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Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the for-all-your-helicopter-racing-needs dept.

The Military 103

Zothecula writes: As one of the contenders in the race to win a $100 billion contract from the U.S. government for the next generation of attack helicopter in the Army's Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, AVX Aircraft Company has conceived a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph (435 km/h).

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To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47408991)

And piloted by a young rebel, with a cranky old sidekick as a navigator. They should make this into a TV show.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409021)

They should call it "Sky Dog" or "Heaven Coyote"

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 months ago | (#47409051)

or "Space Fox"

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

present_arms (848116) | about 4 months ago | (#47409405)

I was thinking "Airwolf"

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

moosehooey (953907) | about 4 months ago | (#47410505)

Durrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47410511)

Dah da da da dah da da da dah da da da dah doo de doo doo doo de doo de doo da da da dah da da da dah ... etc

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47413051)

Dah da da da dah da da da dah da da da dah doo de doo doo doo de doo de doo da da da dah da da da dah ... etc

Your helicopter sounds kinda broken.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

mlk (18543) | about 3 months ago | (#47414023)

Wow so they fucked the TV show up then as I don't remember the helicopters in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

arielCo (995647) | about 4 months ago | (#47411585)

Nah, that won't fly.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409125)

They prefer to call it the "Tactical Helicopter Offensive Response" program.

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409457)

I can see the label now:

Canine, Undomesticated, Atmosphere...

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409037)

270 mph != "Mach 1+ Chopper"

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409599)

Mach 1 = 761mph
I believe they are talking about the maximum linear speed at the the fwd moving edge of the rotor.

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409669)

I can't tell if that's a "whoosh" or not. ;-)

Re: To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (5, Funny)

slinches (1540051) | about 4 months ago | (#47410865)

It's a whoosh up until about Mach 0.9-0.95. After that, it's a boom.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409053)

They could call it Blade II: Coaxial.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47410569)

Or Halo: Almost There

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409113)

They should make a spare in case it gets stolen. But then if the spare gets stolen, I dunno what they'll do.

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409481)

Well, the spare did have a laser fitted to it...

Thankfully, it did have a lousy pilot.

(Now wait for someone to come along and ask WTH we are talking about (and make us feel old at the same time :-))).

Re:To be stolen, and hidden in the desert (1)

paysonwelch (2505012) | about 4 months ago | (#47409385)

Add in a Quantum Leap element where they get teleported through space-time every episode.

One hundred *billion* dollars? (2)

Dynamoo (527749) | about 4 months ago | (#47409009)

One hundred *billion* dollars? Enough to buy about 5000 Apache attack helicopters (I would not like to be on the wrong end of those). Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of that?

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#47409065)

>> Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of ($100B)

'cause you're not an American taxpayer, perhaps? I think I'll bet the opposite: "unforeseen" cost overruns will balloon this into a $300B project with only about 500 helicopters to show for it.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (2)

aaron4801 (3007881) | about 4 months ago | (#47409343)

Are you sure you read the comment correctly? (Am I?) I believe he was saying that the $100b will buy a tiny fraction of the 5000 helicopters that could be purchased if they spent it on the existing platform, not that the cost will be a tiny fraction of the budget.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 4 months ago | (#47410335)

It should buy at least two to three hundred.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (2)

beltsbear (2489652) | about 4 months ago | (#47410349)

500 helicopters that are not quite as good as the cheaper ones we already had.

X-2 and X-3 (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 4 months ago | (#47410749)

Sikorsky has a demonstrator copter that does 290 MPH and the Eurocopter X-3 does 300 MPH.

Why spend spend 100 Billion to go slower?

Re:X-2 and X-3 (2)

budgenator (254554) | about 4 months ago | (#47411431)

There's going 300MPH and there's going 275MPH with a four man crew and 14 grunts onboard, a Bugatti Veyron can go 254MPH but you can't tow a boat with it.

Re:X-2 and X-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47412407)

Or can you?......

(checks 401K)

Re:X-2 and X-3 (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 4 months ago | (#47413197)

Have you tried?
If a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII can tow a caravan (S2E6) [wikipedia.org] then why wouldn't a Bugatty be able to be fitted with a hitch?
Okay, it won't reach 400 km/h while dragging a boat. It would surprise me if it reached 250 km/h with what once was a boat.

