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Sikorsky SB-1 flies for first time

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Sikorsky SB-1 flies for first time

Old 16th Mar 2020, 23:15
  #161 (permalink)  
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Army selects Sikorsky / Boeing to go further

https://www.lockheedmartin.com/en-us...00000011212635

The U.S. Army announced that the Sikorsky-Boeing team has been selected to move forward in the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft’s Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction Program (CD&RR) program.”
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 07:01
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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...is that the sound of Sultan choking on his hat?
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 11:01
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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AC

I never really thought the Army would do the smart thing and sole source this phase of FLRAA (it is the Army after all). If the performance specification hasn’t been scaled back from a min cruise speed of 250 kts and a real target of 280 kts the SB offering is there only to blunt program delaying protests as it will never meet this requirement.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 12:42
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
...is that the sound of Sultan choking on his hat?
https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bel...raa-selection/

Bell, of course, got a CD&RR OTA contract as well.

I love how the Sikorsky press release talks about their “proven” configuration. They have another couple of weeks to make their 230 knots in March commitment... and there’s far more to proving a platform than flying straight and level at far less than your design speed.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 12:46
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Not really surprising that both JMR-TD aircraft are getting CDRR contracts. It buys the Army some time to see if the Defiant can deliver anything like its promise and to work out how the metrics look when combined with FARA. There will be political pressure to ensure the same company doesn't win both to help maintain the industrial base and the Pork Barrel. My money is still firmly on Bell for FLRAA - it's still way ahead in terms of maturity and reduced risk. When the Army announce the 2 development contracts for FARA we'll have a clearer picture.
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Old 17th Mar 2020, 12:56
  #166 (permalink)  
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Contract only for design study?

Reading the more detailed Vertical article, this award is only for a two year design study, not the expected contract to build EMD representative aircraft for a fly off competition.

This is a disappointment for Bell and a life line for Sikorsky/Boeing. Fair? No. But this is a DOD contract.

“These competitively awarded OTA agreements consist of risk reduction activities that combine government research with input from industry partners to inform the future development and procurement of the FLRAA weapons system, according to a copy of the public announcement obtained by Vertical.

Under the agreements, each company will produce initial conceptual designs, requirements feasibility, and trade studies using model based systems engineering. These CD&RR agreements will extend over two years, informing the final Army requirements and the program of record planned for competition in 2022.”

https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bel...raa-selection/


Last edited by CTR; 17th Mar 2020 at 13:16. Reason: Grammar
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Old 13th May 2020, 12:53
  #167 (permalink)  
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Latest Boeing Video Showing SB>1 Defiant in Flight

Don’t blink the video is only 15 seconds long.

https://defence-blog.com/army/sikors...elicopter.html
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Old 13th May 2020, 13:43
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Don’t blink the video is only 15 seconds long.

https://defence-blog.com/army/sikors...elicopter.html
Depending on the maneuver, that may be a meaningful amount of fatigue life 😜.

Ah, I jest. Just hope they’re being safe when expanding the flight envelope.
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Old 13th May 2020, 15:11
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Don’t blink the video is only 15 seconds long.

https://defence-blog.com/army/sikors...elicopter.html
That entire montage makes the Defiant look wholly sluggish and ungainly, particularly in contrast to the videos of the V-280 performing low speed agility maneuvers. It's amazing that Sik/Boeing publish these as advertisements of its supposed performance attributes.

The aircraft should reach maximum speed capability of roughly 250 knots within the next few months
-Bill Fell 2/20/20

Still doesn't look remotely close to 250 kt.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 10:16
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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205 knots...

On June 9th, 2020, the #SB1Defiant continued its test regiment and expanded the flight envelope, achieving 205 knots, surpassing the top speed of the legendary Black Hawk. Sikorsky Chief Test Pilot, Bill Fell remarked that this milestone is just the beginning and that the #SB1Defiant has “got a lot more in it.”
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 20:28
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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From an article on Breakingdefense.com:

“There are probably 50 different configurations” being looked at for the final design, added Randy Rotte, who’s Boeing’s marketing director for FVL. All the different variations would probably look identical to the layperson, but in one iteration, the design team may try to squeeze out every possible knot of speed, in another they may prioritize fuel efficiency and long range, and in yet another they may aim for minimum cost, working through hundreds of highly technical tradeoffs trade-offs.=13.33px
In the next anticipated battle space (the Pacific) both high speed and long range with full payload will be required. That is the purpose of the FLRAA program (hint LR means long range). By stating the secret parts out loud SB is admitting their design can’t do both. This is very bad for their prospects when their highest possible speed or longest possible range are woefully short of the V-280’s demonstrated capabilities.
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 21:15
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Defiant can expect to hit 200 knots within six months after initial flight
-Ken Eland 10/09/18

