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Army Future Vertical Lift

Future Vertical Lift

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#1 CG.Mech

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 00:51

For the Army aviators in here...

Does "Future Vertical Lift" mean anything to you?

I ask because from what I can tell it's a program pipeline for the future of Army aviation. What they've come up with so far looks absolutely bad-ass. 

Just wondering if this is ever a point of discussion in your circles? And if so, what sorts of things are being discussed about the program.

I know in my current branch, things like this are often met with much skepticism and many road bumps and imagine some of that thought process must be happening on your end in regards to this.

Anyways, here are a few videos of the strongest candidates. One has already flown, the other will fly later this year. 

If you've already seen this, or this is your first time - what are your thoughts? Can you see these being better war-fighting machines? Better able to support the soldier on the ground? Really curious what an Army aviators take is on these air frames.

Boeing-Sikorsky DEFIANT/S-97 RAIDER







Bell V-280 VALOR tilt-rotor

https://youtu.be/_MGf1027pBM


 


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#2 CG.Mech

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 00:55

My thoughts on the S-97 RAIDER and the scaled up DEFIANT version are that it will be interesting to see how they perform on dusty landings without the ability to flare... My understanding is current helos do an almost auto-rotation like approach to landing in order to get down quick and beat the dust cloud. If this thing is using a prop to decelerate, it will blow dust up front that much quicker! Of course, I don't fly helicopters so I can't speak as a professional on the subject, but outside looking in that seems like something they will have to overcome. 



#3 CG.Mech

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 01:12


I pulled this quote from a board about the V-280 that took place on the forums back in 2015. This guy seemed to have some good insight. Enjoyable read, I thought.


 

Oh my gosh.. sometimes I love this board.. other times I'm just like really? I'll respond then get back to turning wrenches on my classic truck. I'm just over the uninformed opinions on an aircraft most really know nothing about. Also, sorry, riding in the back as a passenger does not make you a subject matter expert. Not trying to offend but I ride Delta to go home for Christmas and I don't claim to know squat about a big 747. Grandma in the back of that 747 is still going to grip the arm rest when a little "rough air" is encountered because she probably thinks the aircraft is going to magically fall out of the sky..   a lot of the same can be said about opinions on tilt-rotor aircraft.
 
  Being a former USAF Flight Engineer on the CV-22 I can tell you, yes we had our growing pains. I'm now in the Army doing Army Aviation stuff but if the Army had tilt Rotor I'd be the first to volunteer.  When I started as a CV FE from being a UH-1N FE things were a lot different. The aircraft was new and we still were not sure how to use it. Remember it was the first of it's kind. Everything we did was a hybrid of helicopter knowledge and C-130 knowledge, we picked and choose what we liked and what we didn't depending what worked out best. No previous reg. or document was around to govern us on how to operate so things or missions differed depending on where the flight lead (AMC) hailed from .. being Rotary wing or fixed wing background. Eventually we figured out how to best employ the systems and upgrades and modifications started rolling out from Bell-Boeing. It's to be expected with anything.. it even happens with car design . Hell the Apache started out with steam gauges if you guys remember. Missions, and requirements change. Especially when you’re writing the book as you go on how you're to be used. Which brings us to regs. The CV-22 regs. changed about every 4-6 Months when I first swapped to the CV. If that doesn't tell you how we were writing the future I don't know what to tell you.
 
  I'm not here to insult any Marines as I'm glad they are on my side too.. but The Corps did them wrong by starting the program with non rotary wing rated guys. If I remember correctly they were fixed wing guys. You former fixed wing private pilots turned Helicopter pilots know what I mean when you remember how "bad ass" you were going to hover when you first took the controls of a helicopter and realized you're back to square one again (ok, for the most part). The Marine Corps uses their MV-22 different than the Air Force uses it's CV-22. I think up until 2 years ago the aircraft were made a bit differently. The CV-22 has the infill / exfill mission while the MV-22 has the "ship to shore" mission. What I'm getting at is that they are both 2 completely different missions. SO when you make fun of an MV-22 not being able to do a bad ass UH-60 style dust landing .. A. they can do those too, but B. it's going to look completely different as it's a VTOL .. not a Helicopter... they have nacelles and don't have to tilt the disk as much or move the fuselage.
 
