Photo: Bell V-280 concept
We have talked about “Future Vertical Lift” (FVL) before. It’s a program to replace several helicopters, including the H-60, with advanced aircraft with much greater speed and range.
Defense News reports that while V-280 demonstrator is expected to fly in 2017, the Army, which has the lead, doesn’t expect to fund production until in the late 2020s with the aircraft coming on line in the 2030s. But the Bell/Lockheed team that is producing the V-280 Valor, believes that there is Air Force and Navy interest that could see initial operational capability by 2025.
Meanwhile, Aero News Network reports the UAE has decided to purchase three AW609 tiltrotors, for Search and Rescue, with an option for three more. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2019. These aircraft will have twice the speed and twice the range of the helicopters they replace (275 knot maximum speed and 750 nm range).
Photo: AW609 prototype
I can’t help but think these would be awfully useful in the Arctic, and wouldn’t it be nice, if when we launch on a long range recovery mission, we could have two tilt-rotors, instead of a helicopter and a fixed wing.
I wonder why the USCG is not investing in the V-22 for Long Range SAR for the Arctic and for curtain AOR’s.
not sure, but believe tilt rotors were looked at, increased rotor wash may have been an issue with v-22.
Specifically downwash issues while hoisting personnel.
Tiltrotors have higher disk loads compared to helicopters which results in more downwash. The tiltrotor’s higher enroute speed is valuable for SAR, doubly so for CSAR, but it has to make the recovery to do any good. V-22’s have been used for personnel recovery, but to the best of my knowledge they’ve landed to conduct the recovery instead of hoisting.
Stats for reference if you choose to believe Wikipedia:
– V-22 disk loading is 20.9lbs/sqft @ 47,500lbs loaded weight
– UH-60 disk loading is 9.7lbs/sqft @ 22,000lbs loaded weight
They both have about the same disk area, but the V-22 is a lot heavier.
I honestly think that the tilt rotor tech, while cool, is just overly complicated. I do however like the direction Sikorsky is going with the S-97 Raider. I think that the Raider and the larger sized version of this plane could/should be the future replacements for both the Dolphin and the Jayhawk.
A bit more about the V-280. http://dodbuzz.com/2016/01/15/differentiating-the-new-tiltrotor-from-the-old/
Update on Future Vertical Lift program. http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1647879-army-to-fly-future-helicopter-for-2030s
A lot of new information on the Bell Valor V-280. http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1700527-new-bell-tiltrotor-has-stealth-properties
An update on the two demonstrators. Coaxial rotor aircraft will not fly until 2018. Tilt rotor is reported progressing will and could be redy for production by 2020. http://www.defensenews.com/articles/defiant-delayed-joint-multi-role-demonstrator-wont-fly-in-2017
More info on the V-280. http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1700527-can-the-army-s-future-helicopter-be-stealthy
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The V-280 has made its first flight. It looks awfully big, perhaps too big for a cutter, even if its wing rotates over the fuselage like the V-22. https://www.military.com/defensetech/2017/12/18/bells-next-generation-tilt-rotor-v-280-valor-takes-flight.html
Definitely more of a shore base aircraft, but should be able to land & takeoff from cutter.
To me its competitor looks more like something we could use, but this might fill the role of both Medium Range Search and long range rescue.
Agreed! I do think the Sikorsky Boeing compound rotor system is better for shipboard use. But the Bell V-280 Valor would be a good shore base option.
Looks like the program may be delayed a bit. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/02/27/development-for-future-vertical-lift-aircraft-slow-rolled-in-army-budget-plans/
Bell is still saying they could be ready by 2025. There is confirmation here the wing will stow, making it more acceptable for shipboard. Presumably the V-280 is lighter than the V-22 so might have less of a problem with rotor wash. http://seapowermagazine.org/stories/20180417-bell.html
Latest predictions. Take a look at the climb rate at the bottom of the article. 4,500 feet per minute at 160 knots. That is WWII fighter plane territory. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/ausa/2018/10/10/road-to-future-vertical-lift-defiant-preps-for-first-flight-valor-leaves-the-nest/
Bell V-280 exceeds 280 knots. https://breakingdefense.com/2019/01/bell-v-280-flies-322-mph-army-secretary-praises-program/
Progress on a potential H-60 replacement. http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/2019/10/13/jmr-td-program/
A possible basis for an H-65 replacement: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/10/raider-x-sikorsky-supersizes-s-97-for-army-scout/
Rotor diameter is the same.
Possible MH-60m replacement. Development continuing.
“The V-280 achieved all program goals, demonstrating its speed by flying above 300 knots/345 mph/555 km/h and demonstrating low speed agility attitude quickness per ADS-33F-PRF.”
This is primarily about the smaller attack/recon helicopter, but the thing to watch seems to be the engine development. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/ausa/2020/10/14/lockheed-bell-begin-forging-prototypes-to-compete-for-armys-future-armed-recon-aircraft/
Here is the defiant prototype in flight. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/ausa/2020/10/14/sb-1-defiant-coaxial-demonstrator-aircraft-hits-230-knots/
Comparing tilt-rotor and compound helicopters. https://breakingdefense.com/2021/04/fvl-dont-pick-the-tiltrotor-v-22-test-pilot-tells-army/
Request for Proposals for Black Hawk Replacement Slated for Summer https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2021/4/30/request-for-proposals-for-black-hawk-replacement-program-dropping-soon
The V-280 is switching to more powerful engines, same as in the V-22 https://www.defenseone.com/business/2021/10/bell-picks-rolls-royce-engine-v-280-valor-army-black-hawk-replacement-contest/185953/
That’s much bigger engine. The base Rolls-Royce T406 engine is like 70% wider that the base GE T64 the V-280 prototype uses. They’re both roughly the same length, but the Rolls-Royce is around 200 lbs heavier too.