Joint Heavy Lift and later on JMR TD, but the company is still a relative unknown, so it has teamed with heavyweight partners Northrop for airframe production and Raytheon for the open-architecture mission system.

“Karem is the driving pioneer of the rotor and drive system.

Northrop Grumman brings full OEM production and support capability,” Berger says. Northrop company Scaled Composites is also involved and will likely build the prototype if the AR40 wins one of the two competitive prototype contracts.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems will provide the avionics and cockpit integration. Raytheon will perform mission-system integration using its experience with modular open-architecture systems. “We have teamed with big OEMs who have the ability to provide managed risk,” says Berger.

—With Lee Hudson in Washington
 

donnage99

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If Army goes with high risk and low risk approach for choosing 2 bids. I would see high risk being Karem/Northrop/Raytheon team obviously. I see the raider X as low risk considering it already has a smaller prototype flying and a bigger brother being tested. It has alot of room for unforeseen weight and drag add-ons. Invictus kinda fall in the middle. It's low risk because of the more conventional design but high risk because it doesn't have any equivalence flying. The brightest minds at Sikorsky have been divested toward tilt-rotor technology for the past couple of decades. And the design is maxing out its threshold from the start. It would be hard to accommodate any weight increase due to either unforeseen technology challenges or requirement changes.
 

yasotay

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If Army goes with high risk and low risk approach for choosing 2 bids. I would see high risk being Karem/Northrop/Raytheon team obviously. I see the raider X as low risk considering it already has a smaller prototype flying and a bigger brother being tested. It has alot of room for unforeseen weight and drag add-ons. Invictus kinda fall in the middle. It's low risk because of the more conventional design but high risk because it doesn't have any equivalence flying. The brightest minds at Sikorsky have been divested toward tilt-rotor technology for the past couple of decades. And the design is maxing out its threshold from the start. It would be hard to accommodate any weight increase due to either unforeseen technology challenges or requirement changes.
Good assessment I think. Hard to argue with flying things.
 

fredymac

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If I was betting I would say Raider X and Bell Invictus. Raider X due to technical performance and Sikorsky investment (plus political considerations). Bell because of the non flying mockup contenders, it is the most conventional and potentially least costly. And speaking of Bell:

 

VTOLicious

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If I was betting I would say Raider X and Bell Invictus. Raider X due to technical performance and Sikorsky investment (plus political considerations). Bell because of the non flying mockup contenders, it is the most conventional and potentially least costly. And speaking of Bell:

Bell is definitely ahead when it comes to advertising, multimedia and mock-ups ;)
 

VTOLicious

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"...
In Karem’s active rotor, the blades are individually controlled by electric actuators in the hub. This allows blade pitch to be precisely controlled to maximize performance and minimize drag and vibration at high speed, says Berger.
Additionally, power for the full-authority individual blade control actuators is generated in the hub, says Berger, eliminating the need for slip rings to transfer electrical power to the rotating rotor
..."

That's not a new idea and a lot of research was/is conducted in this area. But such a system was never tested in flight, as far as I know. I always thought some kind of individual blade control may be part of Sikorsky's X2 technology, for the reasons given above.
 

TomcatViP

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Regarding the lack of mast mounted sensor, I don't think that there will be a need for that with deployable UAS from the WB. As much as mast did provide increased protection behind tree top line, UAS will boost that to the opposite ridge of a valley or the next city block.
 

TomS

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Regarding the lack of mast mounted sensor, I don't think that there will be a need for that with deployable UAS from the WB. As much as mast did provide increased protection behind tree top line, UAS will boost that to the opposite ridge of a valley or the next city block.
Mast-mounted sight was off the table years ago. Even the last iteration of Kiowa Warrior (OH-58F) went to a nose-mounted sight, as did the abortive ARH-70.
 

yasotay

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If you are going to operate/work with UAS you need antenna space near the top of the rotorcraft, clear of the rotor system(s)
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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Didn't expect it but Bell demonstrated the V-280 to the public at the Fort Worth Alliance airshow over the weekend. Was still parking the car at the time but even from afar it was impressive to see it stop, strafe side to side and do a couple hovering 360s in front of the crowd.
 

TomcatViP

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Let's hope someone had the time to video that. :)

Edit:
Here (around 8:00):

 
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TomcatViP

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And Boeing with an interesting quote:

Cherry said the sealed-lip strategy has another purpose as well.

“You guys aren’t familiar with…competitive intelligence?” he asked the media roundtable. “So there’s people in all these companies that are really, really good at taking a configuration, taking a look at it and basically ascertaining capability.”

“You can ascertain capability based on expectations of drag, propulsion, single versus dual main rotors, whether you have a pusher [propeller] or whether you don’t have a pusher, do you cant your tail rotor, do you not cant, do you have skids, do you have integrated [retractable landing gear],” he went on. “All that translates into an assumed capability and with that assumed capability, you can derive costs. If you can derive costs you can derive, based on the parameters, where you think bids are going to be.”

“So there’s a lot that you can glean from revealing configurations,” Cherry concluded. “There’s a strategic decision made in terms of what you reveal, how you reveal it, and how much you reveal. And obviously some of our competitors have made that choice to go that route [of showing off their designs]. We just haven’t gone that route.”
 

yasotay

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sferrin

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And Boeing with an interesting quote:

Cherry said the sealed-lip strategy has another purpose as well.