Re:X-2 and X-3 (1)

budgenator (254554) | about 3 months ago | (#47417749)

This might be an interesting concept, a combined land/water speed record where the land speed is made with the boat trailered, then the boat's speed on water is added to that, of course the boat would have to be launched from the trailer and tow vehicle. That would be right up Top Gear's alley.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 4 months ago | (#47409083)

Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of that?

Why would you not think that $100b will be just a tiny fraction of the real final cost? What was the last completed military development project that came in at a tiny fraction of the original budgeted cost?

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409161)

There were a number of things developed during our recent middle eastern wars that were done efficiently and at low cost. UAVs advanced rapidly, as did APCs and armor technology. Peace time weapon development is very expensive; the people setting the requirements get to indulge every fantasy, the R&D people explore every facet and the politicians milk it all for support.

The alternative is to be empty handed when the barbarians appear at the gate. F-22s may be token aircraft in our inventory, but we know exactly how to make them and if war came upon us and stripped away all the peace time bullshit, we could make them in quantity.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47409233)

One hundred *billion* dollars? Enough to buy about 5000 Apache attack helicopters (I would not like to be on the wrong end of those). Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of that?

Or maybe, end up with nothing [wikipedia.org] .

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (3, Insightful)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 4 months ago | (#47409967)

The Comanche program was cancelled after only $7B was spent in development, and before they started mass production. Is $7B a lot of money? Yes. But it's not $100B.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (-1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 4 months ago | (#47410017)

>> Comanche program was cancelled after only $7B was spent

$7B in 1990 is like $100B in 2015

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (4, Informative)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 4 months ago | (#47410047)

Actually, it's like $12.74B in 2014, at least according to the inflation calculator at http://www.bls.gov/data/inflat... [bls.gov] .

Christ, folks. It's numbers. It should be easy to validate the numbers you use before you randomly vomit them on the interwebz.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47411515)

You sound awfully cranky, fool :)

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 4 months ago | (#47411739)

I think the dead give-away is when somebody quotes a nice even number - $100B - how convenient!

If people are going to make up numbers and hope that they will be believed, then at least make an effort and select something that looks like a "real" number, even if it vastly inflated to suit your argument. Quite frankly, it's depressing how people nowadays are too lazy to even lie properly.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 months ago | (#47410583)

The Comanche program was cancelled after only $7B was spent in development, and before they started mass production. Is $7B a lot of money? Yes. But it's not $100B.

True. I'm thinking the $100B is the budget over a number of years, not a huge up-front payment. And so, when it's canceled later and we decided to upgrade the Apache again, we probably will have wasted some subset of that.

I wasn't trying to imply that we'd pop that much cash, but that we sorta have a record of starting programs for new aircraft only to cancel them after a few billion and go back to something already in the field.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 3 months ago | (#47414545)

IIRC, it's spread over many years AND multiple services. The idea behind JMR/FVL is to replace pretty much the military's entire inventory of helos - not just a single service's inventory.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 3 months ago | (#47415211)

And in your heart of hearts, do you really think they will actually accomplish this?

One hundred *billion* dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409363)

Unfortunately just the opposite is likely to happen, one of the major defense contractors will spread enough money around and get the contract. Then they will milk it for a decade or more beyond what the contract says and eventually provide far less than originally promised. It happened with the F-22 Raptor (~$67 B for 200), it happened with the Joint Strike Fighter (~$1 Trillion), it happened with the V-22 Osprey (~$54 B) and barring a miracle (AKA common sense in government circles) it'll happen with this.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (0)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47409703)

Don't forget the F-35!

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47410287)

Um that is the Joint strike fighter, at over a trillion dollars over budget.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

Dereck1701 (1922824) | about 4 months ago | (#47412437)

Well, give them a little credit. The Joint Strike Fighter according to the last review had exceeded its cost estimates by more than 50%, so they're only more than ~$300 Billion over budget, oh except for the fact that they're producing less than a quarter of the originally projected 1,591 aircraft (365 per 2012 plans), the aircraft won't use more than 30% common parts between the models (was supposed to be 70%), the VTOL version is still cracking its frame and the carrier landing hook still has to be redesigned because it doesn't catch the arresting cable.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 4 months ago | (#47409793)

One hundred *billion* dollars? Enough to buy about 5000 Apache attack helicopters (I would not like to be on the wrong end of those). Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of that?

Actually, only about 2500 at the current (FY2014) fly-away price ($35 million) of a new build current model (AH-64E).

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 4 months ago | (#47410153)

Actually, only about 2500 at the current (FY2014) fly-away price ($35 million) of a new build current model (AH-64E).

