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Offline Thucydides

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Future Helicopters
« on: April 23, 2009, 12:20:31 »
NASA works on active rotors which have the potential to make helicopter flight more efficient. If this pans out, retrofitting existing helicopters is an option providing increases in performance and fuel economy:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/smart_rotor.html

Quote
Future Helicopters Get SMART

Helicopters today are considered a loud, bumpy and inefficient mode for day-to-day domestic travel—best reserved for medical emergencies, traffic reporting and hovering over celebrity weddings.

But NASA research into rotor blades made with shape-changing materials could change that view.

Twenty years from now, large rotorcraft could be making short hops between cities such as New York and Washington, carrying as many as 100 passengers at a time in comfort and safety.

Routine transportation by rotorcraft could help ease air traffic congestion around the nation's airports. But noise and vibration must be reduced significantly before the public can embrace the idea.

"Today's limitations preclude us from having such an airplane," said William Warmbrodt, chief of the Aeromechanics Branch at NASA's Ames Research Center in California, "so NASA is reaching beyond today's technology for the future."

The solution could lie in rotor blades made with piezoelectric materials that flex when subjected to electrical fields, not unlike the way human muscles work when stimulated by a current of electricity sent from the brain.

Helicopter rotors rely on passive designs, such as the blade shape, to optimize the efficiency of the system. In contrast, an airplane's wing has evolved to include flaps, slats and even the ability to change its shape in flight.

NASA researchers and others are attempting to incorporate the same characteristics and capabilities in a helicopter blade.

NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, the U.S. Army, and The Boeing Company have spent the past decade experimenting with smart material actuated rotor, or SMART, technology, which includes the piezoelectric materials.

"SMART rotor technology holds the promise of substantially improving the performance of the rotor and allowing it to fly much farther using the same amount of fuel, while also enabling much quieter operations," Warmbrodt said.

There is more than just promise that SMART Rotor technology can reduce noise significantly. There's proof.

The only full-scale SMART Rotor ever constructed in the United States was run through a series of wind tunnel tests between February and April 2008 in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at Ames. The SMART Rotor partners joined with the U.S. Air Force, which operates the tunnel, to complete the demonstration.

A SMART Rotor using piezoelectric actuators to drive the trailing edge flaps was tested in the 40- by 80-foot tunnel in 155-knot wind to simulate conditions the rotor design would experience in high-speed forward flight. The rotor also was tested at cruise speed conditions of 124 knots to determine which of three trailing edge flap patterns produced the least vibration and noise. One descent condition also was tested.

Results showed that the SMART Rotor can reduce by half the amount of noise it puts out within the controlled environment of the wind tunnel. The ultimate test of SMART rotor noise reduction capability would come from flight tests on a real helicopter, where the effects of noise that reproduces through the atmosphere and around terrain could be evaluated as well.

The test data also will help future researchers use computers to simulate how differently-shaped SMART Rotors would behave in flight under various conditions of altitude and speed.

For now that remains tough to do.

"Today's supercomputers are unable to accurately model the unsteady physics of helicopter rotors and their interaction with the air," Warmbrodt said. "But we're working on it."
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2009, 12:28:12 »
100 PAX helicopters have been around for some time.  http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/helicopters/q0284.shtml

Interesting that NASA is coming up with new systems to improve flight, though.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2009, 19:33:59 »
It seems that a company recently dusted off the V-12 design and is about to put the joys of vertical flight and a good night's sleep into production...

Offline KingKikapu

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 01:28:04 »
that thing reminds me of a zeppelin.

Offline Crossfire

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 09:05:10 »
Oh the humanity!!

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 09:07:53 »
Seems purpose designed for its own "Destroyed in Seconds" episode.

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 10:05:42 »
Crazy design
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 10:29:25 »
New designs got to start somewhere... I'm sure the same things were said about the very first helicopter and the very first air plane...
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 14:39:39 »
Did everything ecept the noise bit.....
http://www.asra.org.au/rotordyn.htm

My family and I traveled through the Soviet Union by camper in the summer of 1970, we were detoured past a large Soviet base and I saw this aircraft flying overhead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-12

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 15:50:21 »
Unmanned helicopters are getting a workout:

http://www.army.mil/article/71269/Army_to_deploy_vertical_take_off_UAS/

Quote
Army to deploy vertical take-off UAS

December 22, 2011

By Kris Osborn, ASA(ALT) Public Affairs
VTOL UAS
A Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial System.
Related Links

    Army.mil: Science and Technology News
    STAND-TO!: U.S. Army Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: 2010-2035
    Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology -- ASA(ALT)

WASHINGTON (Dec. 22, 2011) -- The U.S. Army is using a hybrid-type acquisition approach to develop a helicopter-like, Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial System with a so-called ARGUS wide-area surveillance sensor suite designed to beam back information and images of the surrounding terrain, service officials said.

Beginning in May or June of 2012, the Army will deploy three Boeing-built A160 Hummingbird Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems, or VTOL-UAS, to Afghanistan as part of a Quick Reaction Capability, an acquisition approach aimed at delivering cutting-edge and emerging technologies to theater to add capability and inform requirements while simultaneously developing a formal Program of Record approach, said Lt. Col. Matthew Munster, product manager, UAS Modernization.

"These aircraft will deploy for up to one full year as a way to harness lessons learned and funnel them into a program of record," Munster said.

The formal VTOL Program of Record will involve a full and open competition among many vendors able to propose UAS solutions able to meet the desired requirements, he added.

