4 Designs for US Army's FARA

Helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft
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charlielima223

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Unread post14 Jul 2022, 16:10

sferrin wrote:My money says Bell wins the Blackhawk replacement, with the V-280, and Sikorsky gets FARA.


I've been predicting that for a while now.
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aaam

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Unread post23 Jul 2022, 07:12

madrat wrote:If Bell Invictus wins I'd hope the Marines carry the design forward as a Cobra replacement. The Valor is simply too big for the role. The Sikorsky model might make for a nice Sea Hawk alternative.


Invictus and Raider-X are competing to replace the OH-58, after four previous failed attempts to do so. This role has no corresponding minion in USMC. There is also some indication it may eventually replace AH-64, which may be too big and heavy for the future Army attack role. I would opine that an attack version of Valor could work quite well to replace Cobra on the future battlefield, if USMC wanted to go that way.

In any case, both FARA competitors are way too small and light to replace H-60 variants. The program starting for that is presently known as FVL-MS, for Future Vertical Lift-Maritime Strike.
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charlielima223

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Unread post25 Jul 2022, 01:26

aaam wrote:I would opine that an attack version of Valor could work quite well to replace Cobra on the future battlefield, if USMC wanted to go that way.



Doubt it.
Bell dropped their original tilt rotor design for the FARA because it couldnt meet the size/dimensions requirements.
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aaam

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Unread post25 Jul 2022, 08:17

charlielima223 wrote:
aaam wrote:I would opine that an attack version of Valor could work quite well to replace Cobra on the future battlefield, if USMC wanted to go that way.



Doubt it.
Bell dropped their original tilt rotor design for the FARA because it couldnt meet the size/dimensions requirements.



Where is there information that Bell was going to propose a Tilt-Rotor for FARA? From the get-go the FARA requirements for speed/range/payload were so modest that a Tilt-Rotor couldn't be justified. The out-of-the-gate 40' maximum rotor diameter requirement also precluded a Tilt-Rotor design. The required weight and mandated engine also would make a Tilt-Rotor very hard to build for FARA. Bell always knew this. Of course, we can't overlook the fact that the Army's own Program Manager has said that an aircraft that meets all of the FARA requirements can't be built.

Now the Marines are looking for lot more in the requirements they've mooted and also aren't taking about mandating engine choice or rotor diameter. For their purposes a Tilt-Rotor would do just fine. In fact, one of the advantages an attack Tilt-Rotor would have is that it would be quite easy to design in ejection seats if it has just two crew embers.
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charlielima223

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Unread post25 Jul 2022, 19:43

aaam wrote:

Where is there information that Bell was going to propose a Tilt-Rotor for FARA? From the get-go the FARA requirements for speed/range/payload were so modest that a Tilt-Rotor couldn't be justified. The out-of-the-gate 40' maximum rotor diameter requirement also precluded a Tilt-Rotor design. The required weight and mandated engine also would make a Tilt-Rotor very hard to build for FARA. Bell always knew this. Of course, we can't overlook the fact that the Army's own Program Manager has said that an aircraft that meets all of the FARA requirements can't be built.

Now the Marines are looking for lot more in the requirements they've mooted and also aren't taking about mandating engine choice or rotor diameter. For their purposes a Tilt-Rotor would do just fine. In fact, one of the advantages an attack Tilt-Rotor would have is that it would be quite easy to design in ejection seats if it has just two crew embers.


viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55372

The issue with an attack tilt-rotor design is weapon placement. They have fiddled around with arming the current V-22 for self escort but they have either dropped it completely or have had minor success. Given the V-22s apparent record of crashes (conventional helicopters have more crashes but the V-22s crashes are more publicized) why didnt they design ejection seats in the first place?
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daswp

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Unread post26 Jul 2022, 01:10

charlielima223 wrote:
aaam wrote: Given the V-22s apparent record of crashes (conventional helicopters have more crashes but the V-22s crashes are more publicized) why didnt they design ejection seats in the first place?


