PPRuNe Forums


Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th Aug 2014, 21:04   #1 (permalink)
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 539
Bell/Lockheed and Sikorsky/Boeing Selected for JMR-TD

Sikorsky/Boeing, Bell Win U.S. Army JMR Rotorcraft Demonstrators | AWIN ONLY content from Aviation Week

Quote:
Sikorsky/Boeing, Bell Win U.S. Army JMR Rotorcraft Demonstrators
Aug 12, 2014

Amy Butler and Graham Warwick


A Sikorsky/Boeing team has received one of two contracts to build high-speed rotorcraft technology demonstrators for the U.S. Army.

Bell Helicopter will build the second flight demonstrator, an industry source says.

The Sikorsky/Boeing team will build the 230 kt.-plus SB.1 Defiant rigid coaxial-rotor compound helicopter and Bell the 280-kt. V-280 Valor tiltrotor under the $217 million first phase of the Joint Multi Role technology demonstration (JMR TD). Both rotorcraft are to fly in late 2017.

JMR TD is the precursor to the Armyís planned Future Vertical Lift Medium (FVL-M) program to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter from the mid-2030s onward. An attack derivative could later replace the Boeing AH-64 Apache and a marinized version could replace the Navyís MH-60 Seahawk.

The two other competitors for JMR TD Phase 1, small companies AVX Aircraft and Karem Aircraft, are expected to receive Army contracts for some level of continued technology development. AVX was proposing a 230-kt. coaxial-rotor/ducted-fan compound and Karem a variable-speed tiltrotor.

Cost-sharing is a major component of JMR and executives at both Bell and Boeing have said industry is investing many times more than the government in the technology demonstration because of the importance of the follow-on FVL-M program.

How much of the JMR TD budget the Army has left to spend with AVX and Karem will depend on the cost-sharing agreed to by Sikorsky/Boeing and Bell. Both AVX and Karem say they are in discussions with the Army.

The Defiant and Valor will demonstrate high-speed rotorcraft candidates for FVL-M, at or close to full scale, but there is no guarantee the Army ultimately will opt for higher speed when it comes time to replace the UH-60 and AH-64.

With the rigid coaxial rotors, pusher propeller and advanced fly-by-wire controls of Sikorskyís X2 configuration, the Defiant demonstrator will be powered by a pair of Honeywell T55 turboshafts from the Boeing CH-47 Chinook.

Bellís V-280 demonstrator will be powered by a pair of General Electric T67 turboshafts, mounted fixed at the wingtips and driving tilting proprotors. Bellís team members include Lockheed Martin for the mission system, Spirit AeroSystems for the composite fuselage, GKN for the V-tail and Moog for the fly-by-wire flight controls.
Strange as I had heard through the grapevine that Bell had been selected nearly 2 weeks ago, but was likely staying mum until the Army had concluded negotiations with the other competitors regarding lower level-funded JMR technology developments (presumably with AVX or Karem) and made the announcement themselves.

Looks as though Boeing was informed on Monday, and immediately put forth a press release today

Sikorsky, Boeing Selected to Build Technology Demonstrator for Future Vertical Lift
SansAnhedral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th Aug 2014, 02:56   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 589
The JMR program management probably made up their mind on who would be awarded the flight demonstration contracts many months ago. Basically, the two flight demonstration contracts were Bell's and Sikorsky's to lose. But to be fair AVX and Karem were given a fighting chance to displace Bell or Sikorsky if the results of study work done under the previous contract showed substantial progress. Unfortunately for AVX and Karem, it does not appear they were able to convince the program management that their concepts had enough potential to outweigh the risk of awarding a contract of this scope to a small company.
riff_raff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th Aug 2014, 20:12   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Sky
Posts: 104
Anyone surprised?

This had about as much to do with competition as VXX and CRH. DoD was NEVER going to move BELL (and their partner L/M) or the B-S team (Boeing-Sik.) out of the competition. Too many jobs and pressure from Congress on the line. Unfortunately for AVX and Karem.

