Army Propels Next Generation Helicopter Program Forward

Next Generation  Helicopter ProgramThe U.S. Army is immersed in testing with two industry teams contracted to develop and build a fuel-efficient, high-speed, next-generation medium-lift helicopter to enter service by 2030.

The service’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator, or JMR TD, program awarded development deals to Bell Helicopter-Textron and Sikorsky-Boeing teams to build demonstrator aircraft by 2017 to help inform the development of a new medium-class helicopter.

“These teams will build technology demonstration aircraft with flight tests starting in 2017,” an Army statement said.

Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter is building a tilt-rotor aircraft called the Bell V-280 Valor – and the Sikorsky-Boeing team is working on early testing of its SB> 1 Defiant coaxial rotor-blade design.

Planned mission sets for the JMR include cargo, utility, armed scout, attack, humanitarian assistance, medical evacuation, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, land/sea search and rescue, special warfare support, vertical replenishment, airborne mine countermeasures, and others, Army officials said.

Although requirements for the aircraft are still being refined, the notional concept is to succeed in building a new aircraft which can reach speeds of 230 knots, carry up to 12 troops, operate in what’s called “high-hot” conditions and achieve a combat radius of 424 kilometers.

A key intent of the program is to develop a fuel-efficient aircraft which can reach high-speeds while retaining an ability to hover and maneuver as though it is a traditional helicopter.

A combat radius of 424 kilometers means the aircraft will be engineered with an ability to fly 848 kilometers on a round-trip mission without needing to refuel. Along with calling for increased fuel efficiency, the draft requirements also ask that the aircraft be able to operate at altitudes of 6,000-feet and temperatures of 95-degrees Fahrenheit.

Described as “high-hot” conditions, the decreased air pressure at higher altitudes and hotter atmospheric temperatures typically make it more difficult for helicopters to maneuver, maintain lift and operate effectively.

The JMR TD program, run by the Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center and Program Executive Office- Aviation, is also closely tracking offerings and developments from two other industry teams – Karen Aircraft Inc. and AVX Aircraft Company, an Army statement added.

“The intent of the JMR TD effort is to maximize the knowledge gain and risk reduction toward an anticipated Future Vertical Lift acquisition program,” said Dan Bailey, JMR/FVL Program Director.  “The baseline strategy based on the current funding allocation requires de-scope from the four initial designs to two for build and flight test.”

The SB> 1 Defiant uses two, rigid counter-rotating coaxial rotor-blades along with a pusher-prop propeller at the back of the helicopter to provide additional thrust, said Doug Shidler, JMR program director, Sikorsky.

“Coax systems are not new they have been around for quite some time. The advantage that we are employing here is a rigid rotor with a left-offset that eliminates the need for lead-lag. We are able to bring the rotor heads closer together which, in forward speed, reduces aerodynamic drag that exists between the rotor heads,” Shidler told Military.com.

The pusher-prop on the back of the aircraft is a small propeller behind the counter-rotating rotor heads. It operates with what’s called positive and negative pitch, allowing the aircraft to lean up or down and move both forwards and backwards, he added.

“It enables you to hover with a nose up or nose down attitude so for mission execution you can engage an enemy on a ridge line or in a valley without losing sight. You can sit there in a hover,” Shidler added.

The pusher prop is part of the technological mechanism which enables the aircraft to reach much greater speeds that helicopters have historically flown.

“When it (pusher-prop) is disengaged, the aircraft can fly as a conventional helicopter and fly up to 150 or 160 knots. Once you engage the prop itself that gives you much greater speed. With the pusher prop as you engage it you can take off pretty much like a fixed-wing aircraft. Or you can choose not to utilize the prop and take off and land like a conventional helicopter,” Shidler said.

The Sikorsky-Boeing team has already conducted reduced-scale drag wind-testing and planned additional power-model wind tunnel testing in coming weeks.

“Scaled-model wind tunnel tests provide us with aerodynamic data to ensure that the models are tools that we’ve been employing on the design properly,” Shidler said.

While the Sikorsky-Boeing team hopes their design is ultimately the one chosen by the Army for the platform, they recognized they are in part helping to inform the maturation of performance-enhancing technologies for future use.

“Our goal is to influence the analysis of alternatives and help the government make the right decision. We want to be flying by the end of the fiscal year 2017,” said Pat Donnelly, JMR deputy program director, Boeing. “We’ve completed our preliminary design and we are now in our detailed design phase where we are working with suppliers to put together a plan.”

