The Army’s new super-helicopter

The Army’s new super-helicopter

A top Army aviation boss wants to field a new helicopter that can fly at 200 knots, with or without a human crew on board, in the next 19 years, writes Steve Trimble of the DEW Line. Army Maj. Gen Anthony Crutchfield, who runs the Army’s aviation headquarters at Fort Rucker, Ala., warned an audience at this week’s big Army aviation convention in Nashville that he doesn’t want future generations of Army aviators flying today’s generations of Army helicopters. The service needs to start working now on something new.

Wrote Trimble: “If the 200kt minimum speed requirement sticks, Crutchfield is right. The army will need more than an all-new helicopter. It will need a new kind of rotorcraft, such as a coaxial-compound combination like X2 or a tiltrotor like the V-22. Convention helicopters are limited to a maximum of 170-180kt due to retreating blade stall.”

But even before we start imagining how the Army will satisfy this requirement, it’s worth pointing out that the phrase “new Army helicopter program” could induce many people to develop a nervous twitch. In recent history, the service does not have a sterling record of setting down requirements and then seeing its programs all the way through to the point where they enter service in numbers. Even when the Army wanted to save money by using an “off-the-shelf” aircraft for its Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter — after canceling the wham-o-dyne RAH-66 Commanche — the costs again spiralled out of control.

Still, the acquisition world isn’t like the the craps table, where the dice have no memory. (One hopes.) Maybe the Army can use the painful lessons of its helicopter programs — and its growing self-awareness about its acquisition shortcomings — to get things right with Crutchfield’s new super-helo.

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What the general is really saying is that we need to plan now for the kickbacks he will be getting when he retires.

Militarily the day of the attack helicopter is over. It’s role in insurgencies is far better done by drones and the 101 airborne’s debacle in Iraq answered once and for all how they would fare in a conventional war — The largest fleet of attack helicopters ever assembled faced a rag tag third world army with simple AAA and was shot from the sky.

As usual you show you know nothing about attack helicopters.

The AH-64 has provided countless examples of useful air support for troops on the ground in Afghanistan in Iraq. There are several good books about the subject I would suggest you pick up if you were interested in actually learning something. Meanwhile that attack you speak of hardly spells the doom of the Apache. It was an unsuccessful deep strike but despite many Apaches being damaged, only one was shot down. Meanwhile the Apache has racked up many hundreds of AFV kills over the years.

Do Army Generals have some sort of problem with basic cognitive function? Comanche, failure. Crusader, failure. FCS, failure. ARH, failure. V-22, FAILURE. So the driving requirement for the next attack helicopter is… “flies 200 knots, optionally manned, and carries 9 troops” so we’ll need the riskiest technological solution possible. how, please, on planet earth, does it make sense to combine the function of an ATTACK helicopter with a UTILITY helicopter?? and oh btw we need it in 19 years?? This is “amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics” most obvious example. Our G.O.‘s must be industry puppets or complete morons. Do they actually believe the crap coming out of their mouths?

Gotta love Bill’s verbatim quotes from contractor brochures. I always wondered who those completely vacuous PR spiels you hear at trades shows are for. Now we know.

But lets get it clear if something is a totally useless waste of money Bill will be out shilling for it claiming that we need to buy more.

The Army has been its own worst enemy here. With the exception of Commanche, it has been content to field derivatives & upgrades. U.S. industry has played along, allowing Eurocopter to field new and impressive products. In fact, the only “really new” helo is an off-the-shelf-non-militarized EADS product. If past is prologue, then optimism is NOT indicated here.

Over 10 export customers, hundreds of AFV kills, praise by pilots and troops on the group, and you think you know better than all of them? You’re pathetic Oblat.

What’s wrong Oblat, tired of seeing recordings of your beloved insurgents gunned down by M230 chain gun fire?

The question to ask is, “Why wait twenty years ?” Leaving aside the hard parts — and in a twenty year timeframe, I don’t think anyone here can say what the hard parts are — or are going to be. The weapons program haters always develop amnesia when a new system does get fielded. Apache was supposed to have been this gold-plated, unsupportable aircraft — and now the same gang wants to keep Apache into the field until after we’re all dead and gone ? Get real here. It is amazing to see how quickly the vultures gather when an Army official even breathes a word about a new program start. That is very telling as to what really motivates these people.

