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S97 Raider

Old 20th Apr 2017, 00:07
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ET

You forgot Sikorsky(CH-148, CH-53K) and L-M(F-35) all of which are years behind schedule and obscenely over budget. The 97 and SB-1 are already well down the same path.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 11:20
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We can also add the V-22, 609, 525, and even the relatively straightforward 429 to the late list. In fact, its a rare aircraft these days that comes in on time and even rarer to come in on time, on budget, and not overweight :-)

I do agree that the Defiant team should have been more forthcoming to the public, though I doubt the announmence is a surprise to the contracting agencies.

Bell definitely had the easier design task when it comes to the JMR demonstrator (relative to their technology base at the start of the program), so I would have always expected them to be closer to hitting schedule targets.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 17:03
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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Spline

The V-22 flew basically on time six years after contract award. Fielding was delayed by budget cuts which starved the program for years. As to prototype crashes which further caused delays it is of interest to note that the two lost were Boeing's responsibility. Bell did not loose one of its prototypes. As to 609 and 525 they are commercially funded and not germane to the discussion.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 18:03
  #204 (permalink)  
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Hate to agree with Sultan, but....

Spline,

I hate to agree with Sultan, but trying to make JMR contract performance comparisons to any previous programs (especially commercial) are flawed. Every program has its own unique issues. These include; changing customer requirements, delays in funding, bad teaming agreements, and many more.

But the JMR demonstrator competition provides a clear and honest comparison of performance to contract.

Both the SB>1 team and Bell committed to the same performance and schedule requirements. Excuses by SB>1 managers that meeting the first flight date was not as important as their system integration and propulsion system testing being completed is a diversion from the truth. Bell also has to perform these tests to allow for First Flight.

As far as the SB>1 team facing greater technical challenges, Pat Donnelly the Boeing Defiant program manager clearly stated this was not the case. In his words "Things are not happening as quickly as we would like".

If Bell succeeds in flying on schedule, it will be a true David versus Goliath story.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 18:25
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Fair enough, but regardless of what the Defiant managers claim, that is the more technically ambitious design compared to the relative maturity of the tiltrotor platform. It's not a surprise they're behind.

Given that Bell has the incumbent high speed VTOL platoform, you can argue that Defiant is the David in that analogy.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 18:55
  #206 (permalink)  
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Spline

Bell AND Boeing share all technology on the V-22.

The combined engineer manpower of Boeing Vertol and Sikorsky is more than three times that of Bell.

The combined yearly revenue of Boeing and Lockheed is ten times more than Textron, Bell's parent company.

To perform to schedule primarily takes two things, people and money.

Who is the little guy in this story?
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 21:39
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Spline

The concept demonstrators for the 280 (XV-15) and the SB1 (XH-59) were created and tested at the same time. Claiming the SB1 is behind because of the lead tilt rotors have in successful application is ignoring the facts. Both concepts were competed and the tiltrotor won. The 97 was suppose to be a risk reduction/confidence builder for SB1, but that proved to be a bust for those objectives.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 21:58
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A very good point. An oft repeated claim with regards to SB1 and V280 is that "the Army wont buy a tiltrotor because they didn't buy one before"

Well the same could be said about the ABC and the XH-59!

Lest we forget...from ca 1973

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Old 21st Apr 2017, 03:54
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Y'all are not trying to claim that the ABC and tiltrotor concepts are at equivalent levels of maturity, are you?

Because THAT would be silly.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 13:43
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Y'all are not trying to claim that the ABC and tiltrotor concepts are at equivalent levels of maturity, are you?
By the end of the XV-15 v XH-59 demo effort similar effort had been expended on each concept. The ABC was inferior in all aspects and had numerous design issues and was shelved in favor of the superior tilt rotor.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 14:12
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Originally Posted by The Sultan
By the end of the XV-15 v XH-59 demo effort similar effort had been expended on each concept. The ABC was inferior in all aspects and had numerous design issues and was shelved in favor of the superior tilt rotor.
Right... and as a result, in the intervening years, several generations of tiltrotors have been designed, with some being qualified and placed into service. The tiltrotor is obviously the more mature design concept, hence my position that the Sikorsky Boeing team, despite their theoretical resources, can be viewed as the underdog. The onus is on them to show that the conclusions of the XH-59A and XV-15 programs has been overcome.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 14:56
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Theoretical?

Originally Posted by SplineDrive
The tiltrotor is obviously the more mature design concept, hence my position that the Sikorsky Boeing team, despite their theoretical resources, can be viewed as the underdog.
Spline,

Theoretical? We are not talking "Alternate Truths". The financial capital and engineering bandwidth of the SB>1 team is a well documented fact. They are part of the two biggest military contractors in the world!