Wait for a 2-for-1 sale. ;)

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (2)

felrom (2923513) | about 4 months ago | (#47410895)

The Army doesn't want Apaches. They want a medium lift technology demonstrator that will replace their Blackhawk fleet while providing much more capability by exploring new vertical lift technologies. Then they'll run separate competitions to scale the technology up and down in size to replace their Apaches, Little Birds, and Chinooks.

Re:One hundred *billion* dollars? (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 months ago | (#47412667)

Large hybrid titling ducted rotor quadcopters with electric drives and inboard turbine generators. Don't they already make model aircraft that look much like that and perform pretty well. Just need to up scale it. Now if they want to save money, which really doesn't seem to be the objective. They need to separate out the airframe from everything else. Don't design a military aircraft, design an agile high speed civilian aircraft capable of carrying the final design load, of personnel, munitions and armour. The advantage you have something to directly sell into civilian market to save money. The body shape can then vary according to demand. That research of course has no impact on the remaining research which covers target acquisition and elimination. Survivability is quite simply tied to how much spare mass the design can carry, the more spare mass, the more you can convert that into armour.

not that surprising. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409023)

you can pretty much make a cartoon go as fast as you want.

you know what else is pretty fast? the ch-47 chinook. I've seen chinooks outfly blackhawks, cobras, and apaches like they were standing still.

Re:not that surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409431)

Chinooks get to use all their engine output. Single rotor designs have to spend a hefty percentage of their engine output keeping the aircraft from spinning like a blender instead of the blades.

Re:not that surprising. (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 4 months ago | (#47412199)

More importantly, a pair of counter-rotating rotors gets around the pesky roll issue caused by rotor stall on the retreating side at high speed. The rotor may still stall, but it doesn't matter nearly as much since you're still balanced.

We're pinned down! Send in... the Flying Cavy! (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 4 months ago | (#47409061)

Seriously, it looks like a guinea pig with dual rotors. I can't be the only one who sees this.

Re:We're pinned down! Send in... the Flying Cavy! (1)

lbmouse (473316) | about 4 months ago | (#47409223)

I was going to say another flying bathtub.

Re:We're pinned down! Send in... the Flying Cavy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409639)

There's a saying in the fixed-wing community that helicopters don't fly due to any sort of aerodynamic properties, but rather due to being so ugly that the ground repels them. If that's the case, this thing should have no problems getting to the moon.

Re:We're pinned down! Send in... the Flying Cavy! (1)

oobayly (1056050) | about 4 months ago | (#47411751)

To paraphrase one of my aerodynamics lecturers:

Helicopters - Man's ingenuity over common sense

Re:We're pinned down! Send in... the Flying Cavy! (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 4 months ago | (#47412317)

Helicopters fly because they're so ugly the Earth pushes them away.

a retractable undercarriage (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 4 months ago | (#47409097)

Yeah, I could use one of those too.

Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409137)

While a simpler and more conservative design, a helicopter like this already exists: The Eurocopter (now Airbus) X3.

Not yet in production but several functioning machines that already reached speeds of 472 km/h.
Of course this is a civillian design, not military, and has far less transport capacity, but the technology is working already. This is beyond prototype stage and ramped up for commercial prodcution right now.

Eurocopter also planned to compete in the FVL program, but since the US would have claimed IP in this case, a civilian production would not have been possible without paying licence fees to the US (despite the US not contributing any development ressources or IP).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409263)

Agreed.
Another important thing is that when going forward, a wing is more efficient than contrarotating rotors.
When the helicopter is moving fast, the rotor (or rotors) slows down (to stay under the speed of sound, etc...) and more lift is provided by the wings.

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409281)

Shush you! The U.S. is in dire need of yet another F-35 style boondoggle. Those defense contractors have mouths to feed, too, ya know.

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47411541)

Yes I do! The F35 makes me $1500/wk and all you haters can suck it!

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (5, Funny)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 4 months ago | (#47410127)

While a simpler and more conservative design, a helicopter like this already exists: The Eurocopter (now Airbus) X3.

Not yet in production but several functioning machines that already reached speeds of 472 km/h.

Yeah, but we need one that travels in miles per hour.

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 4 months ago | (#47413619)

It's more like the Sikorsky X2 [wikipedia.org] . The dual rotors are an important feature; With a single rotor as you increase forward speed you lose lift on one side of the rotor as it slower relative airspeed, until it's basically going backwards. Having contra-rotating rotors means that one side will always have blades going "forwards" regardless of airspeed.

