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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

Old 16th Dec 2022, 02:38
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Originally Posted by SplineDrive View Post
What ability to design new helicopters? Boeing has bought/merged into every helicopter in their suite of offerings, or licensed the design for them. Even the YUH-61 had an MBB derived rotor system.
Absolutely! Every helicopter they've ever had in service was designed by another company. In fact, in their entire history they only built four airframes of their own design that ever flew, three YUH-61 and one model 179 (proposed civil version).

Last edited by Commando Cody; 16th Dec 2022 at 03:00. Reason: clarification of second sentence
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Old 16th Dec 2022, 02:44
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Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Add a second engine on FARA, and you have a Boeing Apache replacement, not a Kiowa replacement (admittedly the original FARA spec is far from a Kiowa).

This will not make Boeing happy. With all the FARA specification changes, Boeing could rightly file a protest to request the FARA competition be reopened.
The Army mandated that FARA must have a single engine, that Army would specif. In fact, it is delays in supplying that engine that has slipped the flight test progrm for FARA. Bell finished its prototype a few months ago, and Sikorsky's I think is now complete or nearly so, but both are awaiting engines.

FARA already is intended to replace part of the Apache fleet.
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Old 16th Dec 2022, 02:56
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Originally Posted by SansAnhedral View Post
Its starting to sound like there is a power deficit with a single engine for both camps, however much more of a detriment for Raider X. There was even an unsolicited comment from Sikorsky in an interview regarding the Raider X cruising at 230 kts with a second engine, so if that isn't insight as to what is going on, I'm not sure what is.
Two things here. First, the S-97 was promised to be a 220 knot aircraft, but late in the test program Sikorsky admitted they didn't think they would be able to reach that, so that has to be taken into account in analyzing any statement. Second, remember that a while back the Program Manager said that an aircraft that meets all of the Army specs can't be built. No doubt Army will have to compromise on something, bu tit's unlikely they'll do it on engines. Two T901s would be too much power and would require extensive redesign of the aircraft to try and take advantage of it (unless Sikorsky is saying they really need more power).

Last edited by Commando Cody; 16th Dec 2022 at 02:59. Reason: remove a sentence
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Old 16th Dec 2022, 14:17
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Boeing Legal Strategy

Originally Posted by Commando Cody View Post
Ö
FARA already is intended to replace part of the Apache fleet.

CC,

Since Boeing has lost the capability to compete with engineering excellence, their competition strategy is now more a legal strategy.

Yes, the FARA is planned to eventually replace part of the Boeing Apache fleet. But what if the FARA program becomes delayed or canceled like Comanche and ARH? Boeing keeps the Apache assembly line and DoD money flowing for years or even a decade longer.

Regardless of Boeing having no legal basis to protest a major FARA requirements change, if Boeing can delay or kill FARA, it is to their financial advantage.

The partnership between Sikorsky and Boeing on FLRAA was always just one of convenience and political alignment of goals. Boeing I believe would have zero qualms with stabbing Sikorsky in the back by derailing FARA.

On FLRAA, Boeingís financial strategy was to invest as close to nothing as possible. Teamed with Bell this was not an option, since Bell demanded an equal share in investment.

The Boeing FLRAA partnership with Sikorsky was primarily a political strategy for both. Financially, Boeing contributed very little during the competition phase. Only after winning contract award was Boeing required to invest significantly for development of the production aircraft.

A decade ago to outsiders, the Sikorsky/Boeing FLRAA team seemed unstoppable. Just their combined congressional industry lobby force dwarfed the size of Bellís parent company Textron.

There was also very flawed misconception by Sikorsky/Boeing leadership, and industry experts, that working alone Bell was technically and financially incapable of successfully competing for FLRAA.