Army VTOL UAS program developers and engineers are now finishing up some wiring work on the A160 aircraft and performing ground tests with the ARGUS sensor suite.

"The ARGUS sensor suite has never been flown on this platform before so we have to make sure that the integration is complete. We are finishing that up now and adding some different types of antennas. We begin flight testing of the UAS at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, early next year," Munster said.

The VTOL aircraft will give forward-positioned Army units the ability to deploy a wide-area UAS Intelligence, Surveillance Reconnaissance, or ISR, asset without needing access to a runway.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 23:22:27 »
DARPA wants to explore the idea of ultra fast VTOL aircraft. I don't think that anything "conventional" will be able to fulfill their conditions, so it will be interesting to see what exactly comes from this:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/darpa-vtol-x/

Quote
Darpa Wants to Rethink the Helicopter to Make It Go Way Faster
BY SPENCER ACKERMAN02.25.132:00 PM

Helicopters are great. They’re maneuverable in very tight spaces, they haul heavy things relative to their small sizes — and, very importantly, they take off and land vertically, removing the need for a big airstrip or aircraft-carrier deck. That function is so important to the military that the U.S. designed fixed-wing aircraft to do the same thing, like the Marines’ iconic Harrier jet or their weird tilt-rotor Osprey.
And they actually all suck, according to the Pentagon’s blue-sky researchers at Darpa, who are launching an effort to blow up and re-imagine helicopters, jump jets and tilt-rotors. It’s time to make these “VTOL” aircraft — the collective term for Vertical Take-Off and Landing — way, way faster, without sacrificing their ability to hover or other functionality.

Like any aircraft, VTOLs are most vulnerable to enemy attack when they’re taking off and landing. But unlike other aircraft, they’re slow to ascend and descend, a particular problem when an adversary lurking nearby knows exactly what pattern the VTOLs will use to get off the ground and back onto it. And when they’re flying, they’re not going nearly as fast as something with, say, a jet engine. It’s a problem the U.S. military has often encountered in warzones. Anyone who’s taken a ride on a Blackhawk or a Chinook in Afghanistan or Iraq has been very thankful for the guy with the .50-caliber gun hanging out the open back of the helo.

Hence Darpa’s newest aircraft program. It’s called the VTOL X-Plane and officially launches Monday. The idea is to rethink the designs of anything that takes off and lands vertically, to make it faster; hover and cruise more efficiently; and haul more stuff. By the time it’s done in 52 months, it just might result in an aircraft that doesn’t look at all like a helicopter, jump jet or tilt-rotor.

“What we’re interested in doing is flying much faster than we have been able to do with helicopters,” program manager Ashish Bagai told reporters on a conference call. Helos and other VTOL aircraft typically max out at 170 knots. Bagai wants the X-Plane to do 300. “We want to fly at improved efficiencies, both in hover and at forward flight,” he said, “and we want to demonstrate this is possible without sacrificing the ability to do useful work. And to do this concurrently is a very big challenge.”

It’s also not springing up from specific improvements in helicopter or other VTOL capability in the aerospace industry. Nor does it arise from any tech innovations Darpa sees on the horizon. “We have seen in the community a few isolated and novel approaches to addressing this problem but we’re in danger of suffering an attrition in our technology bases,” Bagai said. “This is an opportunity Darpa would like to put forth to advance the state of the art, well beyond where we are today.”

Good luck with that. Helicopters usually get faster by adding power and messing with the rotor placements. (See, for instance, Sikorsky’s funky ’70s-era designs.) But that typically compromises their ability to hover. Nor, Bagai conceded, have fixed-wing VTOLs cracked the speed/hover/power problem. And the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor has endured more than its fair share of challenges.

All of which raises questions about the VTOL X-Plane’s ability to actually deliver on its promises. Bagai thinks there’s an opportunity for “hybridization” by mashing up the fixed-wing and helicopter design communities, but like many Darpa projects, the program will pulse those communities rather than take advantage of improvements on the cusp of maturity.

Darpa’s setting a “very aggressive” development schedule, Bagai said, that’s targeting a flight test in 42 months. Ten months later, when the program ends, “we want to have demonstrated all our key objectives and have a flying aircraft available,” he said. If it fails, helicopters, jump jets and tilt-rotors won’t be any worse off. If it succeeds, the VTOL X-Plane pretty much represents their next generation.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline recceguy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 08:11:20 »
.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 16:33:18 »
This one machine will solve all our problems...  ;D
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Pat in Halifax

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 16:48:00 »
Oh the humanity!!
Couldn't resist!
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Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 18:29:21 »
This one machine will solve all our problems...  ;D

Does that count as a hovertank?

Quote
Darpa Wants to Rethink the Helicopter to Make It Go Way Faster

Who wants to go fast?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnA1Q2JvvJo
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 14:37:10 »
While not a helicopter, the Hunting H-126 research aircraft used "Jet Flaps" (know known as "Blown Flaps") to achieve remarkable STOL performance. The downside was since 60% of the thrut was diverted through the slots at the rear of the wing, there was little power for forward flight (although as a proof of principle research craft that wasn't really much of an issue).

Developing this idea further could be the 80% solution, providing excellent STOL performance from very small airfields, good low speed performance and the high speed "dash" that DARPA wants. How to do the hovering/vertical flight portion with this principle needs the attention of much smarter people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunting_H.126
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2013, 17:32:40 »
While not a helicopter, the Hunting H-126 research aircraft used "Jet Flaps" (know known as "Blown Flaps") to achieve remarkable STOL performance. The downside was since 60% of the thrut was diverted through the slots at the rear of the wing, there was little power for forward flight (although as a proof of principle research craft that wasn't really much of an issue).