Re:Eurocopter / Airbus X3 (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47414515)

retreating blade stall is less of any issue on compound helicopters if they include a wing. the wing can push that barrier back further, and even offload the rotor entirely of lift responsibility. even the stub wings on the Cobra and Apache provide a measurable amount of offload. not a whole lot, but some.

The nice thing about dual-prop compound helicopter is instead of using a tail rotor to coutneract torque, one of the propellers basically takes its place, providing the same counter force (one will provide more power than the other), at least until sufficient forward speed is achieved for the vertical stabilizer (if present) to be able to take over under sufficient trim (though this will increase induced drag). the down side of course is retreating blade stall, though is you have dual props, you probably have stubwings, or even a full wing, which as said, can offload the rotor. the downside of this design of course, is increased mechanical complexity (gearboxes and drive shafts to run the the rotation out the stubwings to the propellors and turn it 90deg, and of course the gearboxes on each side can't be identical either; one will essentially be a 270deg gear box)

so going coaxial then solves THAT problem, and allows the dual props to both run at the same speed/rpm, which will either simplify engineering, or reduce pilot workload/requirements, depending on how the design approaches the problem.

the simpler design is coaxial + 1 prop. reduced mechanical complexity in that there's only one drive shaft to the single prop, which if located in the rear is a known design method because thats how "normal" helos do it anyway, yet even then its reduced complexity as theres no gear boxes required to turn the rotation 90degree, and no 45deg gearbox to run a short drive shaft up a vertical stabilizer (as in the Cobra/Huey).

but of course, coaxial rotors bring their own added mechanical complexities as well.

Am I the only one to see the resembloance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409171)

http://farm8.static.flickr.com/7012/6594608629_855cb83e13_m.jpg

Of course in the alien version there is no need for the blades, the anti gravity technology takes catre of that.
But common, for real!!

It certainly doesn't look very "attacky" (1)

bi$hop (878253) | about 4 months ago | (#47409187)

Looks more like a baby while swimming on its back, extending its flippers in glee. Hopefully the final design will look a little more menacing and bad-A than this ferfy thing.

Re:It certainly doesn't look very "attacky" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409921)

Half of the budget will be spent on painting the stuff black with red flames.

So it's a Kamov Ka-50? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409199)

With turbo boost?

Don't Screw Up Again (1)

Guy From V (1453391) | about 4 months ago | (#47409231)

If anyone remembers the last few years of development for the RAH-66 Comanche and how it had to be scrapped due to compartmentalized co-development of the different systems jacking up the cost to astronomical levels for one unit just from inefficiency. It was a great stealth escort weapons platform - shelved and set the US fixed wing aircraft scene back years. I hope this one can cut it in a modern battlespace scenario.

redundant aircraft (3, Interesting)

jcgam69 (994690) | about 4 months ago | (#47409269)

The V-22 Osprey [wikipedia.org] performs a similar role for the Navy/Marine Corps. Why develop a new platform that will cost billions of dollars and many years of research and testing? The V-22 can be adapted to this new role much faster and for a lot less.

Re:redundant aircraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409595)

Well, according to them it costs half as much as a V-22, has a smaller footprint, a larger payload capacity, better agility, and range.

Re:redundant aircraft (2)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47410567)

Well, it is SUPPOSED to cost half as much as an Osprey, but we know how that goes (cough, F-22, F-35). There will be a long development period first; plenty of time for things to go wrong. Or we could - wait for it - 1443 Ospreys right now with no development wait and risk for $100 billion ($69.3 million flyaway cost per Osprey as of FY 2012).

No way in hell will this thing have more range than an Osprey, and "agility" is unquantified feel-good. And the Osprey's real speed is faster than even the claimed speed of this thing. And it would be one less model to lavish your precious maintenance labor on.

I don't know which scheme would end up preferable if ALL factors were considered, but I do know they DO need to weigh ALL factors. So far all I see in the program is a bunch of gee-whiz gung ho attitude.

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

Loether (769074) | about 4 months ago | (#47409625)

Agreed the V-2 Osprey is faster max 316 mph and they would overlap quite a bit. The niche this could possibly fill would be as a replacement for a stealth black-hawk. Hopefully more maneuverable than the osprey in hover mode and much faster than the blackhawk's top horizontal speed.

Re:redundant aircraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409847)

Because the Osprey is a PoS. Anytime you see one on the ground, you'll see sand beneath the engines to capture leaking oil. They just can't seem to fix this issue.

