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Next C130 will be a Vertical Lift Cargo plane

TomcatViP

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Lt Gen. S. Clinton Hinote told the House Armed Services seapower and projection forces panel the Air Force no longer views the C-130 as “well suited” to the future tactical airlift mission, and it needs to replace it with “new capabilities” involving vertical lift technologies.
[...]
In wargaming scenarios with China, and given the Air Force’s plan to island- and location-hop to avoid enemy missiles, “we run significant risk in [tactical] airlift, especially in conducting logistics under attack,” Hinote said. The “C-130 capability is not well-suited to address this risk,” he said. “That’s why we feel we need to retire a certain number of the older C-130s, while addressing this airlift risk in new ways, with new capabilities.”

In scenarios where logistics is under attack by China, Russia, or other adversaries, “what we see is that the capability for vertical lift is going to be really important for us; i.e., getting away from the fixed runway, so that we can do logistics in a way that is somewhat disruptive, and, frankly, a lot harder to target.”

Hinote said there are “quite a few efforts going on” with regard to battlefield vertical lift. The Army is pursuing a number of new rotary-craft programs, which Hinote said the Air Force is “following very closely,” but “at the very same time, we’re exploring vertical lift programs inside of our RDT&E as well.” Hinote did not forecast when the Air Force might start moving toward the new capability with a program of record.

 

shin_getter

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Heavy VERTICAL lift :)

superheavy_starship__1.jpg
 

riggerrob

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There was a proposal to build a tandem-wing version of Bell-Boeing's CV-22 Osprey. Basically, it was going to have two compete sets of (CV-22) rotors and wings attached to a longer fuselage. Hopefully it would be able to lift double the cargo of an Osprey: (10,000 pounds). Ideally the new VTOL tiltwing would be able to carry 20,000 pounds of payload.
Compare this with a C-130h payload of 75,000 pounds.
 

yasotay

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The original ARMY requirement was to lift 18 tons as most of the FCS was to be robotic and intended for protection for the infantry. Over time the weight grew to 22 tons, then 28 tons, finally 30 tons. At the end the aircraft was only slightly smaller than a C-17.
The Bell/Boeing effort (once the giant CH-47 fell out at 22 tons) was indeed a Quad Tilt Rotor. Significant work was done in its development. By the time the 30 ton requirement arrived Boeing was in the lead and the team returned to a twin rotor concept that could also be made in a fixed wing version. Karem stayed in the effort with some very innovative technologies. Had Lockheed every considered the USAF to go forward with the program they likely would have teamed with Karem. Sikorsky finally went the tilt rotor route at 28 tons, but always seemed to be in the effort because they got money to be.

Truth in lending, I am very leery of USAF Inc. This is the same organization that decided the Army did not need the C-27J. All Army logistics could be handled by C-130. The Army ended up contracting lift (Jingo-Air) to meet the shortfall in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In the same meeting where it was decided that C-27J was an USAF mission, the then Joint Heavy Lift (Army) effort became Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL). It was terminated a year later, albeit there was no budget.

I think this a ploy. Research and Development is the only place there is money for DoD in Congress this year.
 
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Archibald

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Why retire, when rockets?

77374810001_912563995001_ari-origin06-arc-507-1303332605192.jpg
That one didn't turn out so well.

A steam-powered Hercules ? what could possibly go wrong ?

ROTFL "Credible sport", yeah "incredible crash" would have been a more appropriate name.

How about putting four F-35 engines under wings (with their fans) - a bit like the AW.681 concepts having four Pegasus ?
 

Rhinocrates

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There was a proposal to build a tandem-wing version of Bell-Boeing's CV-22 Osprey. Basically, it was going to have two compete sets of (CV-22) rotors and wings attached to a longer fuselage. Hopefully it would be able to lift double the cargo of an Osprey: (10,000 pounds). Ideally the new VTOL tiltwing would be able to carry 20,000 pounds of payload.
Compare this with a C-130h payload of 75,000 pounds.
This?
 

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yasotay

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That.

That is the final 30 ton version of the platform that began life slightly smaller than a C-130. The 30 ton aircraft was almost the same size as a C-17.
 

stealthflanker

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So this works basically by "replacing" the Bypass ratio of a turbofan with numerous smaller fans. ?

