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

JohnDixson 7th Oct 2021 13:31

SD-Sorry. had not been aware of the testing you mentioned. I stand corrected.

The one thing mentioned by Sultan re the amount of money invested in Comanche etc, could use some clarification. The money and the problem wasn’t the aircraft: when the program was cnx’d, the ship was in great shape, but the mission systems were not, and that subject could have been the subject of a classic Harvard B-School Management Case example problem.

CTR 7th Oct 2021 15:01


Originally Posted by casper64 (Post 11122538)
Regarding “commercial technology” you mean that aircraft that is 20 years in development and still not certified and will be crazy expensive as well, only filling a niche market?

I was referring to the Bell 525 that first flew in 2016. Without Nick Lappos convincing Textron to fund a clean sheet FBW 525 development, Bell would have developed a warmed over 412.

The 525 program produced a strong engineering team and advanced technology just in time for the V-280 program. Additionally, the 525 forced Bell to completely revamp its manufacturing processes, which really hadn’t been updated for 50 years.

Sikorsky has not designed a new commercial Helicopter since the S 92, over 20 years ago. Boeing has not designed a new commercial rotorcraft in over 40 years.

When designing a commercial helicopter, operating cost is just as important as speed and payload. This is experience neither Boeing or Sikorsky have retained.

casper64 8th Oct 2021 17:57


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 11122713)
I was referring to the Bell 525 that first flew in 2016. Without Nick Lappos convincing Textron to fund a clean sheet FBW 525 development, Bell would have developed a warmed over 412.

The 525 program produced a strong engineering team and advanced technology just in time for the V-280 program. Additionally, the 525 forced Bell to completely revamp its manufacturing processes, which really hadn’t been updated for 50 years.

Sikorsky has not designed a new commercial Helicopter since the S 92, over 20 years ago. Boeing has not designed a new commercial rotorcraft in over 40 years.

When designing a commercial helicopter, operating cost is just as important as speed and payload. This is experience neither Boeing or Sikorsky have retained.

Understood! 👍

etudiant 9th Oct 2021 01:43


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 11122492)
Based on this logic, the US Army should have stayed with the Huey like the US Marines.

The Bell (independent of Boeing) V-280 Valor is not a V-22 when it comes to cost per flight hour. The V-280 is based on Bell developed commercial aircraft technology, not 40 year old V-22 military technology. Commercial customers care a lot more about cost per flight hour than the military.

I appreciate that maintenance hours translate pretty directly into cost/flight hour.
That said, for military gear, serviceability is key. Hangar queens are rightly despised by all services, they are useless burdens impeding the ability to perform.
So imho the Army would be better served with stuff that works reliably, that has enough margin to continue even if something goes out. and that is easy to keep in shape, rather than with Avatar inspired contraptions that cost more but don't deliver proportionately.

SansAnhedral 11th Oct 2021 18:55


Originally Posted by casper64 (Post 11122538)
No, you can have some speed increase with modern rotor systems, clearly range increase is interesting, but this can also be achieved with more modern engines/technologies. And clearly subjects like C4I, operation in DVE, etc are relevant… I just don’t see the “speed thing” and it’s crazy configurations to reach this goal, with all its drawbacks as really relevant.
Regarding “commercial technology” you mean that aircraft that is 20 years in development and still not certified and will be crazy expensive as well, only filling a niche market?

Just like what I presume we will start hearing from the Sikorsky/Boeing camps in earnest - I think you are very much overselling the possible speed and range improvements from something like ITEP on the old platforms.

The Sultan 11th Oct 2021 22:39

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-...n-the-pacific/

If you want to play with the professionals in the Pacific range and speed are all that count.

casper64 12th Oct 2021 23:05


Originally Posted by The Sultan (Post 11124975)
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-...n-the-pacific/

If you want to play with the professionals in the Pacific range and speed are all that count.

No, that is exactly what I meant before… ok, so the army does not envy the Air Force, but actually the marines….. yes they have speed: JSF, Osprey, but I bet they also still want Yankee hueys and Cobras at treetop level together with their troops on ground when hitting the coastline…. I simply cannot see how a defiant or valor could take that role with the same efficiency…. They could co-exist, like the osprey amd the Y-hueys… but completely replacing them???

The Sultan 13th Oct 2021 15:17


Originally Posted by casper64 (Post 11125601)
They could co-exist, like the osprey amd the Y-hueys… but completely replacing them???

That is exactly what the Marines are doing with their RFP for a new medium vertical lift. It is similar to the FLRAA except faster and longer range.

casper64 13th Oct 2021 18:38


Originally Posted by The Sultan (Post 11125885)
That is exactly what the Marines are doing with their RFP for a new medium vertical lift. It is similar to the FLRAA except faster and longer range.

The range I understand. A bit faster as well say 160-170 KIAS at sea level. But without compromise to agility and surviveability of current platforms… and without crazy costs…simply cannot imagine that either defiant or valor is fulfilling those criteria. To my opinion only a “traditional” helicopter can fulfill that. But we will see in 20-30 years how it played out 👍

Commando Cody 23rd Oct 2021 07:13


Originally Posted by casper64 (Post 11125973)
The range I understand. A bit faster as well say 160-170 KIAS at sea level. But without compromise to agility and surviveability of current platforms… and without crazy costs…simply cannot imagine that either defiant or valor is fulfilling those criteria. To my opinion only a “traditional” helicopter can fulfill that. But we will see in 20-30 years how it played out 👍