“You guys aren’t familiar with…competitive intelligence?” he asked the media roundtable. “So there’s people in all these companies that are really, really good at taking a configuration, taking a look at it and basically ascertaining capability.”

“You can ascertain capability based on expectations of drag, propulsion, single versus dual main rotors, whether you have a pusher [propeller] or whether you don’t have a pusher, do you cant your tail rotor, do you not cant, do you have skids, do you have integrated [retractable landing gear],” he went on. “All that translates into an assumed capability and with that assumed capability, you can derive costs. If you can derive costs you can derive, based on the parameters, where you think bids are going to be.”

“So there’s a lot that you can glean from revealing configurations,” Cherry concluded. “There’s a strategic decision made in terms of what you reveal, how you reveal it, and how much you reveal. And obviously some of our competitors have made that choice to go that route [of showing off their designs]. We just haven’t gone that route.”
"That damn Swede can see air."
 

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IMHO any FARA candidate which does not carry troops like the Karem entry should be disqualified. Likewise, stacked rotors are too much drag for any efficient long range craft.
 

sferrin

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IMHO any FARA candidate which does not carry troops like the Karem entry should be disqualified. Likewise, stacked rotors are too much drag for any efficient long range craft.
Heh, it's the only way Karem would have a prayer. "We can't win by playing by the rules so let's disqualify anybody who abides by them."
 

yasotay

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Aero-engineers, active duty aviators, and sadly, lawyers were all involved in the selection process. The Army wanted diversity in the technologies to evaluate. Looks like they got it.
 

jsport

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IMHO any FARA candidate which does not carry troops like the Karem entry should be disqualified. Likewise, stacked rotors are too much drag for any efficient long range craft.
Heh, it's the only way Karem would have a prayer. "We can't win by playing by the rules so let's disqualify anybody who abides by them."
Karem is not alone in their bid and I will politely disagree by still exclaiming the operational need is for the longest range (least drag) and troop carrying.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Why does a reconnaissance helicopter need to carry troops? I suppose it's useful for SF use in the sort of wars we've been fighting in the Middle East but in a more conventional conflict I can't envision it being all that useful.
 

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Didn't expect it but Bell demonstrated the V-280 to the public at the Fort Worth Alliance airshow over the weekend. Was still parking the car at the time but even from afar it was impressive to see it stop, strafe side to side and do a couple hovering 360s in front of the crowd.
20191019_AFW_01.jpg

She's a sharp looking bird. I was sitting near air show center with my big telephoto lens like a dutiful avgeek. More of my photos here on my article at The AvGeeks on the first public demo at the Fort Worth Alliance Air Show: https://theavgeeks.com/2019/10/20/the-first-public-demo-of-the-bell-v-280-valor-tilt-rotor/
 

jsport

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Why does a reconnaissance helicopter need to carry troops? I suppose it's useful for SF use in the sort of wars we've been fighting in the Middle East but in a more conventional conflict I can't envision it being all that useful.
Placing scouts to watch targets for long periods and even call in strikes from as far forward as possible is what all cdrs want/need. Long term, continous, covert and detailed Early Warning which a UAS can not provide as it would be detected/neutraized is a valid operational need. Being able to place snipers w/o burdening regualr troop lift assets is great benefit.
 

sferrin

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Why does a reconnaissance helicopter need to carry troops? I suppose it's useful for SF use in the sort of wars we've been fighting in the Middle East but in a more conventional conflict I can't envision it being all that useful.
Placing scouts to watch targets for long periods and even call in strikes from as far forward as possible is what all cdrs want/need. Long term, continous, covert and detailed Early Warning which a UAS can not provide as it would be detected/neutraized is a valid operational need. Being able to place snipers w/o burdening regualr troop lift assets is great benefit.
How many troops does the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior (you know, the helicopter being replaced) carry?
 

jsport

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Karem claimed 2-4 trps


"The Kiowa Warrior adds armed reconnaissance, light attack, and Multipurpose Light Helicopter (MPLH = rapid deployment, troop lift, cargo, and casualty evacuation) to the basic OH-58D Kiowa mission capabilities. "


"Kiowa can be used for insertion of up to six troops for critical point security missions. "
 

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sferrin

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Karem claimed 2-4 trps


"The Kiowa Warrior adds armed reconnaissance, light attack, and Multipurpose Light Helicopter (MPLH = rapid deployment, troop lift, cargo, and casualty evacuation) to the basic OH-58D Kiowa mission capabilities. "


"Kiowa can be used for insertion of up to six troops for critical point security missions. "

Now is it in the US Army's list of requirements?
 

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Writing requirements isn't an easy process, moreso if you need to keep costs under control. I'm sure there are those in the big Army machine who want the scouts to be able to carry a couple scouts, but it didn't make the final cut. There's a number of people who don't think the speed is necessary, there's debate over the appropriate weapons and sensor loads, there's even still debate over which FVL needs to go to production first. None of that is a result of incompetence, it's just the reality of a complex situation without easy answers.
 
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