I guess it could be a fair tradeoff as perhaps it can make the design "flatter" which makes it better than having large bypass turbofan which kinda harder to conceal from Radar.

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For additional context tho. VTOL's is hard as when the "V" part is needed the lift is essentially generated by thrust. and one would need alot of it. so 30 tons of VTOL needs 30 tons of thrust to get airborne vertically. This vertical thrust needs to be generated by large diameter blades Or a high thrust jet engine. Each are essentially killing each other where large blades would suffer when one desire large forward speed while jet engine loses all of its honor when someone desires hovering ability as it would suck fuel like glutton.

Thus why in this regime.. the resulting concept is often technically very complex and this can creep into cost and weight problem.
 

taildragger

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The Army is pursuing a number of new rotary-craft programs, which Hinote said the Air Force is “following very closely,”

In the past, "Following very closely" has meant:
- fail to take the requirement seriously (because it doesn't require a pointy nose and afterburner and/or atom bombs)
- watch from the sidelines as the Army develops a solution
- throw a hissy fit
- confiscate the hardware
- retire/scrap said hardware (after an interval adequate to cloud memories)
 

shin_getter

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Link to old thread:

After reading it, it is surprising to me that Gyrodynes was not considered more. Was there a major flaw that makes it undesirable in military use?
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Given the strategic and economic position here in 2021, should we surprised if the PLA shows up with some long range superheavy VTOL? If the Chinese is trying something, what kind of concept would the most logical for them?
 

yasotay

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@taildragger - Sadly I have to agree with your analysis completely, having lived it twice. What may be different this time is that all three of the US rotorcraft primes are not beholden to the USAF for major rotorcraft programs and may push back politically. Also, the fact that the USAF is using the "VTOL" word (if not just as a means to funds) may mean that they are indeed interested in verticality again.

@shin_getter - I suspect that the lack of meaningful development of gyrodyne technology in the preceding years put it in a category of very high risk for development. Whether this is a valid perspective of the technology or not could be argued. At the start of the heavy lift efforts by the U.S. Army most would have been content with a bigger Chinook. Tilt rotor and coaxial compound were very much in the "voodoo" technology for many in Army Aviation leadership. There were several very innovative ideas proposed that had no chance of moving forward because their radical nature was too much for the conservancy of the Aviation leadership. In fairness to those leaders, there was not a lot of extra funding sitting around for the JHL effort.
Also the Chinese exhibited a model of a Quad Tilt rotor called "Blue Whale" if I recall correctly, several years ago. Not sure if they are still pursuing that effort.
 
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curtisscholl

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Hi:

If I recall correctly the Marines worked with LTV on the XC-142. It was a kind of extension of the Hiller X-18. A tilt wing cargo aircraft. How about turning the C-130 into a tiltwing with larger engines and longer props. Fuel consumption would go up, but the capacity would remain the same in straight and level flight. The issue of how much the prop-rotors could lift would be a part of the problem.
<swiped from wikipedia>
The original outline had been drawn up as a replacement for the Sikorsky HR2S, with a payload on the order of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg). BuWeps released a revised specification that specified the same payload, but extended the operational radius to 250 miles (400 km) and increased the cruising airspeed to 250–300 knots (460–560 km/h) and the maximum airspeed to 300–400 knots (560–740 km/h). However, for the Marine Corps mission, the requirement stated that the fuel load could be reduced so that the maximum gross weight would not exceed 35,000 pounds (16,000 kg), as long as a 100-nautical-mile (190 km) radius was maintained.

35,00 pound gross weight not payload.

The two winged four rotor system seen in movies is not exactly invulnerable to rotor strikes from RPGs, missiles, etc.... one rotor hit would obviate the opposite diagonally positioned rotor be shut down immediately... or the whole aircraft will turn turtle.

The concept of a Fairey Rotordyne style operation regime applied to a C-130 could have promise, but the contra rotating coaxial rotor a la Sikorsky would be an interesting add on.
 

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Fluff

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Is there any explanation of what exactly they want to achieve, in terms of mission? My assumption is special forces etc, but are they talking about 'normal'(I know) Army missions?