Developing this idea further could be the 80% solution, providing excellent STOL performance from very small airfields, good low speed performance and the high speed "dash" that DARPA wants. How to do the hovering/vertical flight portion with this principle needs the attention of much smarter people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunting_H.126

So we should just buy all the upgraded Harriers that the British mothballed then? :nod:
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2013, 08:31:54 »
So we should just buy all the upgraded Harriers that the British mothballed then? :nod:

Might be nice.

Since DARPA is looking for something that combines the vertical flight capabilities of a helicopter with the forward flight capabilities of a fixed wing aircraft, something like an evolved Harrier might actually be the way to go.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2013, 09:28:26 »
something like an evolved Harrier might actually be the way to go.

Like an F35B.....?

That still does not offer helicopter-like capabilities, though.

Offline GnyHwy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2013, 22:44:14 »
What's the loiter time of an F-35B or Harrier in hover?  5 min?  That was just a complete guess, but I can't imagine it's much longer than that, unless your carrying fuel instead of bombs.

The vertical take off offers great flexibility, but I don't think you can compare a Harrier to a helo.  Most simply because helos are a manoeuvre force  that is commanded at the tactical level, and jets are not.

 



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Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2013, 23:20:22 »
Can I assume that this x-plane would be used to bring troops in and out of combat? As they are afraid of the enemy knowing the patterns set by current aircraft. And if not, don't we have weapons, smart bombs etc that don't require aircraft to hover and still be effective?

Becuase I see no need in modern warfare for a jet to land in a hostile enviroment. And having a troop carrier with such capabilities might be a little big and vulnerable.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 00:18:04 »
STOVL Sqns anyone?  :nod:

Mission: The mission of the VMA STOVL squadron is to attack and destroy surface and air targets, to escort helicopters, and to conduct other such air operations as may be directed.

Specific tasks of the AV-8B HARRIER II include:
- Conduct close air support using conventional and specific weapons.
- Conduct deep air support, to include armed reconnaissance and air interdiction, using conventional and specific weapons.
- Conduct offensive and defensive antiair warfare. This includes combat air patrol, armed escort missions, and offensive missions against enemy ground-to-air defenses, all within the capabilities of the aircraft.
- Be able to operate and deliver ordnance at night and to operate under instrument flight conditions.
- Be able to deploy for extended operations employing aerial refueling.
- Be able to deploy to and operate from carriers and other suitable seagoing platforms, advanced bases, expeditionary airfields, and remote tactical landing sites.

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marinefacts/blharrier.htm
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Loachman

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 10:55:37 »
What's the loiter time of an F-35B or Harrier in hover?  5 min?  That was just a complete guess, but I can't imagine it's much longer than that, unless your carrying fuel instead of bombs.

The vertical take off offers great flexibility, but I don't think you can compare a Harrier to a helo.

My point exactly.

VTOL capability is merely a take-off and landing option, not a tactical employment one.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 23:36:06 »
My comment about an evolved Harrier was directed more towards the physics of how DARPA's project might be accomplished than how it would be tactically employed. I can see how the way I worded it was not clear.

The F-35 actually does not replicate how the Harrier works, the Harrier's vectored thrust system works in all flight modes (Vector In Flight Thrust) while the F-35's fan is only capable of vertical take off and landing, and is not deployed in forward flight. The Harrier is capable of air combat manoeuvres that are literally impossible for any other aircraft, and are perhaps the inspiration for thrust vectoring nozzles on modern jet fighters.

As for what DARPA hopes to accomplish, I expect they are looking at high speed dash and the ability to cover larger areas with these high speed concepts. Smaller vehicles would supplement or replace attack and scout helicopters, while larger vehicles would serve as transports. This is someting like the projected role of the V-22 in the USMC's doctrine. As a point of interest, a Harrier also carried far more ordinance than any helicopter, but the trade off is Harriers do not hover while waiting for a target to appear (indeed, I think Harriers normally only land vertically, since vertical takeoff with a combat load would burn up too mch fuel)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline CBH99

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2013, 18:25:44 »
So we should just buy all the upgraded Harriers that the British mothballed then? :nod: 

^  USMC beat us to it.  They jumped on that opportunity like a fat kid on a sandwich.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 15:03:25 »
DARPA is still working on this project:

http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2014/03/18.aspx

Quote
VTOL X-Plane Program Takes Off
March 18, 2014

DARPA tasks four companies with designing new aircraft to revolutionize vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight capabilities   

For generations, new designs for vertical takeoff and landing aircraft have remained unable to increase top speed without sacrificing range, efficiency or the ability to do useful work. DARPA’s VTOL Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program seeks to overcome these challenges through innovative cross-pollination between the fixed-wing and rotary-wing worlds, to enable radical improvements in vertical and cruise flight capabilities. In an important step toward that goal, DARPA has awarded prime contracts for Phase 1 of VTOL X-Plane to four companies: 

◦Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation
◦The Boeing Company
◦Karem Aircraft, Inc.
◦Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
“We were looking for different approaches to solve this extremely challenging problem, and we got them,” said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. “The proposals we’ve chosen aim to create new technologies and incorporate existing ones that VTOL designs so far have not succeeded in developing. We’re eager to see if the performers can integrate their ideas into designs that could potentially achieve the performance goals we’ve set.”

