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-   -   Sikorsky SB-1 flies for first time (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/619699-sikorsky-sb-1-flies-first-time.html)

The Sultan 19th Oct 2020 19:47

Spline,

Current progress would indicate 214 knots by end of the year. As you are aware they have gotten all of the easy knots. Bell is probably in a similar position on the V-280 except their baseline is starting at 300 Kts+.which they reached a long time ago.

Commando Cody 21st Oct 2020 04:37


Originally Posted by The Sultan (Post 10907681)
Spline,

Current progress would indicate 214 knots by end of the year. As you are aware they have gotten all of the easy knots. Bell is probably in a similar position on the V-280 except their baseline is starting at 300 Kts+.which they reached a long time ago.

One minor note, unless I'm misunderstanding your context: Bell's promise was 280 knots (hence the name of the craft). They made that some time ago, and have since gone well beyond to over 300 knots.

SplineDrive 27th Nov 2020 14:48


Originally Posted by SplineDrive (Post 10873841)
"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?

I guess ďimminentĒ is longer than three months.

The Sultan 31st Dec 2020 19:33

https://verticalmag.com/news/defiant...lestones-2020/

More gaslighting from the Sikorsky-Boeing PR team. Apparently their definition of roaring through milestones are:

1. Flying only 26 hours in 20 months at the most benign gross weight/cg.
2. Achieving a pathetic top speed in level flight of 211 knots against an original target of near 250 knots (later reduced to 230 knots which they still could not achieve).
3. Not flying any gross weight/altitude/range expansion flights.

They also state the team is putting "the final touches on an official pitch to replace the U.S. Army’s long-serving UH-60 Black Hawks." So they admit they have completed all they can do with the SB-1, even though they were given a govt funded one year extension to the FLRAA demo program deadline to try to make it appear they were a viable alternative to the 300Kt++ Bell V-280, It appears their plan is to lobby the Army to water down the FLRAA speed/range requirements so much that even the SB-1 could meet them. If that fails I expect them to no bid the program and try to get FLRAA cancelled because there are not two competing for the development contract.


SplineDrive 1st Jan 2021 13:48


Originally Posted by The Sultan (Post 10958016)
https://verticalmag.com/news/defiant...lestones-2020/

More gaslighting from the Sikorsky-Boeing PR team. Apparently their definition of roaring through milestones are:

1. Flying only 26 hours in 20 months at the most benign gross weight/cg.
2. Achieving a pathetic top speed in level flight of 211 knots against an original target of near 250 knots (later reduced to 230 knots which they still could not achieve).
3. Not flying any gross weight/altitude/range expansion flights.

They also state the team is putting "the final touches on an official pitch to replace the U.S. Army’s long-serving UH-60 Black Hawks." So they admit they have completed all they can do with the SB-1, even though they were given a govt funded one year extension to the FLRAA demo program deadline to try to make it appear they were a viable alternative to the 300Kt++ Bell V-280, It appears their plan is to lobby the Army to water down the FLRAA speed/range requirements so much that even the SB-1 could meet them. If that fails I expect them to no bid the program and try to get FLRAA cancelled because there are not two competing for the development contract.

Well, I was too optimistic when it came to predictions of last quarter progress for SB>1. I’m sure they’ll declare success if they ever reach 230 knots, but success should be measured against the engineering performance targets, which were well in excess of that. If Defiant can’t reach their intended design Vh by the next contract phase award in March, why should they get money to continue? Two years to not reach Vh is more than enough time. Raider hasn’t made Vh in 5.5 years of flying.

CTR 1st Jan 2021 14:24

Doing the Math
 
Interesting that despite the S-97 being promoted as a test bed for itís bigger brother the SB>1, it has only accumulated 93 flight hours. So the two X2 technology aircraft combined have only 119 flight hours, compared to over 200 hours on the Bell V-280.

I fear that politics and the changing world post COVID may make a bigger difference in the future of FVL than the obvious technical maturity benefits of the V-280.

Let us all hope that sensibility and trust in science prevails in 2021.


Robbo Jock 1st Jan 2021 15:23

Rather worryingly it appears that sensibility and trust in science took a precipitous nosedive in 2020. I'm certainly with you in your hope but extremely worried about what will actually happen.

etudiant 1st Jan 2021 17:34


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 10958546)
Interesting that despite the S-97 being promoted as a test bed for itís bigger brother the SB>1, it has only accumulated 93 flight hours. So the two X2 technology aircraft combined have only 119 flight hours, compared to over 200 hours on the Bell V-280.

I fear that politics and the changing world post COVID may make a bigger difference in the future of FVL than the obvious technical maturity benefits of the V-280.

Let us all hope that sensibility and trust in science prevails in 2021.

Fact is that reality is what Washington decides it is.
I just see two very expensive, very large bits of complex gear, neither of which appears fit for the purpose. They are too big to do recon and too fragile to do combat.
The idea of helicopters massed to defeat tank armies is dead as a dodo, as was demonstrated in the recent Armenia/Azerbaijan war.
Aging a dumb idea does not make it smarter.