But defense spending is approximately 20% of our annual budget and I needs my welfare! Nevermind all the innovations we as consumers derive from military spending and research… but hey, guess we aren’t the smartest guys in the room :)

But as we all know this has its limits. Bell Helicopter had a sound and stable smaller tilt-rotor testbed early on much like Sikorsky has now. All of the money and problems come when you have to scale up said aircraft for military requirements. While I give Sikorsky kudos for investing in their future most manufacturers do so on the small scale, but I don’t think it really matters much given the complexities of up-scaling.

Exactly what “new and impressive” military products are you referring to from Eurocopter?

Just a few errors,
V-22 is a Marine and USAF program, not Army.
Attack and Utility, lets see UH-1 and AH-1, yeah that didn’t work at all. Since a medium helicopter and a attack helicopter are roughly the same size, you gain a huge advantage of having a common dynamic system.
And yes, since we are currently buying new UH-60Ms and AH-64s, we won’t need an entirely new Helo for years. So why not start looking at new capabilities now, which if you actually read the post at DEW line, is what the Army is proposing. The aren’t starting a program yet.

everybody knows V-22 is a USMC fiasco. The point is why would a right thinking person attempt to repeat the fiasco by trying to make a 200 kt helicopter that would require tiltrotor? UH-1 and AH-1 both effective platforms, but each platform is distinct. You don’t try to do an attack & utility helicopter in the same platform, as Crutchfield’s genius slide implies. The slide is actually quite retarded if you take a look at it, it could mean anything “sensor/weapons package”… and you haven’t addressed the “optionally manned” nonsense. what the heck is that all about? Jealous that the USAF is about to foolishly attempt this in NGB so the Army has to have tech envy to want it in the next helicopter?? And you really ought to take a look at the internal study referenced in Inside Defense, of course they want it “close hold”. There are plenty of institutional errors in the US Army ready for you to comment on.

Someone forogt to tell the Marines the V22 is such a fiasco, because they actually love the thing. So does AFSOC.

Regarding your comment on using a UH asset for CAS or fire suppression, why do the XM series of armament subsystems exist to allow the Venom and other utility helicopters to do precisely that?

Very true. There are major issues in building a rigid enough high hinge offset rotor blade in sizes much bigger than a 10-12000lb gross weight machine.

Sikorsky likes to toss around renderings of a scaled up X2, and talk up the promise of a transport sized coaxial compoind, but in reality they have no good way of getting the stiffness required at those rotor diameters.

OB — I have to agree that you are showing your ignorance about the utility of the helicoptrer in any combat situation. Low-intensity or high, having the flexibility to adapt to the constant changes associated with any armed engagement demands more than a data-link view thousands of miles away. A human in the cockpit also serves to save lives becasue it is in direct support of what is happening on the ground and can adapt very quickly. The services are drunk on UAV’s at the moment because of the permissive environment they are operating in. In a less permissive enviroment, UAV’s would be lost by the dozens.

Helicopters, or more broadly vertical lift, is the most dynamic and useful capabilty any soldier can have at their disposal. It’s always the first thing in high demand next to ammo in any crisis.

No go back to watching your endless re-runs of Terminator.….….…

You have any idea how many more people have died in crashes of CH53s? A lot more than 19, I’ll tell you that. Is the CH53 a fiasco? How about the blackhawk? Its prototype crashed TWICE, in the first 14 miraculously survived, and the second they were not so fortunate and it was destroyed. Do you consider these “failures”?

Just because a new technology had teething problems doesnt make its current successes invalid.

You used to wet the bed but you dont hear about it every time you do something good nowadays.

all programs and systems have their flaws, but we’ve accomplished a lot of missions with CH53s and Blackhawk. V-22 has yet to prove itself. it can’t even defend itself. and you have not, because you cannot, address the optional pilot issue with the new helicopter, nor have you addressed the irreparable harm that occurs when a service LIES to get its acquisition program forward. so let’s get back on point. The Army’s new helicopter concept is flawed due to technical obsessions with 200 kt flying and with optional manned piloting. The Army’s obsession (and envy of USAF) with new, revolutionary technologies to achieve higher and higher levels of operational excellence, results in STRATEGIC FAILURE.