VTOL X-Plane seeks to develop a technology demonstrator that could:

◦Achieve a top sustained flight speed of 300 kt-400 kt
◦Raise aircraft hover efficiency from 60 percent to at least 75 percent
◦Present a more favorable cruise lift-to-drag ratio of at least 10, up from 5-6
◦Carry a useful load of at least 40 percent of the vehicle’s projected gross weight of 10,000-12,000 pounds
All four winning companies proposed designs for unmanned vehicles, but the technologies that VTOL X-Plane intends to develop could apply equally well to manned aircraft. Another common element among the designs is that they all incorporate multipurpose technologies to varying degrees. Multipurpose technologies decrease the number of systems in a vehicle and its overall mechanical complexity. Multipurpose technologies also use space and weight more efficiently to improve performance and enable new and improved capabilities.

The next major milestone for VTOL X-Plane is scheduled for late 2015, when the four performers are required to submit preliminary designs. At that point, DARPA plans to review the designs to decide which to build as a technology demonstrator, with the goal of performing flight tests in the 2017-18 timeframe. 

# ##

Associated images posted on www.darpa.mil and video posted at www.youtube.com/darpatv may be reused according to the terms of the DARPA User Agreement, available here: http://go.usa.gov/nYr.

Tweet @darpa
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2014, 23:15:16 »
More on the US rotorcraft replacement program. If we were smart we wold buy into the program as well (much like we did with the fighter program that eventually created the CF-35), which would put us in line to replace the Griffon and potentially the Chinooks in the late 2020's when this program reaches fruition. The ability to get economies of scale and interoperability are well worth seeking:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/aviation/news/the-rise-of-radical-new-rotorcraft-16850989?click=pp

Quote
The Rise of Radical New Rotorcraft
At a secret facility, aerospace engineers are plotting to end the helicopter as we know it, and devising new rotorcraft to replace it.
By Jeff Wise

The building doesn't look like much—one of several nondescript hangars alongside an airstrip on the edge of the Everglades, baking in the eternal monotony of the central Florida sun.

This is the home of Sikorsky Aircraft's Area 31, where the company works on its most advanced rotorcraft projects. Like Area 51, the famously clandestine Air Force base in the Nevada desert, this airfield is home to experimental aircraft being built and tested. The mystery projects here need to be kept not only from other nations but from other aviation companies too. Millions, possibly billions, of dollars are at stake. For that reason, Sikorsky is hesitant to let journalists onto the grounds and does so only if the tour is restricted and the photography limited.

Inside the hangar, bathed in fluorescent light from banks of industrial lamps, is a molasses-dark fuselage with unusual twin fins jutting vertically from its tail. The fin structures are vertical stabilizers with rudders built in. Even at a glimpse, the half-finished airframe is something new.

This is the S-97 Raider. When it takes to the air in 2015, it will be the first production-ready prototype for a new kind of rotorcraft, the compound-coaxial helicopter. The Raider has two rotors that turn in opposite directions on a central mast, enabling it to fly up to 275 mph. That's more than 100 mph faster than a conventional helicopter, giving it twice the range.

The S-97 is among an emerging generation of advanced craft that could redefine the meaning of vertical-lift aviation. In 2011 the Army funded the Joint MultiRole Rotorcraft Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. This is the first step in an effort to replace the military's entire inventory of helicopters. Retired first will be the UH-60 Black Hawk, to be replaced with the Future Vertical Lift Medium, at the earliest in 2030.

The FVL Medium will have big shoes to fill. The Black Hawk provides the bulk of vertical-lift capability for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Special Operations Command, and Coast Guard. It first entered service with the Army in 1979; over the next 30 years, more than 2300 aircraft saw service at home and abroad. The Black Hawk and its variants have proven track records but are limited by a maximum speed of 183 mph.

Aside from the FVL Medium, the Pentagon envisages three other classes of future flying machines that will have roots in this program: the FVL Light, to replace the Kiowa scout helicopter; the FVL Heavy, to replace the brawny twin-rotor Chinook; and the FVL Ultra, a brand-new class of aircraft that would combine the hauling capacity of a C-130 cargo plane with the ability to take off vertically. If the Pentagon plan comes together, these machines will replace every U.S. military helicopter.

Changes on the battlefield are posing dangers for traditional helicopters. Longer range missiles can target bases and ships, putting helicopter staging areas at risk. Aircraft that can fly faster and travel farther can complete their missions with less risk. And, since more capable rotorcraft can cover more ground, the Pentagon can buy fewer of them.

Today's most advanced vertical-lift aircraft is the V-22 Osprey, used by the Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command. The Osprey tilts its rotors 90 degrees to fly like an airplane and land like a helicopter. But the Army is looking for a smaller combat rotorcraft instead of an Osprey-size heavy lifter. The JMR Technology Demonstrator will be designed to carry 11 troops, compared with the Osprey's carry capacity of 24.

The other type of vertical aircraft is the jump jet, which can vector its engines toward the ground to hover. Examples include the AV-8B Harrier and F-35B Lightning II, both carrier-capable fighter airplanes. These are not well-suited as Army utility lifters and attack helos because they burn too much fuel and are not light or maneuverable enough to fly missions close to the ground.

The goal of the JMR-TD program is to create an aircraft that is as nimble as today's Black Hawk while hovering, but with a ferry range of 2100 miles and a cruise speed of more than 265 mph. Industry engineers declare that it's possible, but the Pentagon launched the JMR-TD program to be convinced. "It's an investment to inform ourselves about the technology that's available," Dan Bailey, the Army program's director, says. "What we are looking at is a leap ahead in capability."