CTR 1st Jan 2021 19:12


Originally Posted by etudiant (Post 10958661)
Fact is that reality is what Washington decides it is.
I just see two very expensive, very large bits of complex gear, neither of which appears fit for the purpose. They are too big to do recon and too fragile to do combat.
The idea of helicopters massed to defeat tank armies is dead as a dodo, as was demonstrated in the recent Armenia/Azerbaijan war.
Aging a dumb idea does not make it smarter.

Both the SB>1 and the V-280 primary mission is troop transport. As long as soldiers need to get in and out of battle, this mission is not going away.

The Raider and Valor (correction Raider-X and Invictus) are being designed for recon and attack. I concur, that mission may soon be made obsolete by unmanned technology.

Copter Appreciator00 2nd Jan 2021 02:12

[QUOTE=CTR;10958698]Both the SB>1 and the V-280 primary mission is troop transport. As long as soldiers need to get in and out of battle, this mission is not going away.

The Raider and Valor are being designed for recon and attack. I concur, that mission may soon be made obsolete by unmanned technology.

No biggy, but you mean the Raider-X and the Bell 360 Invictus (hardly an easy-to-remember name)
I can't post URLs but like how the V-280 Valor transport flew autonomously in December 2019, the B360 will be built to accommodate pilot-less flight.

CTR 2nd Jan 2021 13:27

Thanks for the correction
 

Originally Posted by Copter Appreciator00 (Post 10958838)
No biggy, but you mean the Raider-X and the Bell 360 Invictus (hardly an easy-to-remember name).

Thanks for the correction. Should not reply to post after a long New Yearís eve. :-)

henra 6th Jan 2021 08:08


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 10958698)
Both the SB>1 and the V-280 primary mission is troop transport. As long as soldiers need to get in and out of battle, this mission is not going away.

The mission isn't going away but the question remains if they are not too expensive/complex, too big and too fragile for the mission.
The big plus of the Blackhawk for this mission is that it is extremely rugged, rather nimble and small and not excessively complex and expensive. Almost the opposite of the new vertical lift high speed platforms. The most dangerous phase for the helicopter in combat has historically been the landing/de- boarding phase. And that is the phase where especially the valor is a huuuuge and beautiful target with lots of critical parts widely spread and is also rather limited in its agility and descent rate compared to the nimble Blackhawk. I'm not really convinced that they are not going to cancel the current bid. For certain special missions the new platforms surely offer very interesting possibilities but I have a hard time to figure them as real replacement for the rugged 'bread and butter' combat mule that is the Blackhwak.

SplineDrive 6th Jan 2021 12:01


Originally Posted by henra (Post 10961621)
The mission isn't going away but the question remains if they are not too expensive/complex, too big and too fragile for the mission.
The big plus of the Blackhawk for this mission is that it is extremely rugged, rather nimble and small and not excessively complex and expensive. Almost the opposite of the new vertical lift high speed platforms. The most dangerous phase for the helicopter in combat has historically been the landing/de- boarding phase. And that is the phase where especially the valor is a huuuuge and beautiful target with lots of critical parts widely spread and is also rather limited in its agility and descent rate compared to the nimble Blackhawk. I'm not really convinced that they are not going to cancel the current bid. For certain special missions the new platforms surely offer very interesting possibilities but I have a hard time to figure them as real replacement for the rugged 'bread and butter' combat mule that is the Blackhwak.

Both FLRAA competitors have agility requirements at the LZ similar to the UH-60 platform and the V-280 has demonstrated that capability. It also has the ability to rapidly drop from cruise to LZ and back to cruise again. Conversion isnít a long, involved process and can be done in as little as 12 seconds on other tilt rotor platforms. The V-280 is a larger target than a H-60, but itís exposure time near the LZ is less than an H-60 and widely separating critical components is an important aspect of system design.

Fact is, the H-60 cannot do the missions the Army has envisioned for FLRAA and a tilt rotor can. Of course, this is the SB>1 thread, so we should mention that vehicle, which in nearly two years of flying hasnít reached Vh, so perhaps itís not well suited to the missions, either.

SansAnhedral 6th Jan 2021 14:57


Originally Posted by henra (Post 10961621)
is also rather limited in its agility and descent rate compared to the nimble Blackhawk.

Sorry, but this has been shown in flight testing to be demonstrably false.

Of course, Sikorsky also claims the same thing with Defiant, but over 5+ years of trickled flight testing neither it nor S-97 have demonstrated anything approaching even what the V-280 has done in YouTube videos or in front of public audiences.

chopper2004 25th Jan 2021 13:11

Defiant X
 
Welcome to the Defiant X


cheers

The Sultan 25th Jan 2021 16:33

Defiant X article.

https://verticalmag.com/news/defiant...ce-black-hawk/

From the article:


Defiant has logged 1,500 hours in Sikorsky’s systems integration laboratory (SIL), and 135 hours on the ground-based propulsion systems test bed (PSTB). After a rocky start, Defiant roared through a series of test milestones in 2020.

