Bell's V-280 Osprey II next generation

Gestart door Harald, 11/04/2013 | 16:37 uur


Om de DoD te paaien om dit toestel de Black Hawk te laten vervangen hebben ze hem maar de looks van de Black Hawk gegeven zo te zien. Als twee druppels water. Het ziet er best lachwekkend uit, vind ik.


Bell Unveils "3rd Gen" Tiltrotor for JMR/FVL

Bell has unveiled the 280kt tiltrotor it is offering to replace US Army UH-60 Black Hawks beginning around 2035 - and offering alone now it has been jilted by V-22 partner Boeing in favor of Sikorsky and a 230kt compound helicopter.

Bell is calling its V-280 Valor a "third-generation" tiltrotor, although it is a bit vague on exactly what it means by third generation. It is clear on the earlier generations: first the XV-3 and XV-15 with mechanical flight controls; and second the V-22 (and BA609, now AW609) with digital fly-by-wire.

What makes the V-280 the third generation is less clear-cut, but appears to involve applying a range of technologies to improve all the "ilities" that have brought criticism to tiltrotors in general and the V-22 specifically - affordability (and complexity), agility, reliability and sustainability.

Those technologies include next-generation FBW (drawing on Bell's 525 Relentless commercial helicopter); "high-flapping" proprotors providing greater pitch and yaw control power for agility in vertical-flight mode at low airspeed; advanced blades; lower proprotor disk loading and downwash velocities compared with the V-22; and a lightweight, lower-cost "large-cell carbon core" composite wing.

The V-280 is being proposed for the Army's planned Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Medium program, and Bell has submitted a proposal to fly a near full-sale flight demonstrator in 2017 under the Joint Multi Role technology demonstration. Its V-22 partner Boeing is now teamed with Sikorsky to offer a coaxial-rotor X2 Technology design for JMR.

A notable feature of Bell's concept for the FVL Medium utility variant to replace the Black Hawk - the engines do not tilt with the proprotors, as they do on the V-22. This is to allow ingress and egress to the side-opening doors (the V-22 has a rear ramp) and clear fields of fire for the door gunners. And, in addition to the V tail, the wing has no forward sweep.

The Army wants commonality and, at a minimum, would like to use the same technologies in an attack variant of the FVL Medium to replace the Apache. Bell's concept (above) shows an attack variant of the V-280 with an internal weapons bay under the fuselage.

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