Last year the Army narrowed the field to four JMR-TD competitors, including two giants—Sikorsky of Stratford, Conn., and Bell Helicopter of Hurst, Texas—and two tiny firms, AVX Aircraft Company of Benbrook, Texas, and Karem Aircraft of Lake Forest, Calif. Each was awarded $6 million to produce a design. This summer two of the four will be selected to turn that design into hardware, with flight tests from 2017 to 2019.

The Army has made it clear that whoever survives the downselect will not necessarily be the winner of a $100 billion production contract for building as many as 4000 aircraft. But even losing companies stand to gain by flying demonstration aircraft, since the JMR-TD designs will inspire versions suitable for civilian markets.

In a few decades these futuristic rotorcraft could be as common in the skies as conventional helicopters are today. "This is a step change," says Steve Weiner, Sikorsky's director of engineering sciences. "It's going to be similar to when fixed-wing airplanes went from piston to jet engines."

If next-generation rotorcraft will be more capable than today's fleet, they are also going to be considerably more expensive. It takes a lot of power to go fast, and bigger engines add both weight and cost. "If you want to go above 150 knots [173 mph], you're going to have to pay a premium of 50 to 100 percent," says Richard Aboulafia, an aviation analyst with the Teal Group. Pentagon-funded demonstrator programs allow manufacturers to work out the kinks of new designs and bring down prices.

"Looking downstream, it's obvious that there's certain commercial applications of this technology," Bell's Keith Flail says. Some niches will be easier to exploit than others. "Offshore oil rigs could be a market," Aboulafia says. With exploration moving into ever-deeper waters, a vehicle that can make twice as many trips ferrying rig workers in the same amount of time will be worth the steep price tag to the big energy companies.

Another potential market, Aboulafia says, is the VIP market. Corporate executives and other wealthy individuals already take helicopters on short-hop trips, but more advanced rotorcraft could ferry passengers as far as 500 miles, avoiding airport hassles.

In a more critical application, medevac, speed can mean the difference between life and death. "There's a thing called golden hour," AVX's Troy Gaffey says. "If you can get someone to a hospital within that time, they're a lot more likely to live."

If these early markets pan out for tilt-rotors or compound-coaxial helicopters, there's no telling how many other uses they'll have. Right now vertical lift means a conventional helicopter, with niches occupied by the jump jet and the tilt rotor. Some day that relationship could reverse, if this new generation of vertical-lift aircraft becomes the norm, relegating conventional helicopters to the fringe. "You'll see the ratio change in that direction," Flail predicts confidently. "The evolution is coming."

What Makes Helicopters So Slow?

When a helicopter is stationary, its rotor blades move at the same speed relative to the air. But when a helicopter flies forward, the blades on the advancing side move faster, relative to the wind, and the blades on the retreating side move slower.

As soon as the helicopter's forward speed matches the speed at the tip of the rotor, the retreating rotor tip momentarily experiences zero airspeed. At that point the rotor is generating no lift, a phenomenon known as retreating-blade stall. With half the rotor disc no longer holding the aircraft up, the helicopter tends to roll to the side. This aerodynamic principle limits conventional helicopters to about 200 mph.

The Contenders

Sikorsky

Coaxial Rotors: Sikorsky's entry in the Black Hawk replacement program is the SB-1 Defiant. With a top speed of more than 300 mph, the Defiant will be faster than the company's internally funded S-97 Raider. The Defiant uses two rotor discs that move in opposite directions to defeat retreating-blade stall. Counter-rotating rotors have an advancing blade on each side of the aircraft, giving balanced lift at all speeds. Advanced composites make the blades extremely stiff, so they can whir through the air in proximity without hitting each other.

Pusher Prop: This rear-mounted propeller provides extra thrust. "It's an incredible sensation to realize that you're at the cruise-power setting of a normal helicopter but going 250 mph," Sikorsky chief test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck says.

Bell Helicopter

Tiltrotors: Bell is building its entrant, the V-280 Valor, based on its experience with the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The smaller, nimbler version will be able to carry 11 soldiers 264 miles, hover for 30 minutes, and return at 320 mph. No need to worry about retreating-blade stall: To go fast, pilots toggle a thumb wheel that tilts the twin rotors 90 degrees, transforming them into propellers. The Valor's two engines will be fixed in a horizontal position, with only the rotors pivoting up and down. The Valor will sport flexible rotor blades for a new level of maneuverability at low speeds, while still providing the range and efficiency that no traditional helicopter can match.

Side Doors: "The bread-and-butter mission for the Army is air assault," V-280 program director Keith Flail says. "When soldiers are coming into a landing zone, they need clear fields of view and clear fields of fire out the sides of the aircraft."

Karem Aircraft

Optimum Speed Tiltrotors: Karem's TR36TD concept uses twin tiltrotors to achieve a top speed in level flight of more than 420 mph. The company developed a technology, the Optimum Speed Tiltrotor, that allows the pilot to adjust the revolutions per minute of the rotor depending on the phase of flight. The rotors don't need extra power to turn during forward flight, so decreasing their rpm increases efficiency.

AVX

Ducted Fans: AVX's design relies on a compound-coaxial helicopter like Sikorsky's, but with rotors that are lighter and more flexible, saving weight and therefore reducing power requirements. A pair of ducted fans on the rear of the airframe will give AVX's as-yet-unnamed rotorcraft extra speed. The rotors and the ducted fans push the demonstrator up to a maximum of 265 mph.