I mean if the need to to deliver a 25T APC with crew, vertically there are other ways to do this - the problem as mentioned by others, is the first bit - taking off - so in a real operation wouldn't it be cheaper to para-drop or whatever, then just pick up the crew with your stealthhawk, and blow up the APC? Job done.

Pretty much everywhere else you can get a C130 into?

And given for the F16 replacement the hourly costs were an issue, and for F35, then the laws of physics tells us running 400 VTOL 'C130' is going to cost a lot more per hour, or per Ton delivered, than an updated C130 fleet.
 

yasotay

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The mission was to deliver mechanized forces with their greater mobility and firepower into locations to disrupt an enemies ability to command and control and sustain combat. The intent was not to shoot up the enemies tanks and APC, but his fuel trucks and command post. The challenge with foot mobile infantry is that once on the ground, they are not so mobile, nor do they have as much firepower.
The reason for VTOL is that it has been recognized in the ground forces that airfields and ports are the Maginot Line of the 21st Century. They are the most documented bits of land and can be made unusable in a number of ways from bombs and artillery to insurgents with MANPADS. While C-130 are capable of some fantastic feats, like landing in a farmers field, landing 50 of them in that field is problematic without a fair amount of engineer support. VTOL could land repetitiously and use a number of smaller fields so as not to give the enemy a target point.
However, by the end of all the studies, while it was recognized that having an ability to introduce a mechanized force into any farmers fields (or any golf course) in enemy territory was a wonderful thing, the ability of the same aircraft to deliver bulk logistics directly to combat forces without all the tail-to-tail logistics was of far more value. This is what got ground commanders excited.
That said, in reference to the financial question above, once the Army recovered from their fainting spell at the cost of the proposed program, they elected not to pursue the concept.
 

Fluff

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The mission was to deliver mechanized forces with their greater mobility and firepower into locations to disrupt an enemies ability to command and control and sustain combat. The intent was not to shoot up the enemies tanks and APC, but his fuel trucks and command post. The challenge with foot mobile infantry is that once on the ground, they are not so mobile, nor do they have as much firepower.
The reason for VTOL is that it has been recognized in the ground forces that airfields and ports are the Maginot Line of the 21st Century. They are the most documented bits of land and can be made unusable in a number of ways from bombs and artillery to insurgents with MANPADS. While C-130 are capable of some fantastic feats, like landing in a farmers field, landing 50 of them in that field is problematic without a fair amount of engineer support. VTOL could land repetitiously and use a number of smaller fields so as not to give the enemy a target point.
However, by the end of all the studies, while it was recognized that having an ability to introduce a mechanized force into any farmers fields (or any golf course) in enemy territory was a wonderful thing, the ability of the same aircraft to deliver bulk logistics directly to combat forces without all the tail-to-tail logistics was of far more value. This is what got ground commanders excited.
That said, in reference to the financial question above, once the Army recovered from their fainting spell at the cost of the proposed program, they elected not to pursue the concept.
Thanks!

Again technology moves on, someone must be thinking of dropping unmanned vehicles in to do this, maybe with a containerised mission 'computer' incase jamming is intense? Also removes the somewhat stressful 'behind enemy lines' in terms of mission failure, and then we see good old boys paraded on TV.

Also someone mentioned F35 based transport, even the current F35 could be 're-engineered' to carry 4 troops subsonic and stealthy, maybe a 'flatpacked' truck on the underside.

I still see all of this as very special forces, not mainstream.
 

F-14D

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A C-130-sized replacement has been a further down the road part of Army's plan for some time. It was known as JMR-Ultra earlier and now is FVL CS (Capability Set) 5. Given the requirement for sustained hover, the consensus seemed to be (even from Sikorsky!) that at this size it would have to use some form of Tilt-Rotor technology. USAF had done low-key looksees of this mission a while back as part of their Joint Future Theater Lift (JFTL) studies. The alternatives they looked at were Tilt-Rotor and Hybrid airship.

I wonder if USAF is reviving it now because they're getting up on their "Roles and Missions" platform and trying to pre-empt and prevent Army from developing such a craft next decade.
 

VTOLicious

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A X³ type of helicopter in the size of a Mi-26 would be interesting (and maybe most promising).
 

