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Sikorsky S-97 Raider Ground Tests Today

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#76
Would someone tell me more about these hovering "maneuverability limitations" of the V-22 that I never noticed in 11 years of flying them?

It's a 48,000 pound aircraft, not a MD-500, yes. But I flew plenty of -46 time before, and other than maybe a being able to reverse direction quickly while air taxiing sideways (which is a maneuver of pretty limited utility IMO), I have no idea what the hell you people are talking about.
I would assume that the high disc loading of the smaller proprotor would put you at a disadvantage compared to a similar sized aircraft with a traditional rotor system such as a Chinook.

I could see the Army in 20 years having the S-97 as a scout, the V-280 as medium-lift and attack and the venerable CH-47 as heavy lift - none of which have a tail-rotor. Using 25% of your power to simply keep from spinning has always seemed like a waste...
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#77
Not following your argument. The strategy of going leading edge, high-risk, revolutionary development is exactly how we've got in any one of several acquisition messes over the past few decades. F-35, LCS, KC-46, you name it. The virtue of the technology it goals isn't the issue; it's that we've got an aquisition and development process that makes a mess of it every. Single. Time. Until that process is reformed and seriously overhauled, it doesn't matter how cool or necessary something like a V-280 is.
The V-28o is not a new technology, any more than the helicopter in general was cutting edge in 1965. New-ish, maybe. The V-22 to the 280 is like going from the piston H-34 SeaHorse to the turbine CH-46. It's a greatly improved version of the same thing, not a new technology. I've seen the 280 up close. They fixed everything that was annoying about the V-22.

We don't even know if its physically possible to scale the Raider blade design into the SB>1 (that "greater than" sign is so lame).
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#78
The V-28o is not a new technology, any more than the helicopter in general was cutting edge in 1965. New-ish, maybe. The V-22 to the 280 is like going from the piston H-34 SeaHorse to the turbine CH-46. It's a greatly improved version of the same thing, not a new technology. I've seen the 280 up close. They fixed everything that was annoying about the V-22.

We don't even know if its physically possible to scale the Raider blade design into the SB>1 (that "greater than" sign is so lame).
Not new technology? How many coax main blade/pusher prop helos has the US fielded in the last 50 years? Again I say - it's not that the concept isn't viable or necessary or desirable. It's that our procurement process makes a dog's breakfast of even proven technology, let alone anything new. The Army has taken multiple shots at the ARH replacement using off-the-shelf airframes over the last decade and every one has been stillborn. So what on earth makes you think they'll take a totally new phylum of helos and somehow get it into service within an even remotely reasonable timeframe?

The basic process of getting new aircraft fielded is fucked up. No one disputes that. The only chance we have of getting the Army what it needs before every aviator now on active duty retires is evolutionary development of an existing airframe. Otherwise all we're signing up for is a repeat of the Comanche fiasco: dumping money into a high-tech mirage.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#80
Not new technology? How many coax main blade/pusher prop helos has the US fielded in the last 50 years? Again I say - it's not that the concept isn't viable or necessary or desirable. It's that our procurement process makes a dog's breakfast of even proven technology, let alone anything new. The Army has taken multiple shots at the ARH replacement using off-the-shelf airframes over the last decade and every one has been stillborn. So what on earth makes you think they'll take a totally new phylum of helos and somehow get it into service within an even remotely reasonable timeframe?

The basic process of getting new aircraft fielded is fucked up. No one disputes that. The only chance we have of getting the Army what it needs before every aviator now on active duty retires is evolutionary development of an existing airframe. Otherwise all we're signing up for is a repeat of the Comanche fiasco: dumping money into a high-tech mirage.
That's what I'm saying. The Sikorsky is all new tech that may not pan out. The 280 is an evolution of something that's already the backbone of another service's (the Marines') lift.