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47410585)

ALL rotorcraft are collections of huge numbers of on-the-edge parts vibrating like hell, kept in loose formation by legions of maintenance workers lavishing a shocking amount of constant work on them.

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47411575)

And so do C130s. You can't find a better cargo plane in our fleet. What was your point again?

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 4 months ago | (#47413491)

The point is that we need a new untested aircraft with its own unique maintenence issues.

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#47410199)

Why develop a new platform that will cost billions of dollars and many years of research and testing?

Maybe so it doesn't crash so much?

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

Xest (935314) | about 3 months ago | (#47414605)

Because nothing says less crashes like creating something completely new and untested than something that has crashed in the past but had the causes for the crash ironed out?

Aircraft crash anyway, there was a US harrier crash a month or two back and that aircraft was fighting in the Falklands in 82. If a platform that mature still has the odd issue then what makes you think a brand new untested platform is magically not going to crash?

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

felrom (2923513) | about 4 months ago | (#47410949)

Bell Helicopter is developing a tilt rotor aircraft for this competition: http://youtu.be/1O3Onyas984 [youtu.be]

If you take the V-22, and remove the Marine Corps' requirements for blade-fold-wing-stow and rotors small enough to launch off of a Marine helicopter ship, you free up a huge amount of design room to increase performance.

Re:redundant aircraft (2)

stockard (1431131) | about 4 months ago | (#47411699)

There are 3 other entries in this competition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Vertical_Lift#Competitors [wikipedia.org] , two of which are tiltrotors.

Bell Helicopter's entry into this competition is more of an incremental upgrade to their V-22 tiltrotor technology: http://bellv280.com/ [bellv280.com] The Army also wants something smaller than the V-22 (the V280 will end up being probably 1/3 to 1/2 the size) and it will presumably be correspondingly cheaper per aircraft. (Of course with the way these programs usually turn out, who knows how much budget overrun it'll see...)

Karem Aircraft is also proposing a tiltrotor, and is partnering with Lockheed, though I don't think either has experience with tiltrotors.

Sikorsky and Boeing teamed up to build an upgraded version of the X2 [wikipedia.org] .

Interestingly, AVX also has a lot of former V-22 engineers and management working for them, so they may have had their reasons for opting against a tiltrotor arrangement, such as a simpler drive and control system.

Personally though, I'd bet that either the Bell or Sikorsky/Boeing proposal will get selected, simply because they've had experience with comparable aircraft, which will give them a better handle on the estimated performance, rather than just making paper helicopters. They're also the big names in US military rotorcraft, and currently have the facilities to ramp up to that kind of production (4000 helicopters is a helluva lot of aircraft).

Re:redundant aircraft (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about 3 months ago | (#47414589)

higher reliability, lower (or at least different) mechanical complexity.
there are also various operational issues with the V22.

for one thing, its big. both in size and weight it is MUCH bigger and heavier than the CH46's it's replacing. The result is on board ship they can only carry 6 of them per embarked squadron, as opposed to the normal 8 of the 46's.

It's much more mechanically complex (engines rotate, the wing and rotors fold for storage), leading to additional maintenance time required.

due to the 2-abreast layout of the rotors, as ooposed to the tandem setup of the 46, it also takes up a LOT more room on the flightdeck, requiring additional clearance distance and reducing the number allowed on deck. it also means that while one rotor is over the deck and in "ground effect" the other is not. instead its hanging over the side and out of ground effect. this causes an unequal amount of lift and makes shipboard takeoff and landing much more difficult on the pilot, especially since the engines/rotors are crosslinked (each engine essentially drives both rotors) so you can't really decouple it in order to balance out the lift until sufficiently high enough above the deck

thre's more, but its break time for me.

And it exists too! (3, Interesting)

honestmonkey (819408) | about 4 months ago | (#47409273)

Not! This is a figment in AVX's collective mind. The real helicopter doesn't move at all except for CGI on a computer monitor. Not to say they couldn't build it but a bit premature to say much about it. "It could reach speeds of a billion light-years per fortnight." Hey, maybe it'll do the Kessel run in 12 parsecs.

Re:And it exists too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409477)

Certainly, no one could make a ship that could do the Kessel run in under 12 parsecs.

Re:And it exists too! (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 4 months ago | (#47410213)

You mean you've never heard of the Millenium Falcon?

Radical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409303)

Dual axis helicopters have been around since the dawn of aviation.