Forward Canards: In cruise mode, much of the lift will come from a pair of canard wings near the nose. "Based on our analysis, the coaxial-compound helicopter will outperform a conventional helicopter, and the cost will be essentially the same," AVX president Troy Gaffey says.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2014, 10:35:20 »
Looks nice, but considering their seemingly inability to deal with the S-92 issues, not sure how much faith I or others will have in their new toy.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2014, 14:39:01 »
Good thing then that there are four competitors working on this. As well, there are several other companies with good ideas (if less political clout) working on various alternatives. Just because Sikorsky seems unable to adapt an existing helicopter design (the S-92 is ultimately derived from the UH-60 Blackhawk) does not mean that we are stuck with them for any future product (or for that matter, that the team working on their new helicopter is equally inept).

Given the long lead time, *we* have the ability to get in on this (the economic benefits of Canadian companies being able to act as a subcontractor or supply parts is worth going for in of itself), and Canada is going to have to look for replacement helicopters sooner rather than later. The Griffon is a militarized Bell 412, which is itself a product evolution of the 1960's era "Huey", and the Chinook as a design is equally old. Even the S-92 is derived from the UH-60 which was designed in the 1970's...Even though there is nothing intrinsically "wrong" with these designs, the operating environment has changed so much that new approaches need to be looked at.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2014, 16:02:42 »
The Griffon is a militarized Bell 412, which is itself a product evolution of the 1960's era "Huey", and the Chinook as a design is equally old.

The current versions, especially the Chinook, bear little in common with their original variants.

How much commonality is there between a 1960s Ford Mustang and a 2014 one, other than the name?

Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2014, 16:22:00 »
Interesting report on 2 Super Puma ditchings , basically after a gearbox failure, the secondary lubricating system kicked in, but then a fault light came on saying it didn't so both aircraft successfully ditched when they didn't need to. 

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2014, 01:46:42 »
While it is true that the Chinook of 2014 is quite different from the 1960 version, one of the critical things which never changed is the internal dimensions. Much of our kit is bigger and heavier than it was back then, so a future heavy lift helicopter should have either a bigger fuselage, or perhaps be laid out like the Skycrane and be capable of grappling large loads. As for the Griffon, it is difficult to fit an entire section with its kit inside, and impossible to do so under winter warfare conditions (too much kit taking up too much space), so any future utility helicopter also needs a larger fuselage and more lifting capacity. If there is a desire to have a navalized version, then a bigger, more capable airframe would also be a bonus (one reason the S-92 and earlier the EH-101 were selected as the naval helicopter is they are far more capable than the Seahawk in terms of lift capability)

So fresh sheet of paper designs are still needed for today and tomorrow's operating environments.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Loachman

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2014, 09:17:44 »
What bigger and heavier kit would you need to move in one piece, internally, in a tactical situation, that a Chinook cannot move?

Don't expect any good news on the Utility side, ie Griffon replacement or upgrade, for a couple of decades - barring major surprises.

Don't expect the same on the Chinook side for about four decades.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #33 on: June 16, 2014, 06:49:12 »
I wonder how far this can be developed? A Chinook can carry five times as much but this seems like an interesting step in one direction.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #34 on: June 16, 2014, 08:27:52 »
I wonder how far this can be developed? A Chinook can carry five times as much but this seems like an interesting step in one direction.

An interesting hybrid between a drone and all-in-one transporter.  While the USMC successfully operated drone converted K-Max helicopters in Afghanistan to carry slung loads, it still remains a transporter separate from a carried load.  Should be interesting to see this line of technology develop.

Regards
G2G

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2014, 00:47:10 »
The US is also testing a system called ARES, which might be compared to the "Skycrane" on a smaller scale. The flying module of the ARES is something like a giant quadcopter, capable of picking up a 3000lb (1500Kg) payload module. Projected uses are cargo, medivac and ISR:

http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/TTO/Programs/Aerial_Reconfigurable_Embedded_System_(ARES).aspx

Quote
AERIAL RECONFIGURABLE EMBEDDED SYSTEM (ARES)

Difficult terrain and threats such as ambushes and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) can make ground-based transportation to and from the front line a dangerous challenge. Helicopters can easily bypass those problems but present logistical challenges of their own, and can subject flight crew to different types of threats. They are also expensive to operate, and the supply of available helicopters cannot always meet the demand for their services, which cover diverse operational needs including resupply, fire-team insertion and extraction, and casualty evacuation.

To help overcome these challenges, DARPA unveiled the Transformer (TX) program in 2009. Transformer aimed to develop and demonstrate a prototype system that would provide flexible, terrain-independent transportation for logistics, personnel transport and tactical support missions for small ground units. In 2013, DARPA selected the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) design concept to move forward.

ARES is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight module designed to operate as an unmanned platform capable of transporting a variety of payloads. The ARES VTOL flight module is designed to have its own power system, fuel, digital flight controls and remote command-and-control interfaces. Twin tilting ducted fans would provide efficient hovering and landing capabilities in a compact configuration, with rapid conversion to high-speed cruise flight.

It is envisioned that the flight module would travel between its home base and field operations to deliver and retrieve several different types of detachable mission modules, each designed for a specific purpose. Example modules could include:

Cargo resupply
Casualty evacuation (CASEVAC)
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
The ARES program would enable numerous benefits, including:

Useful load capability as high as 3,000 pounds, more than 40 percent of the takeoff gross weight of the aircraft
Flight performance similar to light aircraft
Compact configuration and the ability to use landing zones half the size typically needed by helicopters of similar size
VTOL operations from prepared, unprepared and ship-based landing sites
Unmanned operation, with a future path towards semi-autonomous flight systems and user interfaces for optionally manned/controlled flight
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2014, 09:01:37 »
There is, also, the Air Mule being developed by Israel.