The choice conveniently spreads the risk bet across both major advanced technology paths too (tilt and compound). I would also be willing to bet that AVX will get brought in to the B-S team and Karem to the Bell-L/M team in the near future so nobody actually loses yet....
Stinger10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Aug 2014, 03:16   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 589
Stinger10-

You are definitely a hardened skeptic. Personally, I can see why the JMR program management ultimately decided to give the flight demonstrator contracts to Sikorsky and Bell. The resources these large OEMs have available to commit to this project were a major factor. But you have to appreciate that two very small companies (AVX and Karem) were even given the opportunity and equal funding to compete in the initial study phases of this program by the JMR management. They made the competition as fair as they could.

Recall that EC dropped out of the JMR competition because they felt the amount of funding provided was only a small fraction of what it would cost to build the demonstration aircraft, and not worthwhile for them to pursue.
riff_raff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th Apr 2017, 00:15   #5 (permalink)
CTR
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Defiant Behind Schedule?

News has been dribbling out from Sikorsky and Boeing executive interviews recently that the Defiant is behind contractually scheduled First Flight in 2017. Any news other than speculation when they think they can fly?
CTR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th Apr 2017, 15:27   #6 (permalink)
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Earth
Posts: 539
Nothing outside of speculation, but word on the street (and among suppliers) is they are about 12-18 months behind.
SansAnhedral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Apr 2017, 05:09   #7 (permalink)
CTR
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Behind Schedule?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SansAnhedral View Post
Nothing outside of speculation, but word on the street (and among suppliers) is they are about 12-18 months behind.
So if Sikorsky and Boeing are really a year or more behind schedule, what does that mean to the FVL competition?

Or perhaps without a promised follow on contract this was never a competition?
CTR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Apr 2017, 19:36   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 251
The schedule is a convenient fiction.
Seems pretty clear the competition is between tilt and coaxial rotor designs.
Neither is especially impressive at this point, so a few more years to mature the technologies will not hurt.
etudiant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Apr 2017, 19:49   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Arlington, Tx. US
Posts: 492
Et

Bell on track to fly. Aircraft already in systems/ground tests(not running). No one knows if Sikorsky can even fix the apparent flaw in the 97 design. Chances are rigid coaxes don't scale up.
The Sultan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Apr 2017, 20:33   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sultan View Post
Et

Bell on track to fly. Aircraft already in systems/ground tests(not running). No one knows if Sikorsky can even fix the apparent flaw in the 97 design. Chances are rigid coaxes don't scale up.
You are of course entirely right, tilt rotors have a big head start.
That is why I think the schedule is a fiction, the Army needs a competitor more than it needs new vertical lift.
etudiant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Apr 2017, 21:50   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 219
Sultan says, "No one knows if Sikorsky can even fix the apparent flaw in the 97 design." Hmmm. I heard that unlike tilt rotors, JMR is not supposed to be disposable. Perhaps foolishly, the US Army would like to have aircraft that can make both legs of a typical mission.

On a raid in Yemen, "A US military aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing at a nearby location, resulting in an additional US injury. That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing [and] was then intentionally destroyed in place," the DoD said.
US loses Osprey aircraft in Yemen raid | IHS Jane's 360
rjsquirrel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th Apr 2017, 03:42   #12 (permalink)
CTR
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Come on RJS. Don't use my honest inquiry on the status of the Defiant to try and bait Sultan with Osprey put downs.

No information other than speculation has been presented regarding the Defiants true First Flight date. The S and B team maybe sandbagging to fool Bell into slowly down.

But if Bell actually does beat the Sikorsky and Boeing "Dream Team" to First Flight by a year or more, it will be a real David versus Goliath story.