Punching out an letting your passengers die is generally frowned upon.
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aaam

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Unread post26 Jul 2022, 01:33

daswp wrote:
charlielima223 wrote:
aaam wrote: Given the V-22s apparent record of crashes (conventional helicopters have more crashes but the V-22s crashes are more publicized) why didnt they design ejection seats in the first place?


Punching out an letting your passengers die is generally frowned upon.



Exactly. Wouldn't be a very good morale builder. BTW, the first FSD V-22s, which only carried the test pilots, did have ejection seats. So did the XV-15 (off-the-shelf from the OV-10).
Last edited by aaam on 26 Jul 2022, 02:12, edited 1 time in total.
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aaam

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Unread post26 Jul 2022, 02:09

V-280strike3.jpg
charlielima223 wrote:viewtopic.php?f=49&t=55372

The issue with an attack tilt-rotor design is weapon placement. They have fiddled around with arming the current V-22 for self escort but they have either dropped it completely or have had minor success. Given the V-22s apparent record of crashes (conventional helicopters have more crashes but the V-22s crashes are more publicized) why didnt they design ejection seats in the first place?


Weapons placement problems on a Tilt-Rotor have been overstated. In the case of the V-22, although there were some drawings of heavily armed model, this was because folks were enamored of its range and spread. It's a transport and agility much beyond what existing medium transport 'copters could do was not a priority in its design. The V-280 is much more agile than the V-22, because Army wants higher agility for FLRAA and is willing to pay for it.

On a Tilt-Rotor there are basically three places you can mount weapons (aside from a nose gun). Along the side of the fuselage, firing forward inside the proprotor arc, a bit compiles but doable. Under the wings on pylons. The limitation here is that powered weapons launch would have to be inhibited unless the proprotors were rotated sufficiently vertical (does not have to be all the way) that their rotation arc does not conflict with the trajectory of the weapon. Of course, this wouldn't apply to gravity weapons, which the Marines are authorized to use.

Except maybe for slim AAMs the problem in the first two options is drag. Anything hung out in the airflow for a while is going to slow the aircraft substantially and increase fuel flow. That's why virtually any depiction of a notional dedicated attack V-280 shows internal weapons bays, sometimes with additional external carriage. . This would be true for a clean sheet design as well, but given the inherent performance of Tilt-Rotors. it may not be worth the cost of developing a whole new fuselage. There are also models of a Marines' V-280 based vehicle that can carry a squad and a few a/g missiles in the outer lower corner of the fuselage.

Regarding ejection seats, daswp and I addressed this in other posts.
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madrat

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Unread post26 Jul 2022, 12:14

Fancy, but looks like a sitting duck to MANPADS.

'Em drones don't need an ejection seat.
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aaam

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Unread post28 Jul 2022, 21:53

madrat wrote:Fancy, but looks like a sitting duck to MANPADS.

'Em drones don't need an ejection seat.


Nothing is invulnerable, but something as fast as this with the type of countermeasures it would carry and the options provided by onboard command and control (i.e. the crew) makes it more than a "sitting duck".

Armed drones definitely have an increasing role to play in operations. OTOH, while they don't need an ejection seat, you need more of them, lack flexibility and require a comm system that's either line of sight or quite sophisticated OTH (with a lot of support) system that can be jammed. Plus, as air defenses of all types build up in an area their lack of flexibility works against them. Also, the tech hasn't come far enough along where they can respond that quickly to a call, "We're taking fire from a clump of trees about 300 meters Southwest of the second bend in the road".

And I have yet to hear of a manned vehicle in these kind of roles that against the controller's commands was successfully redirected to land at an adversary's airfield.
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charlielima223

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Unread post10 Oct 2022, 19:41

An interesting new proposed Apache upgrade. The extended stub wings look nice on it.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/10/boe ... elicopter/

From my understanding the FARA is supposed to be the actual successor to the Kiowa. However both seem like adequate replacements for the Apache down the road at some point.
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