Why not try responding to what he said? Why do you always deflect. Someone proves you wrong and you ignore and continue on your stupid ass rant. Address the rebuttals.

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“Optionally manned attack / utility ” helicopter… you can’t be sober… And who’s gonna fly I-N this thing?

Has anyone ever driven in the back of a truck which drove for hours over rough terrain? Normally, only the driver doesn’t get “sea-sick” and too broken up to dismount and fight afterwards, for the rest of the day! And that’s only a BI-dimensional trip, not a rough flight!

Now imagine those poor 9 soldiers in the back of an U.S. American “Hind” , unable to get off the helicopter because of the hilly or mountainous or wooded terrain below, and the remotely piloted, agile helicopter goes into attack mode ( = flying fast, low and acrobatically) against some well-armed targets of opportunity, or even against some enemy helicopters! Wanna fight afterwards?


Curt and BTC–
The AH-64, UH-60M, and UH-1Y/AH-1Z are not new technology by any streach. They are upgrades at the system level to 60’s, 70’s and 80’s design baselines. So let’s not fool ourselves into thinking they are cutting edge and good for another 20 years.

Tilt-rotor is proving itself to be quite operationally effective. Albeit it is NOT a helicopter or an airplane, so you do get some limitations in both regimes. Bottom line is if you need to cover distance quickly, but take-off and land vertically, tilt-rotor is an effective way to do it. Compound (X-2, X-3, etc) will never be able to compete with tilt-rotor for speed and distance. Compound rotor stacks hit a limit due to blade coning and flex when they have a high amount of pitch on the rotors. The upper and lower rotors will start to converge, and that is bad. Now if you need to do more hover work but want more speed then a conventional helicopter, then a compound design is more effective than tilt-rotor.

Deciding on which technology demands the services do some actual mission analysis, as opposed to falling in love with a technology and changing conops to fit the technology. Kind of like changing your foot size to fit a shoe you like, rather than finding the right shoe.….…

TheGuy– Give me a break. Look at how many Sole Source contracts are awarded to American companies without competition. Billions according to the SecDef.…. That’s SUBSIDIZATION too, just a different way of doing it. Boeing, Sikorsky, L/M, N/G all recipients. Spare us the rhetoric.

Besides, the fundamental tenent of a “free-market” economy is the best product, at the best price for the consumer. Doesn’t say anything about how the product got there.

Defense of self is totally invalid… I’m sorry but a couple of door gunners on a UH-60 really do nothing to deter threat of surface to air threat once in flight. And as I recall on a CH-53 you just have the rear ramp gunner for protection just like the V-22… but I’m sure you have flown and one and know all about it :) And we can’t live on legacy programs … too long we have depended on old platforms and now we are so far behind on the technilogical curve that people get scared of change when problems occur. Gone are the days of carving an aircraft out of balsa wood and having a prototype built by hand within a month. We are moving to an unmanned world.. I don’t like it but the requirement is valid. And about the AH-64 being a dedicated attack helicopter you are wrong on that point as well. Originally yes the Apache was used in conjunction with Kiowa Warriors as hunter/killer’s … but with the upgrades to Apache Longbows they can perform ISR duties as well. Many times in Iraq I saw them perform this role… and much like Kiowas I was happy to see them there.

X-2 is funded by millions in sole source contracts awarded to Sikorsky by the Navy and Army, and FMS sales over the past 10 yrs. More than $15B to be more accurate. It is absolutely false to claim that it isn’t subsidized. The money has been washed through these sole source contracts is all. The Conn. mafia is strong on Capital Hill.


you’re wrong. door gunners on uh-60 matter a lot — that’s why we keep using them. and you’re wrong on ch-53 those are door mounted guns too. as far as replacements, we should go for incremental improvements based upon prototypes that have proven themselves in an operational test enviornment. has the Army demonstrated the value of optional pilot through a prototype??? NO right?? and whoa big deal so Apache is multirole as ISR that’s great. we don’t screw up Apaches by trying to stick troops in them. 200 (note “+” per the General’s slide) Kt requirement, optional piloting, and multirole attack/utility are all foolish concepts.