Re:Radical? (1)

fnj (64210) | about 4 months ago | (#47410615)

Dual axis helicopters have been around since the dawn of aviation.

Er, coaxial is not dual axis. But that's beside the point; both coaxial and dual axis have been around for a long time.

What about the Lynx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409565)

The British Lynx helicopter was doing 250mph in 1986.

See http://www.agustawestland.com/news/lynx-world-speed-record-helicopter-restored-25-years

Re: What about the Lynx? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47410677)

Sorry, semi subsonic airspace gov regulation #6254284 of the administrator guidebook of total spoilsports stipulates that all helicopters, of however many rotors, must from this day forth stay below 249.66 mph to comply with federal noise regulations

Works well on Russian helicopters (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47409633)

The Kamov series have co-axial rotors. The Ka-52 can already hit 240+mph without any ducted fans, and there is also improved manoeuvrability. Tail rotors just waste energy from the engines.

Re:Works well on Russian helicopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47413163)

not as well as you might think... the second (lower) rotor only produces about 20% of the lift of the upper rotor as it is taking the down wash already through most of the rotor disk and those top speeds are in a dive with an unloaded rotor also the
DNE speed is lower than that at some ~220 mph.

coax is beneficial at high speed forward flight where you have eliminated a lot of the asymmetry of lift that a single rotor config produces.. that was the part of the idea with the X2 and ABC concept demo in the 70's that Sikorsky built and flew ( and crashed with the case of the ABC.)
the other elements included the pusher prop which let them put the rotor more parralel to the air stream as fwd thrust did not have to be generated there anymore and slowing the rotor speed at high speed forward flight allowing them to eek out more fwd speed without loosing lift as the flow over the blades detached and went sonic... to deal with the slowed rotor they went for a rigid rotor: no effective lead- lag or flap which allowed them to tightly pack the rotors for low drag and low bending shear from two opposing moments on the main shaft(s) the pitch bearings as a result go the carp kicked out of them and had to be replaces every few flights.

their swash-plate control rod system looks pretty much exactly like the KA's what you don't know about the kamovs that they basically have to replace all of the pitch link spherical bearings after every flight ...

They look like they have a stiff in plane rotor arrangement but they are likely under predicting blade flap deflections / sailing and will have to in crease the rotor spacing eventually diverging out of their design-able envelope...

Radical design = I don't know about aviation (1)

sandbagger (654585) | about 4 months ago | (#47410143)

Just because you don't know about something doesn't mean it's new.

$100 billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47410243)

Could probably deliver aneutronic fusion, a trip to Mars, and a Brain Activity Map with money to spare.

Priorities (1)

Jahoda (2715225) | about 4 months ago | (#47410997)

As if any of us needed any further illustration as to how warped the United States and its priorities have become.

Re:Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47411995)

Yeah! Fuck innovation! Give me my bread and circuses.

Dual or quadricopters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47411527)

Why are there no full-sized quadricopters or ones like they used in Avatar? They sure work fine for drones. Why would they not scale up?

Re:Dual or quadricopters (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 4 months ago | (#47412275)

Because they don't scale up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square-cube_law

Smaller rotors means lower mass flow rate, requiring higher flow velocity to produce the necessary thrust. Higher flow velocity means higher power requirements. The larger your aircraft, the more difficult it becomes to produce the necessary amount of power to remain airborne.

Re:Dual or quadricopters (2)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 3 months ago | (#47414713)

Yeah. Quadcopters are far less efficient than single-rotor aircraft, and multicopters (hexa, octa) are even less efficient.

The reason people go to hexas and octas is that scaling a quadcopter up to the payload sizes of some of the octas/hexas starts causing issues with blade inertia - an octacopter is more stable.

The main reason quadcopters are doing so well for small aircraft is that at that size class, the mechanical complexity (tail rotor with transmission and collective pitch, plus collective and cyclic pitch control for the main rotor) of a single rotor or dual-rotor aircraft adds a LOT of cost. (The only flight controls of quadcopters are motor speed, with a few exceptions of quads with collective pitch which is still FAR simpler than cyclic pitch control) Once you get to a fullsize helo - it turns out that the quadcopter approach becomes more expensive than a single-rotor AND it's far less efficient.

Kind of similar to how LEDs dominated the flashlight industry for years but only recently became feasible for residential/commercial lighting - incandescent bulbs suffer significantly reduced efficiency and bulb lifetime when scaled down to flashlight sizes.

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