The Army plans to closely analyze the development of the JMR demonstrator helicopters with a mind to determining which design will ultimately become a program of record for the future.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • Sev

    Because the army just could’nt use the Osprey and save money

    • sickunclesam

      Why would they want a loser like the Osprey?

      • jfk

        because they are losers themselves.

        birds of a feather flock together.

    • Dylan

      This is a generation beyond the Osprey. By 2030, when the chosen aircraft is intended to start entering service, the Osprey will be a very old airframe. Just because the Osprey is a great tool now doesn’t mean we don’t need to plan for the future. Not to mention that they Osprey is massive compared to something like the S-97, and their capabilities aren’t intended to match each other.

    • citanon

      The V-22 doesn’t have the performance characteristics that the Army needs to replace the Blackhawk and the Apache. For one thing it doesn’t have the hover efficiency and maneuvering characteristics you need to fulfill rescue and attack roles.

      The S97 design is a much more natural fit for these traditional helicopter type requirements. It seems to me that it probably is the lead contender unless the army intends to do a split buy.

    • tiger

      Different size & role. While the V-22 Replaced the Ch-46. These specs are for a Uh-60 sized bird.

  • Lance

    Because the army doesn’t read there budget and spends on programs it cant afford. And spend at least billions more before its canceled.

    • jfk

      why would they need to read the budget when they know that the Congress is full of apathetic dimwits who will make money available even if the govt has to borrow it from somewhere.

  • jamesb

    The Sikorsky-Boeing team WILL win this…..

    2030????

    16 Years from now to press into service?
    WHAT IS WRONG with this statement?

    • Dylan

      These are technology demonstrators for a future program. Look at development times of fighters like the F-14 or F-15 in the 60’s and 70’s. This timeline is not as extreme as you think.

    • wtpworrier

      Awww….Nothing.

  • rtsy

    Does anybody remember how the last Army helo program went nowhere? The Comanche?

    Full development and then replaced by drones for a waste of only 7 billion.

    Can’t wait to see how it turns out this time.

    • FormerDirtDart

      Actually, the last Army helicopter program could be said the be either the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) or the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).
      LUH led to the fielding of the UH-72 Lakota
      The ARH program saw the ARH-70 developed, but eventually cancelled due to cost overruns.

      • rtsy

        So I was few generations off. My bad. But how much money are taxpayers gonna let the army waste on helos they don’t need before we stop saying “wow that looks so cool” and actually do something worthwhile with the cash?

        • blight_qwerty

          You might’ve been on point when it comes to purpose-designed helicopter gunships. The rest are modifications of COTS airframes.

        • tiger

          Do not need? The UH-60 dates back to the days of Ford Mavericks And AMC Pacers. Time to upgrade to gen 5.

      • Bob

        But the point remains.
        Comanche: Cancelled.
        ARH: Cancelled.
        AAS: Cancelled.
        C27: Boneyard.
        LUH: Fielded, but reduced buy. Fielded airframes now planned to be diverted to the training base.
        AH64E, UH60M, CH47F: All upgrades of existing airframes.
        OH58D: Too late. Junked.
        FVL: Hopefully successful.

        • jblaze

          CH-47G now our foxes are getting retrofitted, into golf models

        • ST Dog

          There’s more to the Comanche, ARH, AAS cancelations than not working.
          AAS never got very far, but they had flying prototypes. They could have been completed and fielded. They decided to spemnd the money elsewhere.

          The cost overruns are as much about unrealistic scheudles and costs and feature creap as anything else. Add in all the budget wrangling and I’ll be surprised if the DoD manages to build a new helicopter in the next 50 years.

          Not that it can’t be done, but they won’t take the risk of a inovative design and anything else is not enough bang for the buck.

        • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

          The C27 program was stolen by the USAF who promptly cancelled it after successfully keeping a fixed wing aircraft out of the Army’s clutches. Who cares the Army has to do the mission with Ch47s at quadruple the cost?

          • tiger

            On the Bright side, the USCG get 15 new C-27’s for near nothing.

          • blight_qwerty

            Pity the coast guard couldn’t collect the G.222’s that were eventually scrapped in Afghanistan. What a waste.

          • Mitchell Fuller

            Army and AF agreements need to be scratched and Army given wings for missions required, including close air support.

            Large sums of money have been spent and lives lost unnecessarily because of these old agreements from the 1940s and 1960s.