Last edited by CTR; 16th Dec 2022 at 15:31.
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 03:55
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This is second had. but I've heard it a number of time...When it was announced at Bell that Boeing would not be partnering with them on FLRAA, there were cheers among those affected. The reaction at Sikorsky was less than thrilled. Boeing already had Til-Rotor knowledge from V-22, Defiant was a way to grab some X2 technology smarts from the inventor.

Remember, Boeing used to be an aviation company. Now it's a financial conglomerate one of who's revenue streams just happens to be aircraft. And if you look to where they've most recently moved their headquarters, they may no longer be that.
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 07:32
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10+ Years of FVL, Bell & Lockheed as partners

Just a Army vet 96-00 and (Bell) helicopter enthusiast and history buff here. Stoked that they won. Now the FLRAA is basically decided, i went back to read some of the news entries over the years on how this whole thing developed, and noticed some interesting patterns and dates and trends.
Here is a piece from July 2010 mentioning the Army realized its need to replace the Kiowa and also eventually UH-60s:
U.S. Army Eyes Joint Multirole Helo | Defense News | defensenews.com (archive.vn)

By September 2013, the Army had offically launched the JMR (later FVL) program with specific needs. Bell-textron had the tilt-rotor idea, with Lockheed as partner, the two set to compete against Sikorsky-Boeing.
Lockheed joins Bell V-280 Valor tier one team - Army Technology (army-technology.com)
Bell, Lockheed team up V-280 Valor for FVL - AR15.COM

By Oct 2015, Lockheed Martin did the acquisition/merger of Sikorsky and Boeing, and switched sides to develop SB>1....*while still developing systems for the V-280*, so LM never really left Bell. This article is INTERESTING:
Bell and Lockheed modify V-280 contract ahead of Sikorsky takeover. (50skyshades.com)

And 2017-2020 saw the various designs from AVX, Karem, Boeing, Bell, and Sikorsky for FLRAA and FARA emerge:
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/...at-army-scout/
Bell V-280 Vs. Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1: Who Will Win Future Vertical Lift? - Breaking Defense (2017 article)
https://www.nationaldefensemagazine....gains-momentum

Also, I noticed some of 2016-era images of the SB>1 Defiant troop carrier and attack versions, and it hit me. Boeing has been and is currently fully teamed with Bell for V-22 osprey, but went the X2 route for FVL... yet their attack version of the Defiant (only shown sporadically around 2018) looks *awfully like an AH-1 Cobra* with its sleek lines, unlike the blocky/stocky AH-64. The FVL story is basically 10+ years and still ongoing... from the 1990s-early 2000s Sikorsky RAH-66, to the upper 2000s ARH-70 program, then retiring the OH-58 Kiowa around 2015, then JMR-T or whatever to FVL, with Lockheed first teamed with Bell before switching to the SB>1 while keeping a contract with Bell, to the five companies and their prototypes, then to Bell vs Sikorsky/Boeing, then the test flights, then the last year of waiting for the decision. Dang.


This SB-1 looks like an AH-1Z!






Last edited by Copter Appreciator00; 17th Dec 2022 at 07:50. Reason: added pic
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Old 17th Dec 2022, 12:42
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Originally Posted by Commando Cody View Post
This is second had. but I've heard it a number of time...When it was announced at Bell that Boeing would not be partnering with them on FLRAA, there were cheers among those affected. The reaction at Sikorsky was less than thrilledÖ..
I can confirm from a highly reputable source, there were cheers of elation at Bell when the V-280 program split with Boeing was announced.

Additionally, two senior Bell engineers, who had worked for decades with Boeing on the V-22 literally got up and danced with joy. They were chastised by the program, chief engineer, but kept on dancing :-D
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Old 18th Dec 2022, 02:35
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The SB-1 is big af. I guess some clever photographs sort of diguise its dimensions, even when parked next to the UH-60. Landing footprint, okay, not too much more H-60. Defiant is as big around as a CH-46 or Mi-17. Look how much taller and wider it is, and how much heavier it seems. That would be a major factor if it's going to be on a carrier. As there's all that space required for the midpoint to support the two sets of stacked rotors, it's got to weigh twice as much.