BTC, You are right!!! We should NEVER try to look at new technology, and challenge industry. Just keep letting industry provide the same old technology with a new paint job while they get fat on unearned revenuers. Jeeps and Corsairs for everyone.…..

well lookie here. another inferior thinker that has to resort to sarcasm & straw man arguments. i’ve posted my position on technology development multiple times, so here’s the lesson for you: Major Defense Acquisition Programs are no place for technology development, system & program integration are difficult enough. we need to develop new technology using separate developmental money to do competetive prototyping and prove these technology in realistic operational environments prior to trying to integrate them into MDAPs. Current practice we do not do this. Thus, everything is late, costs more, and performance is short of promises. war fighters end up not getting new gear, and we fight wars with ancient, obsolete, crumbling systems.

Given the demands of the Army. it is conceptually the most feasible way for a helicopter derived design to succeed. In that regard I think the 20 year time frame is more than realistic for Sikorsky to achieve those technological goals.

I think Sikorsky’s next demonstrator of the technology should really be to modify an AH64 or AH1.

And being a 14yr army vet we never use anything just because “thats the way its always been done”. I felt sorry for the poor bastards door gunning in Iraq their sole purpose was to help load luggage for passengers and/or manifesting. But they are highly valuable in this task.. someone has to help that fat contractor get into the bird. But I guess we can agree to disagree.

A couple years ago (and hell, this happens every week) my friends and I needed air support in an area where artillery was inappropriate and/or unavailable. Apaches weren’t too far away and they placed unguided rockets, laser guided missiles, and chain gun fire right on the enemy’s heads and managed to avoid most of the surrounding area. Tell me what drone can do that? The 101st’s failed attack was a deep strike against an enemy armored division. That kind of attack has been tried once in each Iraq war and both didn’t meet expectations. There’s been probably a million flight hours worth of successful airstrikes from Apaches, Cobras, and Kiowas since then.

Mike is correct, it was the 11th Aviation Regiment, not the 101st.

Well I guess we should just outsource that to the Chinese too… sounds like good bang for my tax buck!

How do sole source contracts for a specific product supply the R&D money to develop general new technology like massive EU loans?

Just because a contract for a single product is awarded doesnt make it equal to recieveing blanket funds in massive payments and interest free loans from national governemnts.

Its not the same thing whatsoever, unless you are merely looking at total funding amounts. It cannot be spent in the same ways at all.

Look, X2 is worth looking into. Scalability is possible, but not proven (disclaimer: I worked at sikorsky, but neither on X2 or COmanche). THe Comanache worked very well; what killed it was requirements creep. If the army had kept the requirements it had in 1995 when it first flew, we would have them now, but the army tried to stuff another 10 lbs into a 5 lb sack. Optionally manned is not a good idea — I wouldn’t fly in it,and I don’t know many who would. the pilot needs to have skin in the game.

THe v-22 is a fiasco in terms of cost and schedule. It has potential to be very dangerous, but the marine brass (perhaps not the troops) love it. At this point, only time will tell.

The current req for attack/utility will probably run into the same problem as other “multi-role” aircraft. A plane isn’t a swiss army knife, and the army will probably overload it with too many missions.

Im not trying to argue the merits of optional piloting and speed requirements.

Merely calling you out for towing the ever-popular-with-blog-commenter G2mil/Time magazine line of how the Osprey is so awful, which flies in the face of all the facts and statistics coming out of the field at this exact moment.

So an increase in operational effectiveness at the expense of greater national security? DoD exists to serve the Nation, unfortunately its acquisition strategy reflects more sinister motivations.

Even within Sikorsky the X2 is promoted as being a scalable design.…however the blade technology is not there to get the required stiff blade spans. Yes there is a SAC patent from 2006 using a double-C inner spar design to try and get something stiff and static at the root ends to interface with hub fairings, but does not even come close to solving the problem of tip plane divergence.

The idea that a large scale high speed coaxial is theoretically possible is true (the dynamics of the coaxial configuration are not the limiting factor). The idea that there are blade materials and designs which would allow such a craft to be built is not.

This is more wishful thinking from Generals who haven’t known the fiancal situation. By the way a 200 knot speed violates the Army Air Force deal on attack aircraft. Which killed the AH56 Cheyenne back in the 70s. Its not going to happen.