      • xXTomcatXx

        The Comanche may have not been the last, but it was the last time these two companies teamed up on a contract.

    • Alex

      Pretty sure most of the Comanche R&D went into the AH-64D and those nice stealth Blackhawks so not entirely wasted

      • Bob

        Stealth Blackhawk: In a pile of helicopter parts after catastrophic crash at UBL’s compound..

  • Kentsam

    The Army is simply inept at acquisition. They have already screwed up the funding profile for the program and haven’t even started yet. Morons.

    • wtpworrier

      Said the one who know nothing about the Army.

  • Wondering…

    Wow, I wonder which platform the author is pulling for…He should have entitled this “Army Propels Next Generation Sikorsky-Boeing Helicopter Program Forward”
    So much for fair and balanced. Why not just wait and see which platform most meets the performance and mission requirements of the Army and buy that one…what a concept?

  • Dfens

    One more program where the defense contractors can soak the US taxpayer for development costs plus a profit for the next 2 or 3 decades only to have it end without producing a single operational vehicle. The Army can’t afford soldiers, who make so little money that they all qualify for food stamps, but they never run out of money for these endless weapon development programs. After all, Jim McNerney needs his $25 million a year welfare payment.

    • tiger

      Still best paid in the World & making double what I got 25 years ago.

      • Dfens

        For those who are left, you mean. The defense workforce has not been smaller at any time since WW2. Plus there are no technical promotions anymore. You get promoted for moving into management, a promotion that rewards employee “loyalty” (spelled selling out), not for technical excellence. It is much the same system used by the Mafia. Engineering salaries in general have not kept up with inflation, and that is particularly true in aerospace where layoffs are a constant specter even when the military budget is going up.

        • blight_qwerty

          I think only chemical engineers are getting ahead. Everyone else will get drowned in a wave of H-1B. And aerospace…yikes. I’m still unsure how many aerospace engineers found employment after the mass contraction of the Cold War. I’m not even sure their ranks have recovered at all.

          • Dfens

            The mass contraction has nothing to do with war. The first sequestration cut took the industry back to a 2007 budget level. In 2007 there were 14% more jobs than there were in 2012. Some jobs are being outsourced, but many are simply being eliminated. Almost all engineering specialties are gone now. Airplane designers have been gone for over 20 years.

      • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

        and earning every penny…

        • Dfens

          I am. For every one that is there are plenty who have had all their technical skills stripped from them by a corporation that puts no value on such skills.

          • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

            How do you strip technical skills from someone? Is there a mindswipe machine?

            Anyway, I was referring to troops earning their pay.

          • Dfens

            You don’t use them, you lose them. It’s not like riding a bike. With technical skills, you not only need to know the fundamentals like the math and physics, but you also need to keep up with the state of the art. Because the industry no longer puts any value on technical skills, they don’t fund engineers to attend technical conferences, unless you write a paper, and then they make the process of releasing those technical papers worse than getting a root canal without anesthesia.

          • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

            Wow, if the engineer gets fat is it the company’s fault they put him behind a desk?

            Your myopic hate of corporations takes on hilarious proportions at times.

          • Dfens

            I don’t hate all corporations. I hate the corporations that suck. You can pretty much lump defense corporations under that title, as you yourself have probably noticed. As for what these suck corporations do to engineers, yes, I do blame them. These places soak up engineers, our nation’s single most valuable resource, and they f them up. They keep them from doing valuable work and they do it for long enough to destroy their value to other more competitive industries, while they and other industries lobby for more foreign engineers to be allowed to work in the US and lobby for low tariffs so they can outsource as much work as possible to other countries. If those are your buddies, then you suck too.

  • wtpworrier

    I like this much better than the Osprey. I know a lot of people like it but, the Osprey is a flying accident thats going to happen…sooner or later.

    • guest

      Every helicopter is an accident waiting to happen. The rate is so much higher than fixed wing, but then the benefits are seen as outweighing that

      • LOL

        When has dying a quick death become a benefit? BTW, get a name.

    • tiger

      The record of the Uh-60 And Ch-47 are far, far worse.

      • Dfens

        And unemployment is 5.9%!

        • tiger

          I’m still one. :-(

          • Dfens

            Sorry to hear that.

          • LOL

            Good news indeed.