2x as tall as UH60 and V280

UH-60 and SB-1

larger than an Mi-17?
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Old 18th Dec 2022, 14:47
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Tall is not a trait typically useful in Scout or Attack helicopters.

It also limits the kind of transport that can move it from one location to another without major efforts to reduce its "cube" when preparing it for loading.

I can see some engineering problems ahead if the Army really does consider this design.
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Old 18th Dec 2022, 17:03
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X-2 Technology Future

Unless the US Army selects the Sikorsky Raider for the FARA award, I doubt X-2 technology has a future. Sikorsky has already stated it does not envision any commercial applications for the technology. Tilt rotor aircraft are not perfect. But X-2 technology, based on all available data to date, does not provide substantial enough benefits to balance out the penalties.
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Old 18th Dec 2022, 22:15
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Agree

Originally Posted by CTR View Post
Unless the US Army selects the Sikorsky Raider for the FARA award, I doubt X-2 technology has a future. Sikorsky has already stated it does not envision any commercial applications for the technology. Tilt rotor aircraft are not perfect. But X-2 technology, based on all available data to date, does not provide substantial enough benefits to balance out the penalties.
As it is, X2 technology still isn't proven after all these years. FARA is their last shot, and because of engine delays, Raider X has zero flight hours. Lose FARA and Sikorsky will no longer be a major supplier.
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 00:07
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More dufus questions from me , sorry...
It’s got 2 engines , how does it fare when 1 quits when it’s being an aeroplane , and if 1 quits when doing hovering / vertical stuff?
Can a single engine keep it in the air when hovering?
I know helicopters autorotate but how do you do that if another ‘rotor’ - using that term as I don’t know the correct 1 & I’m referring to helicopter stuff-is powered?
It’s brand new , so I assume that like the F35 , lots of stuff is automated but can anyone answer the above please?
Ta!
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 01:15
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Originally Posted by Flugzeug A View Post
More dufus questions from me , sorry...
Itís got 2 engines , how does it fare when 1 quits when itís being an aeroplane , and if 1 quits when doing hovering / vertical stuff?
Can a single engine keep it in the air when hovering?
I know helicopters autorotate but how do you do that if another Ďrotorí - using that term as I donít know the correct 1 & Iím referring to helicopter stuff-is powered?
Itís brand new , so I assume that like the F35 , lots of stuff is automated but can anyone answer the above please?
Ta!
there is a shaft that connects both sides. Should one engine fail, the other engine can power both sides at reduced capacity. The V-22 has a similar system. So hovering at full load, at full power and one quits, you are probably not going to have a great day, but will live to tell about it. They are suppose to be able to auto rotate but I have no knowledge on that subject.
in forward flight the loss of an engine should be better than in a conventional airplane, because you will still have power to both sides and won't have a dead prop on one side.

Last edited by LTP90; 19th Dec 2022 at 01:26.
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 01:23
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Thanks LTP’.
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 01:26
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From FlightGlobal, February 2022:
During one flight, on 31 January, the SB-1 Defiant demonstrated three capabilities: the ability to fly with one engine; carry a 1,542kg (3,400lb) external sling load at speeds approaching 100kt (185km/h); and ADS-33 Level One flight performance, the Sikorsky-Boeing team says on 17 February. Flight tests took place at Sikorskyís West Palm Beach, Florida facility.
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 11:22
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To Little to Late

Winemaker,

Sadly, the Defiant completed these flight tests 5 months after the final report deadline had passed.

Additionally, if you read the full Flight Global article for details, you will see that ADS 33 Level 1 HQ was not demonstrated in high speed (for FLRAA) flight. The V-280 demonstrated Level 1 HQ up to specification cruise speed.

With the smaller FARA platform, and more schedule time for development, X-2 technology may prove itself viable.