The Defiant is back in the air, reaching speeds of 20 knots on its fourth test flight. The goal is that Defiant will hit triple digit speeds by the end of this year. It should reach the Army-mandated minimum speed of 230 knots by the end of March if we have no other significant things we learn along the way
-Ken Eland 10/15/19

The aircraft should reach maximum speed capability of roughly 250 knots within the next few months
-Bill Fell 2/20/20

The program will need a few more months to reach maximum speed, whatever that might be
-Bill Fell 6/16/20

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Old 17th Aug 2020, 14:41
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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It’s been “a few months” again... any news on progress?
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Old 18th Aug 2020, 01:34
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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One has to wonder whether the SB1 is simply getting used as a prop, to allow the Army to document that it had an open competition, even though the decisions have already been made.
At least, I do not recall any competition where the gap in aero performance was so large between the competitors. What am I missing?
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 02:38
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SplineDrive View Post
It’s been “a few months” again... any news on progress?
The SB>1 finally broke 200 knots on June 9. You'll note that some time back Sikorsky Boeing stopped predicting when they would achieve certain goals except to say "Real Soon Now".

Sorta like what started happening on the S-97. I read somewhere that Sikorsky has implied that the S-97 will not achieve its design speed. Can anyone confirm?
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Old 19th Aug 2020, 14:57
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Commando Cody View Post
I read somewhere that Sikorsky has implied that the S-97 will not achieve its design speed. Can anyone confirm?
Seems Sikorsky's own demonstration flights have implied that. After reaching barely over 200 kt in Sept 2018, they subsequently have flown progressively slower in their big-to-do demo flights - only reaching 190 kt in July 2019 and then 180 kt in Feb 2020. And of course, nothing since then at all.

So in the 2 years since the maximum achievement of 20% below design speed, they have regressed a further 10% in demonstrated performance.

Plus, don't forget even Sikorsky has been stating that Raider-X will be slower then S-97.
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Old 28th Aug 2020, 15:27
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Hey look, another 180 kt flight.

Raider And Defiant Fly Together For First Time

Graham Warwick August 28, 2020


In late July, two sleek rotorcraft raced together over the cypress wetlands of southern Florida, the pair exceeding 180 kt. as the Sikorsky S-97 Raider and Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant high-speed helicopters flew together for the first time.

The flight over Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach development flight center was staged for U.S. Army acquisition chief Bruce Jette. The Raider and Defiant are competing for two of the Army’s top modernization priorities: the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), respectively.

For Sikorsky, now a Lockheed Martin company, the formation flight held added significance because it came almost 10 years after its company-funded X2 technology demonstrator had set an unofficial speed record for helicopters of 250 kt. in level flight. Both the Raider and Defiant use the X2 coaxial rigid-rotor compound helicopter configuration.

Together, the X2, Raider and Defiant demonstrators represent a $1 billion investment by Sikorsky and its industry partners, now targeted squarely at winning the FARA and FLRAA.

In 2005, flush with cash from producing H-60-series helicopters for the U.S. military and export customers, Sikorsky launched the X2 program. Looking to guarantee its future with a new generation of helicopters, the company studied a wide range of designs, including tiltrotors, before deciding to revisit the coaxial rigid-rotor compound configuration it pioneered with the XH-59A Advancing Blade Concept demonstrator.

First flown in 1973, the XH-59A was fast, reaching a maximum level speed of 238 kt. But it was complex, with high fuel consumption, noise and vibration. Operating the four engines—two turboshafts for the rotors and two turbojets for propulsion—required a two-person crew.

Taking advantage of advances in technology during the intervening decades, Sikorsky simplified the concept to produce the X2: a single-seat, single-engine rotorcraft with fly-by-wire flight control, composite blades and airframe as well as active vibration control. The X2 demonstrator flew in 2008.

In 2010, after the X2 reached 250 kt., Sikorsky launched an industry-funded program to build two S-97 Raider light tactical helicopter prototypes using the configuration. Aircraft 1 flew in May 2015 and logged about 20 hr. before suffering damage during a hard landing caused by a flight-control software flaw. Aircraft 2 has now logged almost 69 hr., reaching a maximum speed of 207 kt. and angle of bank of 60 deg.

Flight testing of the S-97 is now dedicated to optimizing Sikorsky’s Raider X design for FARA, focused on tweaks to minimize drag at high speed. “Those flight hours mean someone had a question,” says Jay Macklin, Sikorsky director of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) business development. And while the S-97 is flying, Sikorsky is making progress with the Raider X prototype. “The build is on,” he says.

The Defiant, meanwhile, has logged 20 hr. of flying since taking to the air for the first time in March 2019 and has exceeded 200 kt. and a 30-deg. angle of bank. Whereas the single-engine Raider was designed for 220 kt., the twin-turboshaft Defiant is designed for 230 kt. but with a speed goal “closer to 250 kt.,” says Bill Fell, Sikorsky’s chief test pilot. A flight to achieve that speed goal is imminent, the team indicates.