Maybe in aerospace size does not matter:-)
CTR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:24   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
The schedule is a convenient fiction.
Seems pretty clear the competition is between tilt and coaxial rotor designs.
Neither is especially impressive at this point, so a few more years to mature the technologies will not hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
The schedule is a convenient fiction.
Seems pretty clear the competition is between tilt and coaxial rotor designs.
Neither is especially impressive at this point, so a few more years to mature the technologies will not hurt.
I agree the schedule is a fiction, but for a different reason.

The schedule right now is JMR demonstrators first fly in FY 2017 (which won't happen with SB-1), followed by testing and demonstrations in 2018. 2019-2020 they gov't analyses the data; note how it takes the gov't longer to analyze the data than the entire flight program. 2020-2023 then is set aside for the "risk reduction" phase of FVL, which involves an RFP and competition. Note that this will not necessarily be a competition between Bell and Sikorsky, AVX and Karem could bid, after all, JMR was just a "demonstration" of how it was possible to fly advanced concepts. That is supposed to run until 2023, after which there would be an an additional seven to nine year engineering phase leading to entry into service.

That scedule is a fantasy. Taking that long means you're behind the technological advantages in all those years. More importantly, any advanced rotorcraft prgram that takes that long is going to have its funding raided by other programs and will be subject to the vagries of multiple presidential administrations and changes in Congress. If they are going that slow, they might as well not bother.

Bell says that they can deliver an operational version of the V-280 by 2024. Given their track record, and as long as the gov't comes through with the agreed upon funding on time ( a problem that plagued the V-22 throughout it's development), that seems reasonable, and also is a schedule that would help insure the survival of FVL.


Not sure I understand what you mean by not especially impressive.
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:25   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjsquirrel View Post
Sultan says, "No one knows if Sikorsky can even fix the apparent flaw in the 97 design." Hmmm. I heard that unlike tilt rotors, JMR is not supposed to be disposable. Perhaps foolishly, the US Army would like to have aircraft that can make both legs of a typical mission.

On a raid in Yemen, "A US military aircraft assisting in the operation experienced a hard landing at a nearby location, resulting in an additional US injury. That aircraft was unable to fly after the landing [and] was then intentionally destroyed in place," the DoD said.
US loses Osprey aircraft in Yemen raid | IHS Jane's 360
A conventional helo never had a hard landing?
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:29   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Come on RJS. Don't use my honest inquiry on the status of the Defiant to try and bait Sultan with Osprey put downs.

No information other than speculation has been presented regarding the Defiants true First Flight date. The S and B team maybe sandbagging to fool Bell into slowly down.

But if Bell actually does beat the Sikorsky and Boeing "Dream Team" to First Flight by a year or more, it will be a real David versus Goliath story.

Maybe in aerospace size does not matter:-)

I don't think the SB-1 is going to be a year behind the V-280. They've simply said they're going to be late (as was the X2 and the S-97) and not meet the schedule (ditto). If they're going to be a year behind, that means that they won't be able to fly until after the demo program is supposed to conclude, they might as well hang it up and the gov't shouldn't put any more taxpayer money into it.
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:32   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Sultan View Post
Et

Bell on track to fly. Aircraft already in systems/ground tests(not running). No one knows if Sikorsky can even fix the apparent flaw in the 97 design. Chances are rigid coaxes don't scale up.
Actually, Sikorsky itself said years ago that X2 would not scale that well up to the FVL-Heavy and definitely not up to the "Ultra" version.
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th Jul 2017, 00:40   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
You are of course entirely right, tilt rotors have a big head start.
That is why I think the schedule is a fiction, the Army needs a competitor more than it needs new vertical lift.
Tilt-Rotor has a big head start because it's been successful. What problems that have been encounterd have been due to design choices made in the aircraft themselves or funding (especially the V-22), not due to Tilt-Rotor techology itself. Rigid coaxial/X2 technology have had problems from the start and have been characterized by underperforming (XH-59) and/or being repeatedly late (X2 demonstrator, S-97 and maybe SB-1). For example, either one of the XV-15 demonstrators flew more hours and with more guest pilots than all X2/ABC vehicles combined.