The fact that the Army can fuck up a COTS helicopter buy is an entirely different dysfunction.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#81
Oh, I see. I misunderstood your point, @phrogdriver. In any case, I don't think either FVL concept is the way to go if they want a helo any time in the near future. The air vehicle development side is the most expensive and time-consuming part of getting any new aircraft into service, and they should minimize the number of new things to maximize chances of success. There is a successful tiltrotor in service, yes, but the V-280 is still a new aircraft and I would question whether TR is even practical for some of the missions in question.

They've already had a couple of perfectly viable armed scout prototypes based on COTS helos but just couldn't resist dicking around with budgets and requirements until it went into Nunn-McCurdy breach. This is a common affliction in DoD.

 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#82
Oh, I see. I misunderstood your point, @phrogdriver. In any case, I don't think either FVL concept is the way to go if they want a helo any time in the near future. The air vehicle development side is the most expensive and time-consuming part of getting any new aircraft into service, and they should minimize the number of new things to maximize chances of success. There is a successful tiltrotor in service, yes, but the V-280 is still a new aircraft and I would question whether TR is even practical for some of the missions in question.

They've already had a couple of perfectly viable armed scout prototypes based on COTS helos but just couldn't resist dicking around with budgets and requirements until it went into Nunn-McCurdy breach. This is a common affliction in DoD.

The fact that our procurement process not only makes a mess of new military projects but common derivative aircraft such at the 407 conversion pictured above and the KC-46 tanker is beyond obscene. How do you end up making a 407 cost nearly as much as a S-92???

As for the future of helicopters, this might be where the Navy diverges from the Marines and the Army. The speed and range that the S-97 and V-280 bring are needed - now - in the ground services, the Navy needs on station time and can get by with cheaper H-60 derivatives for a longer time. If I remember correctly, the S-97 Raider is completely funded by Sikorsky (i.e., they are completely confident in their technology), however I agree with Phrogdriver on having reservations if the rigid coaxial rotor system can be scaled up to a Blackhawk sized equivalent. As the rotors spin in opposite directions, you have to prevent excessive flapping of the rotor system and the possibility of a catastrophic blade strike. I do not know if that material technology exists to construct the flexbeams on a rotor system that large. (Every helicopter I know of above 20,000 lbs uses traditional fully articulated rotor systems to account for pitch change, lead/lag and flapping.)

A primer on different rotor systems for those that might be curious.
http://www.helistart.com/RotorheadTypes.aspx
 

samb

New Member
#83
You're thinking like helicopter dude with a platform that is more fixed wing. The whole point is to not have to use a lot or any of those techniques at all. Why mask/unmask from close terrain when I can sit in an orbit outside of visual and audible range 20km away with a sensor with no gimbal limits that sees much further than that? In addition to a weapon that can reach out touch whatever I need. Cold War era traditional assault support that everyone knows is rapidly changing and we really haven't worked out the kinks yet.
That's unrealistic. There is still a need for Army Aviators to go forward in slow aircraft and poke around until the enemy is under our asses. I don't see that going away any time soon. Yes, I think like a helicopter guy because that's what the ground force commander asks for and expects. We're an extension of his force and that is still the best way for us to influence the battlefield.
 
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Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#84
An explanation on why slowing the rotor system allows faster forward flight in rotorcraft with both compound designs (wings + rotor and also a pusher prop) and also the Advancing Blade Concepts (rotors stacked above each other rotating in the opposite direction and a pusher prop.) The 255 knot compound design Eurocopter X3 slows its main rotor from 310 RPM to 264 RPM. The 250 knot ABC design Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator reduces main rotor RPM from 446 down to 360.

