The Aviationist brings us pictures of the first prototype for the V-280, one of two contenders for the Army’s “Future Vertical Lift” program to replace the H-60 and other helicopters. We have discussed this program previously as a potential replacement for Coast Guard MH-60s, here (2015) and here (2013).
The competing Sikorsky-Boeing-made SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter is expected to fly in 2018.
The V-280’s characteristics reportedly include:
- Speed: 280 KTAS cruise speed
- Combat range: 500-800nm
- Strategically Self-Deployable – 2100nm Range
- Achieves 6k/95 (hover out of ground effect at full load, at 6,000 feet/95 degrees F)
- Non-rotating, fixed engines
- Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system
- Conventional, retractable landing gear
- Two 6′ wide large side doors for ease of ingress/egress
- Suitable down wash
- Significantly smaller logistical footprint compared to other aircraft
As interesting as this thing looks, I would rather see the larger version of the S-97 from Sikorsky.
We may see both these prototypes go into production, but right now it looks like the Bell proposal is more mature.
Actually the S-97 prototype was flying back in 2015. Here is a video of it flying earlier this year. This plane is about the size of the MH-65 and from that I understand, they are working on a MH-60 size version now.
That is a proof of concept, and maybe something that might morph into an H-65 replacement, but the prototype I was referring to was the H-60 sized craft now expected to fly in 2018, also not that far away.
would the V-280 be able to even fit in the Cutters hanger?
That depends on whether the Navy buys it. If they do, presumably they will make it foldable like they have the V-22. That seems a good possibility as they will ultimately replace their H-60s, but the timing may not work for us.
We seldom try to hangar or deploy with H-60s and at some point we will need to replace H-65s as well.
The OPCs and NSCs should deploy with H-60s. Seems silly to me to keep them essentially tethered to shore bases.
The wing would have to swivel, much like the Osprey. And the engine nacelle would have to be positioned forward instead of up. Otherwise may need taller hangars.