Sikorsky and FLRAA teammate Boeing emphasize that both the Raider and Defiant combine high speed and maneuverability with the low-speed agility of a conventional helicopter. There are differences, however. The Raider and Defiant have no tail rotor; instead, differential torque on the coaxial rotors is used to turn at low speed. The yaw rates generated are the same and can be tailored to the mission requirement, test pilot Christian Corry says.

Both machines can fly like a helicopter at speeds of up to 150-160 kt. using conventional collective and cyclic control, Fell says. But when the tail-mounted propeller is engaged to provide propulsion, the coaxial rotors become rotating wings, Corry says, and collective pitch is automated to maximize lift and minimize drag at high speed.

Airspeed is controlled through the prop pitch, using the throttle, and flight control relies on rudders and elevators on the tail. “It’s more of an airplane than a helicopter,” Corry says. Unlike a conventional helicopter, whose nose must be pointed down or pulled up, the propulsor enables level-attitude acceleration and deceleration.

Reversing prop pitch “is like throwing a parachute out there,” Fell says. “It acts like a big brake.” This procedure is used routinely to maximize test time. Fell describes approaching the airfield in the Defiant at 180 kt., then reversing the prop and slowing rapidly while the nose stayed pointed down at the landing zone. “I was able to see everything the entire time during the approach, which you cannot do in a helicopter,” he says.

On the formation demo, the two rotorcraft stopped in about the same distance, despite the Defiant’s larger size, notes Randy Rotte, Boeing director of global sales and marketing for FVL, cargo and utility. The Defiant so far is cleared to use only half the negative prop-pitch range, Fell adds. Once the full range is cleared, “we will see much more rapid deceleration,” he says.

And whereas a tail rotor is required for control throughout the flight envelope of a conventional helicopter, on the Defiant—as on the Raider—the propulsor can be disengaged, reducing the acoustic signature and improving survivability.

High speed, not hover, drives the power requirement in both aircraft. Powered by two 4,000-shp-class Honeywell T55s, the Defiant is “loafing” at 180 kt. on less than 50% power, Fell says. “At the weights we are flying, we have hover power on one engine. That means contingency and high-hot capability,” he adds.

Even the single-engine Raider has “excess power you don’t see in a conventional helicopter,” Corry says. The competing FARA prototypes will both be powered by the 3,000-shp-class General Electric T901, a new engine that is expected to increase in power output over time. “Counter-rotating rigid versus fully articulated [rotor] provides growth potential,” Macklin says. “We can add power to the engine, and the design can take it.”

The coaxial rigid rotors also provide high control responsiveness. The 30,000-lb. Defiant “flies like a 20,000-lb. machine,” Fell says. “The crisp response from the rotors shrinks the machine.” The 11,000-lb. Raider “is more compact. It has that small, agile scout feel.” But both rotorcraft “fly the same” despite the difference in size.

“It is the entire integrated weapon system that creates survivability, but it starts with the speed, maneuverability and agility of the aircraft,” Macklin says. “It’s the packaging that provides the transformational capability,” Rotte notes. “It fundamentally changes the way you can fight—range, speed and maneuverability translate into survivability in a contested environment.”

Sikorsky and Boeing are locked in competition with Bell for the FARA and FLRAA that will play out over the next three years. But for Sikorsky, more than a decade after betting its future on the X2 configuration, flying the Raider and Defiant together was a milestone—and a glimpse of how the Army could use them together in multidomain operations. “Seeing them in formation seemed like a natural evolution,” Macklin says.

Lets update the quote list!



Defiant can expect to hit 200 knots within six months after initial flight
-Ken Eland 10/09/18

The Defiant is back in the air, reaching speeds of 20 knots on its fourth test flight. The goal is that Defiant will hit triple digit speeds by the end of this year. It should reach the Army-mandated minimum speed of 230 knots by the end of March if we have no other significant things we learn along the way
-Ken Eland 10/15/19

The aircraft should reach maximum speed capability of roughly 250 knots within the next few months
-Bill Fell 2/20/20

The program will need a few more months to reach maximum speed, whatever that might be
-Bill Fell 6/16/20

A flight to achieve that speed goal is imminent
- Defiant Team 8/27/20
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 22:34
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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"A flight to achieve that speed goal is imminent" - Defiant Team 8/27/2020

Which speed goal? The bare-minimum Army requirement of 230 knots? Or the current speed goal of "closer to 250 knots" (so I guess 241 knots qualifies)? Or SB>1's actual design speed?
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Old 29th Aug 2020, 22:55
  #179 (permalink)  

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I wonder which one of the formation was slowing them down, and for what reason.

It’s a lot of effort to get to a speed not much faster than helicopters already in service. Just saying...
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 19:11
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Such a beautiful machine! As one who learned in a Huey, that is a gorgeous machine and fine application of the coaxial design and all it's advantages.

It would be cool to see video of when they engage the propeller. Totally awesome.
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