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

SplineDrive 4th May 2022 02:28


Originally Posted by Commando Cody (Post 11224403)
"Why would a major prime enter into contract with impossible to meet requirements? Because thatís the way the game was played 40 years ago". Absolutely right. And then, as in now, when it's the only game in town you take the chance and hope that maybe the customer will come to its senses somewhere along the way. Don't you find it fascinating that the Program Management of the program has said it can't be built as specified and yet no one's head has exploded over this? I eagerly await further developments...

The defense industry (both fixed and rotary wing) needs to get away from "make or break" contracts that only come out every 20-30 years. Companies need to get into the habit of developing new platforms, whether for production, research, or competitive prototypes almost constantly. Without a continual cycle of actually developing products, we lose the ability to develop the big generational projects skillfully and on time. I actually think we've made some small strides in the rotary wing business... Sikorsky's investment in the X-2TD and S-97 was admirable, even if a little late to self-imposed deadlines. Those projects filled a gap between the CH-148 and CH-53K and the JMR-TD competition that birthed Defiant. Iterations of learning, even if the exact concept is more than a little snake-bit. Bell's performance on their JMR-TD aircraft was excellent and followed the internal development of the 525. I do agree that the FARA requirements being described publicly as "not compatible with the laws of physics" is disappointing, but the development speed of the prototypes is not.

It's tough work to decide fast, design fast, and build fast but those are good skills to develop and ultimately a cheaper way to get new capabilities to the customer.

When Bell's 360 flies, it'll be an aircraft, but likely to undergo revision for a production FARA... when the laws of physics are violated, somethings got to give. Rotor diameter, speed requirements, something. Same will be true for Raider-X, whenever she flies.


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