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Old 19th Dec 2022, 14:22
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Originally Posted by Flugzeug A View Post
More dufus questions from me , sorry...
Itís got 2 engines , how does it fare when 1 quits when itís being an aeroplane , and if 1 quits when doing hovering / vertical stuff?
Can a single engine keep it in the air when hovering?
I know helicopters autorotate but how do you do that if another Ďrotorí - using that term as I donít know the correct 1 & Iím referring to helicopter stuff-is powered?
Itís brand new , so I assume that like the F35 , lots of stuff is automated but can anyone answer the above please?
Ta!
The AW609 can autorotate. Here's an article describing how it was done. https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...ting-tiltrotor
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Old 19th Dec 2022, 15:36
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The Time Has Come To End Tiltrotor Generalizations

Imagine if I said that all helicopters can safely auto rotate to the ground, that would be a false statement.

If I stated that all helicopters with two engines could safely climb following the loss of a single engine, that would be a false statement.

Finally, if I stated thereís no helicopters can achieve level one handling qualities per ADS 33, that would also be a false statement.

The performance capabilities of each tiltrotor design varies greatly, just like with helicopters. Each design is optimized to achieve the desired performance within the limitations specified. This is especially true when 40 years of technology development separates different aircraft designs.

The time has come to stop generalizations that all tiltrotors are the same.

Last edited by CTR; 19th Dec 2022 at 16:36.
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Old 21st Dec 2022, 03:09
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Protest?

By my count the 21st is the last day for SB to file a protest. Anyone have a better schedule?

if they donít file one we will know they were more expensive than the Bell offering. Itís hard to contest when your offering is bigger, slower, shorter range, and more expensive.
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Old 22nd Dec 2022, 07:43
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Originally Posted by The Sultan View Post
By my count the 21st is the last day for SB to file a protest. Anyone have a better schedule?

if they don’t file one we will know they were more expensive than the Bell offering. It’s hard to contest when your offering is bigger, slower, shorter range, and more expensive.
It's unlikely this was a low bid (in governmentalese "Lowest Price Technically Acceptable") competition. Those are used when, "... requirements are well defined; risk of unsuccessful contract performance is minimal...". Causally this is an off the shelf item or something that is very similar to regular commercial items with no major development or unique requirements expected.
FLRAA isn't that kind of a program.
I have no idea what price either company proposed, but even if the SB>1 came in at a lower bid price,aside from the performance differences the Army would hove to look at what was accomplished by both competitors in the JMR-TD phase to give them a feel for how likely it was that the bidder could achieve what they promised. Clearly Bell had an advantage here, not only for Valor's performance and demonstrations, but also with a history of successful Tilt-Rotor types stretching back to the 1980s, giving more confidence they'd be able to do what they promised.. This would also be factored in the decision. This definitely wasn't just a price shootout. Now the SB>1 team could protest, but there's a risk.If there's a protest lodged, the Gov't is free to defend itself by releasing data that would normally not be disclosed, in order to justify its decision.

Back in the late 1970s, the Coast Guard put out an RFP fpr a "Short Range Recocery (SRR) Aircraft". The Competitors were Bell with its Model 222 and Aerospatiale with a modified version of their 365C. The 365C won and became the HH-65. Bell protested, and so the Gov't released details of the evaluations that normally they wouldn't in order to defend their choice. This revealed that the 365C was not just better, it was a lot better. Once this data became public, it unquestionably would affect sales. The [unverified} story goes that the Bell team, including Marketing, didn't have the nerve to go into the lion's den of top management and tell them,"Our helicopter wasn't nearly as good" and so didn't object to the protest so that it would be the Gov't who would break the bad news. Now that story may be anecdotal, but I could see Sikorsky (and to a lesser extent Boeing) not going forward with a protest for similar reasons. They want to continue with X2 technology and there [i]may be stuff they just don't want to go public...
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