Really good articles from Air and Space and Aviation Week describing the theory.

http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/high-speed-helicopters-come-of-age-82827431/

http://aviationweek.com/awin/aviation-week-flies-eurocopter-s-x3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slowed_rotor

Eurocopter X3 (compound design)


Sikorsky X2 (advancing blade concept)

 

Hotdogs

Leeroy Jenkins
pilot
#85
That's unrealistic. There is still a need for Army Aviators to go forward in slow aircraft and poke around until the enemy is under our asses. I don't see that going away any time soon. Yes, I think like a helicopter guy because that's what the ground force commander asks for and expects. We're an extension of his force and that is still the best way for us to influence the battlefield.
No it's not. It's how you get shot up. If your ground force commander is asking you to do that, then you're not advertising your capability correctly. Here's another gem: Most ground force commanders don't know shit from shinola about aviation.

Just because something looks and feels different doesn't mean it's not a better way of doing things. It's why we're strapping all sorts of more capable sensors and integrated networks on our aircraft (MX-20s, TSS, Brightstar, TADS, DAS, Lightening, Sniper Pods). There's an obvious benefit for that capability. Also, the vast majority of pre-L hour ISR and winter/devil or cherry/ice calls come from UAS or FW assets nowadays because until very recently FW ISR capability had significantly outpaced RW. It just made way more sense. Don't get wrapped up in community parochialism.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#87
Congratulations to Bell! The V-280 made its first flight today. Any thoughts from our resident tilt-rotor bubbas?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/a...-v-280-tiltrotor-conducts-maiden-flig-444294/

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-12-18/bell-v-280-tiltrotor-makes-first-flight

Bell said the V-280 can carry 14 passengers and four crew and eliminates the V-22's rear loading ramp in favor of six-foot-wide fuselage doors under the wings. The tiltrotor provides twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters. Specifications include a maximum speed of 280 knots; combat range of 500 to 800 nm; maximum self-deployable range of more than 2,100 nm; and more than 13,000 pounds of useful load. It features fly-by-wire flight controls and a pair of GE Aviation T64-GE-419 turboshaft engines.

 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
#88
Congratulations to Bell! The V-280 made its first flight today. Any thoughts from our resident tilt-rotor bubbas?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/a...-v-280-tiltrotor-conducts-maiden-flig-444294/

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-12-18/bell-v-280-tiltrotor-makes-first-flight

Bell said the V-280 can carry 14 passengers and four crew and eliminates the V-22's rear loading ramp in favor of six-foot-wide fuselage doors under the wings. The tiltrotor provides twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters. Specifications include a maximum speed of 280 knots; combat range of 500 to 800 nm; maximum self-deployable range of more than 2,100 nm; and more than 13,000 pounds of useful load. It features fly-by-wire flight controls and a pair of GE Aviation T64-GE-419 turboshaft engines.

I saw a mock up of this at AUSA this year. The only thing that struck me as odd are the limitations on ground movement to get to the side doors. I am sure it can work, it just seemed like you had to move around a lot of parts to get where you were going. It could be that I saw a scaled down version on the floor.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#89
I saw a mock up of this at AUSA this year. The only thing that struck me as odd are the limitations on ground movement to get to the side doors. I am sure it can work, it just seemed like you had to move around a lot of parts to get where you were going. It could be that I saw a scaled down version on the floor.
Having seen the real thing, it seemed pretty ordinary. You open a door and get in. What parts did you have to move around?
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
#90
Congratulations to Bell! The V-280 made its first flight today. Any thoughts from our resident tilt-rotor bubbas?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/a...-v-280-tiltrotor-conducts-maiden-flig-444294/

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2017-12-18/bell-v-280-tiltrotor-makes-first-flight

Bell said the V-280 can carry 14 passengers and four crew and eliminates the V-22's rear loading ramp in favor of six-foot-wide fuselage doors under the wings. The tiltrotor provides twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters. Specifications include a maximum speed of 280 knots; combat range of 500 to 800 nm; maximum self-deployable range of more than 2,100 nm; and more than 13,000 pounds of useful load. It features fly-by-wire flight controls and a pair of GE Aviation T64-GE-419 turboshaft engines.

It's an amazing machine, and pretty much addresses all the things that annoy the pilots, and drive the haters batshit crazy, about the Osprey. They took all the "comment cards" into account.