As far as I can find out the vehicle is six meters long and two meters wide, has a top speed of 120+ knots and can carry 1,500+ pounds of cargo or passengers.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2014, 10:24:45 »
No option to care for the patient while underway. I wonder if they would put monitors in the craft? It's a bit of a throw back to this


Offline George Wallace

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2014, 10:40:49 »
It is still a method to get casualties off the battlefield and into the medical treatment system faster than other lesser land options.


Monitors were mentioned in the presentation.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2014, 14:58:02 »
Quote
Future of AF Helicopter Fleets Discussed At Conference
   
   
(Source: U.S Air Force; issued Oct 20, 2014)
 
 
   
   BARKSDALE AFB, La. --- Air Force Global Strike Command's Helicopter Operations Division hosted the Worldwide Helicopter Conference here Oct. 7-9, to discuss the current and future state of the Air Force's helicopter fleets.

The conference promoted cross talk among the Air Force's helicopter forces, which are principally operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces, the Air Force District of Washington and AFGSC.

AFGSC, PACAF and AFDW operate a fleet of UH-1N Iroquois helicopters whose missions include surveillance of off-base nuclear weapons convoys, support of the Nuclear Security and Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government missions and distinguished visitor airlift.

However, the UH-1N is an aging platform, operating well past its intended lifespan, said Col. Todd Worms, the AFGSC Helicopter Operations Division chief. To continue safe, secure and effective operations, a more capable platform is required.

ACC currently operates the HH-60G Pave Hawk to fulfill the Air Force's requirement to provide personnel recovery capability for its own forces as well as other Defense Department forces in hostile or isolated environments.

"We find that even though we're divided up into two operations, pretty much what affects one half affects the other; to include deployments, personnel shortfalls and maintenance issues," Worms said. "This is the one time each year we get to sit down and discuss all those issues with the commanders and the leadership from both sides to make sure we balance impacts across the force, come up with innovative ideas and exchange best practices. Budget restrictions resulted in the conference being cancelled in 2012 and 2013, making this year's information cross flow extremely beneficial."

Although the helicopter community is split across two platforms, the lessons learned from either side can greatly impact the future of the other.

"The Air Force's helicopter community is critical to a number of missions, and a common forum to address current and future issues is important to the Airmen who execute those missions," said Col. Charles Tomko, the ACC Personnel Recovery Division chief. "As we move forward with the Combat Rescue Helicopter Program, we will continue to work with our other helicopter partners to ensure we are all successful as a community to execute the missions the Air Force and combatant commanders task us with."

Worms also highlighted areas that a common rotary-wing platform across the Air Force would improve, including reduced training and maintenance costs, personnel efficiencies and common logistical practices across the force.

One particular area where commonality could be felt is in the helicopter training program.

The training that helicopter pilots go through currently requires aircrews to go through additional training when they transition between the UH-1 and the HH-60. A topic of discussion during the conference was how the Air Force can improve the process, avoiding the added cost of operating two separate platforms.

Currently, the goal is to have one rotary-wing platform for the Air Force.

"If we buy the right things and make the right moves, we have an opportunity to build a much more capable and flexible helicopter force at a lower cost," Worms said.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/158114/usaf-conference-mulls-future-helicopter-fleets.html

For me, I would be looking at helicopters that can fold up in 10 mins and be stowed on board C130s or C17s and then can be unfolded in a like period of time at the far end.  Instead of trying to build transcontinental, super-sonic helicopters.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2014, 21:21:34 »
Quote
Currently, the goal is to have one rotary-wing platform for the Air Force.

Which shows you what the USAF truly thinks about helicopters.  Imagine if the Air Force said, "Our goal is to have one airplane for the Air Force."   ???

Of course, the Air Force considers the Osprey a fixed-wing aircraft because it sometimes looks normal...like other airplanes.

:dunno:

Offline YZT580

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2014, 22:44:46 »
Which shows you what the USAF truly thinks about helicopters.  Imagine if the Air Force said, "Our goal is to have one airplane for the Air Force."   ???

They already did.  It is called the F35.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2014, 10:26:46 »
Just make them turn over all transports to the Army and USN.  ;D

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2014, 13:48:15 »
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/release/158114/usaf-conference-mulls-future-helicopter-fleets.html

For me, I would be looking at helicopters that can fold up in 10 mins and be stowed on board C130s or C17s and then can be unfolded in a like period of time at the far end.  Instead of trying to build transcontinental, super-sonic helicopters.

Do you mean Sea Kings? ;)

Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2014, 20:16:11 »
I have to wonder if what we are building today can last as long as they did?

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2014, 23:22:21 »
Do you mean Sea Kings? ;)

Everything old is new again.  :)
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #46 on: October 24, 2014, 00:13:46 »
Just imagine what a larger scale platform this could make:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=693522244049344&fref=nf
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #47 on: October 24, 2014, 11:57:40 »
It will do a lot of things, but not stealth  :)

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #48 on: October 24, 2014, 12:25:55 »
It will do a lot of things, but not stealth  :)

Visions of Stormtroopers flying through the forests of Ewok come to mind.  Larger versions that would create a large central cargo/passenger compartment with a cockpit up top would probably be too large to be practical. 

The interesting part of the design is the 'protected' rotors that would prevent blade strikes, damage and critical loss of control.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #49 on: October 24, 2014, 12:31:20 »
patrol drones, resupply of FOB's and possibly causality evac.

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2014, 17:40:04 »
Current birds can fly with damaged rotors :)

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2014, 19:04:02 »
Yes, I know.