The Marines announced the program to replace UH-1Y/AH-1Z is called Aura. It will be more expensive and later than FLRAA. Among the requirements originally announced were a maximum continuous cruise speed of 295kt (546km/h) at 90% maximum continuous power and 330kt indicated airspeed at 100% of intermediate-rated power. It needs to be able to work with Osprey and in some missions be faster. Also,an un-refueled combat radius of 450nm (833km), with a 30min loiter. They want two plots and two door gunners in the -1Y replacement, plus eight riflemen. They also want an attack version with high commonality, like they did with the -1Y/Z

A modified V-280 might be able to meet those requirements, but it's more likely we'd see a separate aircraft, using some Valor-derived technology. No way a conventional helo could meet the need and personally I doubt if an X2 vehicle could either.

henra 25th Oct 2021 14:55


Originally Posted by Commando Cody (Post 11130947)
A modified V-280 might be able to meet those requirements, but it's more likely we'd see a separate aircraft, using some Valor-derived technology. No way a conventional helo could meet the need and personally I doubt if an X2 vehicle could either.

Indeed, this one has 'Tilt Rotor' written all over it. On the Downside, chances are there will be only one candidate for supplier. Might not help regarding pricing in the RfP.

noneofyourbusiness 5th Jan 2022 17:31

What the Army wants, and what they can afford, are two different things. Buy some tilt-rotors for capability, and some upgraded Black Hawks for cost. Could also use modified Black Hawks to meet FARA, again based on cost.

CTR 6th Jan 2022 01:52


Originally Posted by noneofyourbusiness (Post 11165662)
What the Army wants, and what they can afford, are two different things. Buy some tilt-rotors for capability, and some upgraded Black Hawks for cost. Could also use modified Black Hawks to meet FARA, again based on cost.

The Huey H-1 was (and still is) far cheaper than the UH-60. Still due to realities in production cost and production rates, the only path was a clean break. The same was true when the USAF changed from the F-4 to the F-15. Which is why the USAF demanded MCAIR destroy the F-4 tooling.

noneofyourbusiness 6th Jan 2022 02:23


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 11165876)
The Huey H-1 was (and still is) far cheaper than than the UH-60. Still due to realities in production cost and production rates, the only path was a clean break. The same was true when the USAF changed from the F-4 to the F-15. Which is why the USAF demanded MCAIR destroy the F-4 tooling.

Putting two new aircraft into production? Costs a lot of money. The Army will be lucky to get one. So what is plan B? The Black Hawk is very affordable. Combine some of Sea Hawk with Black Hawk would work, although not ideal, as you point out. I had read once the Army was so delusional they believed the new FLRAA would cost no more than existing aircraft. They felt new manufacturing technology would allow this. Yeah, what are they smoking?

retoocs 18th Jan 2022 20:00



The Sultan 18th Jan 2022 22:33

The video is mildly interesting even though it is two years after the scheduled closure of the demo phase of FLRAA program.

On the claimed 236 knots level flight speed: Was it near max gross weight to simulate a real mission? Was power used at or less than max continuous? What was the aircraft’s range in tested configuration? How was the vibration? As stated previously Bell flew a modified short cabin Huey to a level flight speed of 274 knots (addition of two turbojets). In this configuration the aircraft had near zero range, no useful payload, and had brutal vibration levels.

As to the other achievements the maneuverability looked very sluggish and the ability to hover near trees is a feature of every vertical lift aircraft.

SansAnhedral 18th Jan 2022 23:00


Originally Posted by retoocs (Post 11171787)

Interesting that Sikorsky decided to show a video ostensibly demonstrating "hover agility" while instead actually flying with not-insignificant flight speed. Rolling maneuvers coupled with forward speed are not the same as static hover having to overcome static inertia. Plus the real elephant in the room is yaw - a rigid coax is absolutely a dog in that category which is something historically ascribed to tiltrotors until V-280. This clip most certainly does not illustrate Level 1 HQ in pitch or roll, nor would I ever believe that claim in yaw.

If the SB-1 could match anything like its competition from a hover like below, I am sure they would have shown it by now. It's been 3 years since their (> year late) first flight for crying out loud.


CTR 19th Jan 2022 13:44

The award for best film score goes to…..
 
It is very obvious that the Sikorsky video has better production values, attractive location, and a nice classical film score.

The Bell video appears to be filmed from a single camera, minimal editing, no attempt at a music score, and next to zero post production.

The award for best video goes to Sikorsky, the award for contract of a production aircraft goes to Bell.

Commando Cody 20th Jan 2022 05:24


Originally Posted by SansAnhedral (Post 11171858)
Interesting that Sikorsky decided to show a video ostensibly demonstrating "hover agility" while instead actually flying with not-insignificant flight speed. Rolling maneuvers coupled with forward speed are not the same as static hover having to overcome static inertia. Plus the real elephant in the room is yaw - a rigid coax is absolutely a dog in that category which is something historically ascribed to tiltrotors until V-280. This clip most certainly does not illustrate Level 1 HQ in pitch or roll, nor would I ever believe that claim in yaw.

If the SB-1 could match anything like its competition from a hover like below, I am sure they would have shown it by now. It's been 3 years since their (> year late) first flight for crying out loud.


I also note that it looks like they did not start or stop the pusher while airborne, a feature they've touted in the past, but kept it running the whole time, even on the ground.

Tango and Cash 20th Jan 2022 20:59


Originally Posted by CTR (Post 11172158)
It is very obvious that the Sikorsky video has better production values, attractive location, and a nice classical film score.

The Bell video appears to be filmed from a single camera, minimal editing, no attempt at a music score, and next to zero post production.

The award for best video goes to Sikorsky, the award for contract of a production aircraft goes to Bell.

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