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totoro

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I was just about to write about that approach. If having a vertical operations 20 ton payload aircraft is a must, and if one doesn't want a super expensive and super long development program with an unsure outcome - going with a huge helicopter that uses various modern design cues that offer greater range and speed - like added wings, added propulsors etc - is a much more sensible solution.

Yes, such an aircraft would still be well short of C-130's range with a 20 t payload, possibly by a factor of 5 times less. But it's the only sensible solution fairly attainable in not too distant future. As such, it'd probably augment the non-vtol 20t payload fleet, for those situations where vtol is absolutely necessary. And a separate airplane would be needed for other missions. Either c130 or perhaps something similar with turbofans?

Of course, IF the tiltrotor tech has advanced sufficiently that V280 can be enlarged so it has some four times bigger MTOW, then that approach can be used as well. But it won't really offer much more range than a winged helicopter. And you'll still end up with a 100 ton mtow aircraft carrying 20 tons, compared with a 70 ton mtow c130, carrying similar payload.
 
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Fluff

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Just a thought, how about a 2 part solution, so a 'c130' plus an electric drone, with enough power to get you up or down?

So your field only needs say 6 of these, to handle 30 aircraft?

Probably some holes, so please poke away.
 

totoro

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The obvious hole for that it may not be efficient for unprepared locations. Such locations would still need to have those drones be sent/flown separately, so they can aid the C130.
At locations where such drones would already be stored and waiting, well then you probably already have a makeshift base there, so having a c130 perform a normal landing would also often be an option.
Of course, there might be certain scenarios where makeshift base is available but there's simply no room for a runway or no working runway due to enemy's action.
It's not a bad concept, and I'm sure we will see more of the modular lift platform/cruise platform/payload hold platform amalgams. Not sure how far into the future that is, though.
 

Fluff

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I was thinking they would be attached to the first aircraft that went out. An 'electric' C130 would help, as you could route the power to the drone, to help.
 

Archibald

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Hi:

If I recall correctly the Marines worked with LTV on the XC-142. It was a kind of extension of the Hiller X-18. A tilt wing cargo aircraft. How about turning the C-130 into a tiltwing with larger engines and longer props. Fuel consumption would go up, but the capacity would remain the same in straight and level flight. The issue of how much the prop-rotors could lift would be a part of the problem.
<swiped from wikipedia>
The original outline had been drawn up as a replacement for the Sikorsky HR2S, with a payload on the order of 10,000 lb (4,500 kg). BuWeps released a revised specification that specified the same payload, but extended the operational radius to 250 miles (400 km) and increased the cruising airspeed to 250–300 knots (460–560 km/h) and the maximum airspeed to 300–400 knots (560–740 km/h). However, for the Marine Corps mission, the requirement stated that the fuel load could be reduced so that the maximum gross weight would not exceed 35,000 pounds (16,000 kg), as long as a 100-nautical-mile (190 km) radius was maintained.

35,00 pound gross weight not payload.

The two winged four rotor system seen in movies is not exactly invulnerable to rotor strikes from RPGs, missiles, etc.... one rotor hit would obviate the opposite diagonally positioned rotor be shut down immediately... or the whole aircraft will turn turtle.

The concept of a Fairey Rotordyne style operation regime applied to a C-130 could have promise, but the contra rotating coaxial rotor a la Sikorsky would be an interesting add on.

The CL-84, Osprey and V-280 show three possible ways of turning a C-130 into a VTOL

- tilt the wing with the four engines attached to it

- tilt the engines and propellers only

- tilt only the propellers

In the case of four engine aircraft however it is far more complicated, for the simple reasons the four propellers kind of have to become four rotors... and thus the span ain't enough anymore for the four rotors to seat side by side.

The only way AFAIK is to go Curtiss X-19 and get tandem wings: four wings each with one engine.

Hey, how about an hybrid of Curtiss X-19 and V-280 ?


Instead of tilt-engines, just tilt the propellers...

I've seen "quad CL-84s" concepts and also "quad V-22s" (including the fat monsters in "Edge of tomorrow")
- but so far, no "quad V-280".
Maybe it's the way to go ?
 

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