  • Frank

    RTSY is correct ! All those billions for development and then they dumped the Comanche program. How many different sizes of copters do we need at “blank” cost? Sikorsky gets rich again. Maybe they are following the F-35 gravy train. As a taxpayer I do not want a 30 million dollar whirlybird. How about a super Huey. It works. All this high tech stuff and you can take em’ down with a shoulder fired weapon.

    • blight_qwerty

      If the Army decides to not buy anything after paying Sikorsky to develop…whose fault is that again?

      • Dfens

        Hell, when the propaganda storm hits, you’ll be thankful they cancelled this program. You’ll be begging them to cancel it, just like with F-35. Damn few understand the fact that these defense contractors make a profit off of designing vehicles. They aren’t interested in building them. Building helicopters is much higher risk than drawing one on paper. For one thing, they are expected to fly when you build them. Whose fault is it that we pay these companies a profit on designing crap that doesn’t work?

  • Justin

    I think the Infidel would be a better name for the helicopter. It’s suiting, considering where it will be used.

  • Justin

    Even if they don’t win the government contact, there’s a huge civilian market that will be open and more than receptive. It would make a great life flight platform, with dramatically increased speeds.

    • guest

      They can add a pusher if they wanted that to an existing machine. The high speed has survivability advantages that EMC machines dont need. They arent being shot at from the groud

  • msgingram

    We could save a lot of money by purchase of one helo for the entire military use. adaption for different uses but the basic one should be from one supplier.

    • Steve

      This is a joint program, not just Army. As for mention of the C27 somewhere in this thread, they are in the boneyard because the Air Force finally got their way and killed the attempt by the Army to get some usefu fixed wingl aircraft.

      • FormerDirtDart

        There are no US C-27Js in the boneyard.
        Almost a year ago 7 C-27Js were transferred to SOCOM to replace their CASA 212 training support aircraft.
        The remaining 14 C-27J were then transferred to the USCG.

        • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

          I believe we bought 38 C27J’s.

          • FormerDirtDart

            No, 21 were ultimately purchased.

          • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

            “The air force intended to dispose of its 38 aircraft, some of which were in service with the Air National Guard and some of which were still in production, according to reports.” http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-coas…

            14 + 7 = 21 but you forgot about the planes we bought that were in Afghanistan.

          • FormerDirtDart

            But you forgot that C-27Js were not bought for Afghanistan.
            The Afghan Air Force received used Italian Air Force G.222s under a program that had absolutely nothing to do with the US acquisition of C-27Js

            Congress stopped the acquisition of US C-27Js at 21 total aircraft. The delivery of the last five occurred in fiscal 2014 http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/10/07/new…

          • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

            The article you cited doesn’t seem to account for the C27J’s the Army acquired and were transferred to the Air Force in ’09.
            http://www.deagel.com/Military-Transport-Aircraft…

            The military.com article you cited only addresses the airplanes the Air Force bought. You may not realize the Army actually bought some before the USAF took over the program.

          • FormerDirtDart

            21 aircraft http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120227/DEFRE…

            “Once a nearly $6 billion Army program for 145 aircraft, the Air Force took over the effort in 2009 and capped the purchase of C-27Js at 38 planes. But in its recent 2013 budget request, it decided to end the program at 21 aircraft, 17 fewer than expected, and retire the fleet next year.”

            “With the U.S. order capped and the aftermath of U.S. and European budget cuts, the C-27J’s prospects have dimmed. A derivative of Alenia’s G222 with new engines and avionics, 62 C-27Js have been sold worldwide: 21 to America, 12 to Italy, eight to Greece, seven to Romania, four to Mexico, four to Morocco, three to Bulgaria and three to Lithuania.”

            “…“We have two problems,” Giordo said. “First of all, the price that we have with the U.S. government is a very, very, low, low price because to win the competition we had to reduce the price. Second, the volume at the beginning was 145, then 78, then 38, now 21 with firm, fixed price. We are losing money.
            “So, how can I allow the U.S. government to sell 21 airplanes they have in their inventory where I lose money and they also kill my international marketing?”…”

            That last quote is Giuseppi Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aermacchi. I think he knows how many planes he sold to the US

            21 aircraft

          • http://gruntsandco.com/ majr0d

            I’m sure he does. Glad you cleared that up for me. Why didn’t you post it earlier?

    • Ziv

      That worked so well with the F-35, we should try it with helicopter buys too!
      ;-)

    • tiger

      So we should all drive Black Ford Model T’s again?

    • jamesb

      Just like the F-35?