There's still Karem for another Tilt-Rotor to have a competitor.
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Jul 2017, 16:20   #18 (permalink)
CTR
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commando Cody View Post
I don't think the SB-1 is going to be a year behind the V-280. They've simply said they're going to be late (as was the X2 and the S-97) and not meet the schedule (ditto). If they're going to be a year behind, that means that they won't be able to fly until after the demo program is supposed to conclude, they might as well hang it up and the gov't shouldn't put any more taxpayer money into it.
Based on the limited information released to the public regarding SB>1 schedule status, it is impossible to guess with any certainty when they will fly next year.

But having worked in aerospace for 40 years I can recognize the pattern of a program that doesn't have control of their ability to perform to a schedule.

The SB team waited until they were just 6 months before promised first flight date before announcing to the public they were half a year (or more) behind schedule. Once a program has to slip a schedule to this degree so late in the program, another major slip is more than likely going to occur.

Personally as an engineer I wanted the SB>1 to fly when promised. It would have been great to have both aircraft flying in "competition" at the same time.

But I am also of the opinion that SB>1 management may have some of the same attitude as big banks before 2008: "We are to big to fail". So not performing to schedule commitments is no big deal.
CTR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th Jul 2017, 17:38   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NEW YORK
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTR View Post
....having worked in aerospace for 40 years I can recognize the pattern of a program that doesn't have control of their ability to perform to a schedule.

The SB team waited until they were just 6 months before promised first flight date before announcing to the public they were half a year (or more) behind schedule. Once a program has to slip a schedule to this degree so late in the program, another major slip is more than likely going to occur.....

P
Think that is on the money.
Shades of the 787, rollout first, slippage recognition in stages afterwards....
etudiant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th Jul 2017, 00:54   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Based on the limited information released to the public regarding SB>1 schedule status, it is impossible to guess with any certainty when they will fly next year.

But having worked in aerospace for 40 years I can recognize the pattern of a program that doesn't have control of their ability to perform to a schedule.

The SB team waited until they were just 6 months before promised first flight date before announcing to the public they were half a year (or more) behind schedule. Once a program has to slip a schedule to this degree so late in the program, another major slip is more than likely going to occur.

Personally as an engineer I wanted the SB>1 to fly when promised. It would have been great to have both aircraft flying in "competition" at the same time.

But I am also of the opinion that SB>1 management may have some of the same attitude as big banks before 2008: "We are to big to fail". So not performing to schedule commitments is no big deal.

I fear that the problem is deeper than just management, but may lie with the fundamental technology itself. Tying this wit another recent post of mine, the record of ABC/X2 technology has not proved to be that good.

The XH-59 underperfomed, not just in vibration levels. The X2 demonstrator was quite late and missed Sikorsky's own schedule(s). Didn't fly that many hours and when it finally achieved the speed it was intended to demonstrate, in the entire program it only spent ~ 20 minutes total time there.

What's also interesting is that drawings of operational vehicles prior to X2 flying showed the rotors and mast above the main cabin, allowing the entire area to be used, as with regular helicopters. Since X2, all drawings show the cabin having to be forward of the mast, which may indicate the mast/propulsion system may need to be much larger than originally thought.

S-97 was way late to fly, and progress since has been glacial. It took 18 months before it even retracted its gear and most flights seem to have been confined to their won airspace, mostly over the runway or ramp. It's noteworthy that they said earlier this year they would absolutely demonstrate high speed cruise by June, that date being a year later than the dates predicted in 2015, which already had been delayed from the original plan. I haven't seen any announcements that they actually did demonstrated their high speed cruise. Apparently the second demonstrator they built is not going to fly at all

Now, SB-1 is following the pattern and is also going to be late. We may be seeing evidence of something more than just management issues.
Commando Cody is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:01.


© 1996-2012 The Professional Pilots Rumour Network

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1