Sikorsky and Boeing project management have stated that technical issues are not causing the delay. Are they lying like Sultan thinks? Well they provided an alternate truth last December when they stated they were on schedule.

But look at the facts presented clearly. I agree that tiltrotor flight technology is more proven than for the X-2. But what does that have to do with failure to meet schedule to build a demonstration aircraft?
It is once reaching flight test that the tiltrotor will have an advantage.

Both aircraft have advanced composite structures, FBW technology and complex propulsion systems. In the race up to flight test both aircraft had the same challenges.

The Defiant is late because the tremendous resources of Sikorsky and Boeing were either not allocated or mismanaged. I would have a lot more respect for the management at both SN>1 companies if the just came out and said "We screwed up!" Instead of "Things are not going as quickly as we would like".

Great engineering and capabilities on the SB>1 team. I put the onus on their management.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 15:10
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Fundamentally, the delay of Defiant in addition to the extremely protracted flight testing of Raider makes the issues seem far less likely due to management and much more technical oriented - totally contrary to the statements made by management of Sikorsky/Boeing/Lockheed. Occams razor.

But would we really expect them to be transparent if they hit design roadblocks? No, rather we get to enjoy the PR blitz of fancy movies in lieu of actual progress.

For example, The SB1 team has had their fuselage for 4 months now, and they have released precisely one photo of it on delivery day and included zero images of any physical hardware whatsoever in their latest marketing video. We saw S97 touted widely during construction.

Part of downselect for FVL is the ability for a team to manufacture on time and on budget. So to keep everything hidden if there really is no technical issue would be quite puzzling.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 16:08
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Fancy management techniques and flashy videos are very effective tools for marketing, but are no substitute for hard nosed engineering assessments.
Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that in aerospace, corporate decision makers have lost sight of this. Because no one, corporation or manager, is held accountable when there is huge cost growth or delay (F-35, KC-46), there is no pressure to behave differently.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 18:02
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CTR, I agree with Sans assessment of the situation.

As far as finances, both the helo divisions of Lockheed and Boeing are tiny compared to the entire corporation and in different divisions from the larger fixed wing communities. The resources aren't shared across the entire enterprises. The JMR programs are also not entirely gov funded, there's very significant vendor investment and I would be surprised if being put for sale and bought didn't hamstring internal funding on the Sikorsky side.

I'm also glad to not be on the legal team that developed what I can only assume is 30,000 lb of legal papers firewalling the various Lockheed, Boeing, and Sikorsky interests into their proper buckets. :-)
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 19:26
  #216 (permalink)  
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Follow the money

Spline,

Even just looking at the helicopter divisions, based on sales of Blackhawks, Apaches, and Chinooks Sikorsky and Boeing dwarf Bell. There is no financial reasons the Defiant should be late.

Unless Sikorsky and Boeing just want to delay any JMR follow on contact as long as possible. Or even kill it if possible. That way they can continue to sell the Army Blackhawks and Apaches as long as possible.

Regardless if it is technical or a financially tactical delay, I believe the numeric for the SB >1 should be changed to SB<Bell.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 05:46
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The justification for these flight demonstrators was risk reduction and minimizing schedule delays in the production aircraft program. Both Bell and Sikorsky have the financial/manpower/manufacturing resources to meet the JMR schedule. I think there may be reasons other than those mentioned for Sikorsky delaying their flight testing until next year.
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 17:30
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I enjoy all the sniping about schedule here, as if the aircraft for the year 2030 will be decided by 5 months in 2017!
I do note that the fans of tilt rotors don't specify the tremendous difficulty the Osprey is having in the real world.
I wonder if the JMR design requires the aircraft to both arrive at the destination and also come home. If so, is a "proven" tilt rotor at a disadvantage? Does the US Army require aircraft that can do a round trip?

US Marine Osprey crashes off Japan, 5 rescued, US officials say | Fox News

https://theaviationist.com/2017/01/2...d-on-al-qaeda/
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 17:42
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RJ,

You are going to cause the Sultan to seek a "Safe Space" if you keep injecting facts into the discussion.....and that is so unfair of you!
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Old 23rd Apr 2017, 18:52
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Rj/SAS

You guys are pushing weak S these days. The V-22 off Okinawa was damaged by what is reported to be a refueling hose/receptical into a rotor. Though damaged the ship continued to fly and was purposely ditched to avoid flying over populated area. No aircraft fault and the V-22 probably survived the strike better than any helicopter would taking such a piece of hardware into the main or tail rotors.

As to Yemen I have not seen a cause, but whatever it was it was not the national embarresment of the 53's in Cambodia and Desert One, or the 60's in Grenada.

Last edited by The Sultan; 23rd Apr 2017 at 20:34.
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