  • Charles Kasper

    Since US development and production costs are much higher than in the East, mindset has to change and field something that will be a match for what the Russians are fielding do as to win in a close quarter match- along with survivability for both aircraft and crew just as the Russians do
    They

  • reader

    A novel concept. How about payment on delivery for next generation platforms, and in an actual fly-off competition ? Any takers ? Whadayamean cost-plus profits ?

    • ST Dog

      Would you develop anything for the US military?
      They never know what they want, or how many.

      You spend a few billion developing a dedicated platform, and then they don’t buy any? Who can afford to do that?

      That would end US military aviation development. Too risky for a business.

      Do you know anything about military qualification for aircraft? It’s very different than the FAA process. Civilian aircraft are not built for the rigors of combat/deployment.

      • Dfens

        Oh yeah, it is so damn risky to do development for the US government. It is so damn hard to get rich when you sign up to a contract that guarantees you $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend f’ing around drawing vehicles on paper. It’s not really spending yourself rich, it just looks exactly like it.

        • ST Dog

          You missed the entire point. You talk of the current system, while I was responding to the suggestion to not pay for development.

          Again, if the government doesn’t pay for development to met it’s needs, they won’t exist.

          They will make civilian vehicles that don’t meet military requirements/standards. They are far more onerous and the only reason to do so is for military sales.

          If you doubt that, compare the FAA requirements for electrical power, electromagnetic effects, and environmental to the MIL-STD for those 3 (DO-160 vs MIL-STD-704, 461, and 810)

          • Dfens

            Military power standards are more stringent because they want military vehicles to be resistant to EMP as much as possible. The FAA doesn’t care about that. Overall the military standards are much better than the FAA’s because the military has something to lose if a vehicle is not built. The FAA doesn’t give a f.

            The military went for 200 years without paying private companies for development, and and went longer than that without paying them a profit on development, but now suddenly we can’t live without it? That is simply a stupid comment. Those damn defense contractors don’t hold this nation hostage and they never will.

          • ST Dog

            I just said that. That’s precicely why the civilian sector won’t develop military aircraft. You going to come back and explain the difference to me again (which I well know. I pointed it out FIRST)?

            Your way, companies will develop to civilian standards and the military will be relgated to subpar civilain aircraft, or spend billions bringing it up to military standards. That’s what ARH was doing (militarize the Bell 407) and it got cancelled as too expensive/taking too long

          • Dfens

            Hell, is there some sort of law I don’t know about that says if a company develops an aircraft on their own nickle they have to design it to civilian specifications? Someone should have told Lockheed that when they designed the C-130, or Northrop that when they designed the F20, or General Atomics that when they designed the Predator, or Sikorsky when they designed the S97. Damn, how many aircraft do I have to list off that have been developed by private funds to military specifications before you get it?

          • ST Dog

            No law prevents it, but it’s unlikely.

            S-97 is untested. I suspect it is currently lacking w/r/t military qualification (I’ll probably know soon enough).

            F-20, cancelled. And it was based on an existing aircraft, the F-5. In the end, Northrop took a $1.2B bath on that one. Exactly the sort of thing that will keep others out.

            The C-130 was a different time all together. Much simpler aircraft and requirements. From initial request to first flight was 4 years, and 2 years later production began. That sort of timeline just won’t happen with modern aircraft. It was a decade later before they demil’d it to the L-100 for civilian use.

          • Dfens

            The C-130J wasn’t a “different time”. Hell, they delivered the first vehicle in 1998 after spending $1 billion of Lockheed’s own funds, and neither was the Predator. And what the f does the cancellation of the F-20 have to do with whether or not it complied with military specifications. It did. It’s that simple. The S-97 doesn’t have to be “tested” to find out if it was designed to military specifications because it was. There is no question about it. Why all the BS?

          • ST Dog

            The C-130J? That not a NEW aircraft. It a revision of existing aircraft that already had a big market before the J version. And it’s certainly not been a COTS purchase.
            That may have been the plan, but it didn’t work out that way.
            Several upgrade have been needed and as far as I can find, it’s still not meeting the requirements (like GATM and RNP/RNAV) and is only partially capable (can’t foly some missions).

            The cancellation of the F-20 means it’s not a success story. It’s another failled program. It’s also an example to companies as to why developing on there own is not a good idea in the current climate.

            I know what Sikorsky said they were going to do 2 years ago and the S-97 they are building is not there yet. It will require lots of modification to be ready for US military use.