But it wasn't very comfortable, and we didn't fly very far.

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #52 on: October 24, 2014, 19:39:09 »
Current birds can fly with damaged rotors :)

A few years ago i had a duct tape themed page-a-day calendar. One of the little tidbits was a tale submitted by a huey pilot who served in Vietnam. After being broufht down by enemy fire that damaged the blades, the huey crew was able to repair the damaged rotor blades enough to take flight again and escape the enemy forces who were rapidly closing in on their downed bird... Using only duct tape.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2016, 13:33:37 »
New helicopter prototype from Sikorsky. While roughly the size of a Kiowa, it can carry six people plus crew, and flies extremely fast. Sikorsky hopes this is the prototype of a new generation of helicopters (it is itself a development of the company's X-2 program).

http://nextbigfuture.com/2016/01/sikorsky-shows-off-superfast-and.html

Quote
Sikorsky shows off superfast and compact S-97 Raider military helicopter proof of concept
Sikorsky is building a game-changing RAIDER aircraft that is intended to revolutionize helicopters for the military.

The Army wants to reinvent the very idea of rotorcraft, with a new propulsion concept. After the flight tests and technology development, JMR will end and a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued open to all companies to begin the projected $100 billion FVL effort. Demonstrators developed under JMR will be "X-planes" to demonstrate some key technologies, but they won't have production-representative engines or real mission systems architecture; JMR will show off technologies to enable Army rotary-wing aviation to make the next leap in speed, lift, protection, and interoperability under FVL for the 2030s. The program is intentionally slow paced to avoid past program failures.

Although requirements are still being refined, the notional concept for a new aircraft must reach speeds of 230 kn (260 mph; 430 km/h), carry up to 12 troops, operate in "high-hot" conditions at altitudes of 6,000 ft (1,800 m) and temperatures of 95-degrees Fahrenheit, and have a combat radius of 424 km (263 mi) with an overall unrefueled range of 848 km (527 mi).

Ars Technica reports that Sikorsky a guided walk-around of the S-97 Raider, a proof-of-concept helicopter developed without government funding that the company hopes will earn a role with the military as an armed scout helicopter. The Raider is different from just about everything in the helicopter world, using a pair of counter-rotating rigid rotors for lift and a tail-mounted propeller for additional thrust, allowing it to fly at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour (220 knots) and hover at extreme altitudes.

Sikorsky is hoping that the Raider will fill a hole in the Army's aviation capabilities that can't currently be filled by unmanned aircraft. "You need to have a human in the loop assessing the situation" on scout missions, Fell said.

The rigid rotors of the Raider give it a compact footprint compared to other helicopters of its size—while it fills up the same space as the two-seater Kiowa, the Raider has space for six troops in a passenger compartment. And when in level flight, the Raider flies more like a commercial jet than a helicopter—the collective control locks in at its most efficient position, and the pilot flies the helicopter exclusively with the cyclic stick. A control on the stick allows the pilot to control the pitch of the rear propeller to control speed in level flight—or to fly the aircraft backward with negative pitch. And the combination of rigid rotors and rear thrust makes the Raider much more nimble than other helicopters; the Raider is designed to withstand sustained forces of up to three times the earth's gravity in maneuvering.

Much work needs to be done still on the Raider—so far, the aircraft has only flown for a little over two hours, and there have only been about 40 hours of ground tests.

By next year, the Raider's test flights will begin to push its performance envelope.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2016, 14:58:10 »

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Re: Future Helicopters
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2017, 22:55:11 »
Photos of a prototype of the V-280

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-first-images-of-the-armys-new-futuristic-helicopter-2017-9

Quote
Here are the first images of the Army's new futuristic helicopter prototype
The Aviationist
David Cenciotti, The Aviationist

The V-280 Valor is Bell’s submission for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase, the technology demonstration precursor to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), a replacement for the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

The V-280 will have a crew of 4 (including two pilots) and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops. Its cruising speed will be 280 knots (hence the designation V-280) and its top speed will be 300 kts.

It’s designed for a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi although the Army’s requirements for the demonstrator call for hot and high hover performance (at 6,000 feet and 95 F), and the ability to self-deploy 2,100 nautical miles at a speed of at least 230 knots.

Featuring a triple-redundant flight-by-wire Flight Control System and cutting edge avionics, the first prototype of the next generation helicopter is expected to perform its first flight in the next few months. On Aug. 30, what looks like a 100 percent complete aircraft, sporting the registration N280BH, was spotted at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center (where the demonstrator aircraft began ground vibration testing with a 95 percent complete helicopter back in February 2017): the Valor is probably being prepared for engine tests ahead of its maiden flight (planned for Sept. 2017).

The T64-GE-419 engines and gearboxes in the nacelles are clearly visible in the interesting images in this post obtained from a short video filmed by our friend Steve Douglass. Interestingly, unlike the V-22’s engines, that rotate with the gearboxes, in the V-280, the gearbox is the only thing that rotates.

According to Bell “The output shaft is connected to the drive system through a spiral bevel gearbox that transfers power to the fixed gearbox and proprotor gearbox, which rotates on two big spherical bearings driven by a conversion actuator mechanism.” The Valor’s tilting gearbox design vastly simplifies the Osprey’s complex hydro-mechanical clockwork required for the tiltrotor action.

The U.S. Army plans to field distinct platforms: a utility helicopter and an attack helicopter. For this reason, a variant, dubbed AV-280, is expected to carry rocket, missiles and also small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) forward or aft with no rotor interference.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.