In the two years since its first flight, the demonstration aircraft has performed 31 test flights, accumulating 26 total flight hours, according to the Defiant team.With two-thirds prop torque and engine power, Defiant has achieved 211 knots in straight-and-level flight and 232 knots during a descent.
While this may just be the article's author cherry picking past articles it confirms that SB has not released any updated information since June 2020. This seems to confirm no progress or flights (?) in six months. So what is wrong. If it was just drag keeping the top speed low they could have flown it to expand the GW/CG and ALT/TEMP envelopes which would gather meaningful data for any proposal and padded the flight hours to look less than the pathetically low 26 hours. I believe the demo was suppose to be at least 100 flight hours with the 280 demo ship good for at least a 200 flight hour campaign.. Giving up in doing anything since June when they needed to make substantial progress to even be a dark horse alternative to the 280 if Bell stumbled (which the Bell team didn't) points to a flight safety issue (or issues) that could not be overcome. Many have speculated high vibration, but in my experience pilot bonus money overcomes that issue. So we are looking at loads so high that catastrophic failure within a limited number of flights could occur or a danger the rotors could collide like what was already demonstrated on the S-97. It will be interesting to find out what metaphorically killed the SB-1 prototype.




SplineDrive 25th Jan 2021 17:11


Originally Posted by The Sultan (Post 10976012)
Defiant X article.

https://verticalmag.com/news/defiant...ce-black-hawk/

From the article:



While this may just be the article's author cherry picking past articles it confirms that SB has not released any updated information since June 2020. This seems to confirm no progress or flights (?) in six months. So what is wrong. If it was just drag keeping the top speed low they could have flown it to expand the GW/CG and ALT/TEMP envelopes which would gather meaningful data for any proposal and padded the flight hours to look less than the pathetically low 26 hours. I believe the demo was suppose to be at least 100 flight hours with the 280 demo ship good for at least a 200 flight hour campaign.. Giving up in doing anything since June when they needed to make substantial progress to even be a dark horse alternative to the 280 if Bell stumbled (which the Bell team didn't) points to a flight safety issue (or issues) that could not be overcome. Many have speculated high vibration, but in my experience pilot bonus money overcomes that issue. So we are looking at loads so high that catastrophic failure within a limited number of flights could occur or a danger the rotors could collide like what was already demonstrated on the S-97. It will be interesting to find out what metaphorically killed the SB-1 prototype.

Looking back at this thread, there were some flights between summer (20 hrs) and October (23 hrs), and a few more at the December (26 hrs) articles. None in Jan so far. So it’s not quite as bad as “Giving up in doing anything since June” but definitely as sign that something isn’t well. We can all speculate, but there are several likely issues, some of which you’ve identified. In any case, it’s ballsy to ask the USG for billions to develop a production aircraft based on two demonstrators that, if we’re being honest, haven’t met their design goals. There is something wrong with the aircraft concept, the design execution, or both.

As for Defiant-X, the RAH-66 exhaust is interesting... that’s a lot of mass flow in some long ducts. The hubs looks radically smaller than on SB>1, though their success in sweet talking the Army down on speed would allow for lower hub loads and smaller structure. Or it’s just fanciful artwork.

etudiant 25th Jan 2021 17:28


Originally Posted by SplineDrive (Post 10961795)
Both FLRAA competitors have agility requirements at the LZ similar to the UH-60 platform and the V-280 has demonstrated that capability. It also has the ability to rapidly drop from cruise to LZ and back to cruise again. Conversion isnít a long, involved process and can be done in as little as 12 seconds on other tilt rotor platforms. The V-280 is a larger target than a H-60, but itís exposure time near the LZ is less than an H-60 and widely separating critical components is an important aspect of system design.

Fact is, the H-60 cannot do the missions the Army has envisioned for FLRAA and a tilt rotor can. Of course, this is the SB>1 thread, so we should mention that vehicle, which in nearly two years of flying hasnít reached Vh, so perhaps itís not well suited to the missions, either.

Whatever the SB-1 situation, the mission the Army envisions may also be less than realistic. The US Army has a history of poorly conceived requirements, which have resulted in very expensive but only marginally useful hardware.

The Sultan 25th Jan 2021 18:21

Spline noted:


Looking back at this thread, there were some flights between summer (20 hrs) and October (23 hrs), and a few more at the December (26 hrs)
You are correct I falsely attributed the 211 knots speed to the 205 kt June press release. I am sure the customers have taken note of the great advancements made from June to October. Now the question is what did they do from October to December. In one article they stress how great the Defiant is at sling loading and that tilt rotors have minimal sling loading capability. Have I missed a video of Defiant with a sling load? I saw the 280 sling load demo and know the V-22 has a very significant high speed sling capability. In fact the V-22 sling speed capability exceeded a Humvee’s ability to withstand it. If SB is betting on slinging as a winning differentiation between Defiant and the 280 they are definitely on losing path.

SplineDrive 9th Mar 2021 20:50

So, according to FlightRadar24, V-280 (N280BH) is back in flight status having gone out for flights a couple of times this month. Still nothing on SB>1 (N100FV). Are there even any rumors that Defiant is still flying? Or is she grounded and done, never having reached Vh? If so, that’s a worse miss on cruise speed than Raider. Wonder what they’re doing different for Raider-X?


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