            But you go ahead and believe the corporate press releases if you want. Past experience tells me that’s not the best course.

          • Dfens

            GATM (which is not even called GATM for the last decade) is an FAA requirement for the use of civilian airspace, not a military requirement. What a joke.

          • ST Dog

            Whatever man. Obviously the perfromance specs I work with for military aircraft are worng.

            Over a decacde? Someone should tell Aviation Week too. In Jan they still thought the military called it GATM. http://aviationweek.com/awin/c-130-upgrades-are-s…

          • Dfens

            “Air Force officials were unable to explain how GATM requirements would affect a C-130 fleet that was denied new equipment, though GATM compliance was part of the original program awarded to Boeing in 2001.” Can you not even f’ing read? It was called GATM in 2001 (over a decade ago). Today it is called RNP. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Required_navigation_performance). It is still an FAA program. Remember the FAA, the agency with all those wimpy specifications that are so easy to meet compared to those nasty military specifications? Which side of your mouth are you talking out of this time?

          • ST Dog

            I said “like GATM and RNP/RNAV” to begin with and you pitched a fit over including GATM. I’m looking at the UH-60V performance spec and it says GATM.

            Not sure why you latched on to that anyway. It wss just an example of problems with the “as developed” C-130J not meeting requirements and how it’s not just a COTS buy. I don’t work AF programs, so I don’t know what else was needed.

            I do know what Sikorsky said they were doing with the S-97 and what they were developing was not going to be to full military specs. If the Army wants they will get it there, but not without a contract.

            Those 3 were your examples of companies developing on there own, a product to meet military needs. They aren’t the perfect examples you hold them out to be. One was cancelled, one needed a lot more work, and one hasn’t flown yet so we don’t know what it will take to be ready for combat use.

          • Dfens

            So far you’ve written thousands of words that add up to nothing but BS. Not a single thing you’ve said about military standards or vehicles meeting or not meeting them is true. The C-130J doesn’t meet RNP requirements because it was designed before the requirements existed. That’s why they hire engineers.

          • ST Dog

            Whatever make you happy. The J didn’t meet the requirement that were written. (PS I am one of those engineers)

            I standy by my comments that the commercial companies will not develop aircraft on their own that are military qualified, or that can quickly be qualified. History shows that to be the case, and it’s far too risky for them to do in the future.

          • Dfens

            Yes, you are one of those engineers that don’t meet any requirements. That much is obvious.

  • oblatt22

    By the time this is canceled - and there is little doubt it will be canceled or crippled in the end the Chinese will be two generations ahead of the US.

    Like they say if you want high performance aircraft you go to Russian or China if you want a glossy brochure and a corrupt failed project you call Lockheed.

    • Moose

      Yeah, lots of people say that. Russian and Chinese armchair military experts on the internet are legion. The rest of humanity, however, says no such thing

      • oblatt22

        You need to get out more

        • Dfens

          If you make a profit drawing aircraft on paper, why ever build them? It’s a good thing they can always count on the stupidity of the US taxpayer. A group of people with a brain to share among them would never fall for such an idiotic scam.

  • CheapRussianHelo

    Humm.. a new target for chinese spies.
    Thank for them.

  • ronaldo

    I am a bit confused by the functionality of the tail rotor. The article says that it is also used for pitch control. Is this to say that there is a universal joint in the prop hub ?

    TIA

    • mhpr262

      I think the pitch of the blades of the tail rotor can be adjusted to make it either push forward or pull backward.

      If you adjust the coaxial main rotors to go “forward” but set the tail rotor to go “backwards” at the same time, the helicopter will stay where it is, but point its nose down because it is beig pulled in two directions at once.

      So the pitch of both the tail rotor AND that of the whole aircraft can be adjusted. That should be extremely usefuly when attacking ground targets with cannon and Hydra rockets.

      • ST Dog

        That basically matches what I saw in the X2 simulator.

        • Dfens

          “Pitch control” means the nose up/nose down pitch of the vehicle. The tail rotor pulls air over the elevator control surfaces just forward of it. By deflecting these surfaces up or down the pilot can control the pitch of the vehicle even with no forward airspeed.

  • Dfens

    Ah, Dilbert perfectly sums up the Army’s approach to this procurement: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2014-10-12/

  • RKane

    Why do they have so many roles for one helo…should we not learn from F-35; Trying to please all requirements, and end up not pleasing any!

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