  The new V-280 design .. I saw this 2 years ago at Ft. Rucker and spoke at length with the Bell representative.  It is designed to do 280 Kts, auto-rotate, fit in the same LZ size as a UH-60 and have almost the same cost per flight hour as a UH-60. No lie, that last one I found to be quite an aggressive promise. As I know the CV-22 was expensive to operate / maintain. But with all the operational "testing" we helped Bell-Boeing with during the initial years of operational CV-22, they should have a lot of things figured out by now. Engine and tranmssion in a weird spot for ya? Not enough sheet metal for your liking? Maybe.. but a UH-60 is still just aluminum too.. a skillcraft pen can put a hole through it's skin I'm pretty sure. But we know skillcraft pens are made from titanium.. which is why they are more expensive then the civialn market equivalent ;)
 
   Weapons.. the CV-22 had gun fitment tests done in a varity of spots along the fuselage of the aircraft. It can be done. But why? You're thinking like a helicopter guy again. And I'm not saying that to be a dic*, I'm just not sure you understand the profile at which this thing can accelarate or decellerate is actually very impressive when practiced by the right pilots. And I'm not going into specifics.
 
   If your scared of something new and different, that's ok.. just say so. But that's why it's also exciting, because it's scary.  "Flying is inherently dangerous".   Also, the only way to not have any risk on the risk assesment for aviation is to just not fly, is that really going to happen...nope.  I know the V-280 looks scary and a lot like the V-22 .. but it seriously will be a bad ass aircraft. Read the facts and not the "lore" that's on here or a bunch of other sites from people with so called knowledge. Opinions are just that, opinions.  I'm here to tell you it's bad ass and really is the most forward thinking aircraft the Army could get (if they build what they have claimed they will build). It would seriously change the battlefield.  Now the likely-hood of the Army to be this forward thinking.. very low. Most are scared of something they know nothing about. Sorry, but that's the fact. Now back to wrenching. Flame away, I'll check back in 6 months.



#4 flanker

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:27

My .02 is that however great the new generation of helos are, the Army will find a way to ruin them or not buy the appropriate options offered by the manufacturer that makes them great. It's all about what the budget allows. Just look at the 60M.

 

 

For the Army aviators in here...

Does "Future Vertical Lift" mean anything to you?

I ask because from what I can tell it's a program pipeline for the future of Army aviation. What they've come up with so far looks absolutely bad-ass. 

Just wondering if this is ever a point of discussion in your circles? And if so, what sorts of things are being discussed about the program.

 


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#5 SBuzzkill

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 21:33

From what I understand the S-97 is not part of the future vertical lift program.



#6 Ritter

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 17:54

Ch-47


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#7 CG.Mech

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 02:04

From what I understand the S-97 is not part of the future vertical lift program.

I think you're right. It looked like the S-97 was more of a test bed for future design improvements that will be made when the S-97 RAIDER gives way to the scaled up version of itself in the form of the DEFIANT. 


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#8 SBuzzkill

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 10:19

We were talking about the Raider the other day at work.  I believe the S-97 is still intended to be sold, but instead of waiting for a DOD program Sikorsky decided to fund the development themselves in the hopes that the Army will buy it.  I haven't done much reading on it so take that for what it's worth.

 

I have also heard or read that the Army has identified the scout helicopter as their biggest need but since FVL is a joint program and everyone wants to replace their 60s, the priority is being placed on developing a medium lift platform first.



#9 mike0331

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 18:04

Not an aviator, but somewhat of an aerospace nerd (which is what is driving me to pursue Army aviation). From what I understand the SB-1 is being pitched as a blackhawk replacement so to speak, and the S-97 is dual purpose in that it is designed to show the X2 tech is scaleable from the demonstrator, and it may provide a base for another product a la a scout. Bell is working on the V-280 as a competitor to the SB-1, and it's basically a lighter, smaller, simplified Osprey.

 

Tilt rotors are well established now, and certainly have a future in aviation, with the AW609 entering the civilian market, for example. From what it seems to me, however, they are more limited in the traditional helicopter roles, whereas the coax X2 stuff from Sikorsky should be slightly more limited in long range transport in speed and range than a tiltrotor, but better in the traditional helicopter role. 

Some big points about all this next gen stuff, it will almost certainly have or be readily adaptable to have UAV capability, and it will make good use of composites. I guess time will tell, but I've been impressed that FVL has been largely self funded and is making pretty good time from X2 --> S97 and soon onto the SB-1. The V-280 should be flying soon as well. Exciting times. 

 

I'm surprised to have found very little by way of internet forum chatter on this stuff though. There are some great forums for space stuff full of current and former aersopace engineers that offer some incredible insight into space stuff... this seems to be lacking on the aviation front 

 

Mike



#10 Wally

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:18

i cAnt evun spel sb1.


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...





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