If it walks like a duck, and quack like a duck.….…

You don’t seem to mind most of your consumer products from there anyway when it means cheaper costs to you.….

So now your just being hypocritical. Go ahead, personally boycott all foriegn made products. Bet you can’t do it even for a single day.

Yes. The acquisition process exists to preserve the process, that’s all. If the warfighter/operator happens to actually get a capability in the end is purely coincidental.

and arrogance quotes cliche’s.….

you are arrogant.

Some of us still do our best to buy American made products.

The marines just love being special. You could tie pink ribbons on them all and call them princess and they would love that too. And it would be a hell of a lot cheaper.

You got to love the changing specification canard — “oh you wanted it to fly too ?” — well that is a change we only envisioned the aircraft sitting on the ground.

The fact is that the process is driven by design failures not specification changes. This can be clearly seen because the ‘changes’ closely follow the testing schedule. When the design fails then a ‘change’ is made to fix it.

I’d be interested he hear from the contractor fan-boys of a single real specification change on the JSF program last year for instance.

This is all well known which is why it is avoided like the plague by the contractors. The profits from forcing your customer to a completely new solution are way above any you would make with incremental improvements.

Nonsense the Comanche was a dog from start to finish 29 years later.

The specification didn’t change the contractors just couldn’t deliver that is all.

Again you show how completely clueless you are Oblatski.

Okay, here is a scenario for you. Your target is an armored column of T-72s protected by several Shilka self-propelled AA guns. Do you take the turbo-prop or the AH-64?

A single Apache was shot down and the crew survived. All of the other Apaches damaged managed to return to base. Considering the poor planning that got them in that scenario (flying over urban terrain and directly exposed to small arms, RPG, and HMG fire at short ranges) it is a credit to the design of the Apache that all but one did return to base.

It was neither the type of mission Apaches were originally designed for, nor the environment they were designed to fight in.

- The Army flies helos because of Key West.

- A ‘turbo-prop CAS aircraft’ could be gold plated like anything else. Don’t you even pay attention to your _own_ rants?

- The lessons of the 11th AHR are much more multi-faceted than you make them out to be. One of those lessons was that the Iraqis may have been poorly equipped, but they were not always ‘third rate.’ Our forces pressed ahead with the mission after it became clear they couldn’t launch at full strength; even the command bird got left behind because they hadn’t brought enough fuel to the objective. Security was compromised and the delayed start gave the Iraqis time to prepare their ambush. The ingress route went over well-lit population centers that served as cover for the Iraqi teams just as it took away the cover of darkness for the helos.

The screw-ups on our side were more tactical and operational than due to the airframes. The fact that only one was lost to ground fire, and the rest made it back is a testament to that. Over-confidence and over-aggressiveness is what broke the mission.

Good Afternoon Folks,

What I think Editor Ewing is say here that the technology has not advanced far enough from what is current being put into the Apache and Sea Scout to justify starting a new developmental and procurement program. I think Mr. Ewing is right.

Apache still has a lot of years left in it, and its air frame can still accommodate a lot of up coming new technology. Taking developmental ideas into the next generation is what DARPA is for.

The trouble with the ARH-66 Comanche was that there was never no clear need for it and it could never find a mission that the AH-64 Apache wasn’t already doing.

Byron Skinner

Care to educate yourself on the matter before you vomit up more garbage?

Here is a hint, start with the LHX program and proposals and keep reading.

Wow, a helicopter capable of doing 200 kts. Who could possibly design such a vehicle. Oh yeah, Lockheed did back in 1966, except it would only do 240 kts. Maybe it’s time the Army got out of its own way and bought the AH-56 Cheyenne (http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​n​K​4​8​F​c​w​c​Y7Q)? Of course, if there’s no 30 year development program for a contractor to milk, who can really care about a program like that?

The AH-56 was ahead of its time. Yet today Lockheed is out of the helicopter business, and the AH-56 design would require extensive changes to incorporate all sorts of technologies that didn’t exist then. You would be redesigning almost the whole thing.

For that money and time a competent procurement system could field a newer, better design. An incompetent procurement system would screw up modernizing the AH-56 anyway.

The Sikorsky X2 has already demonstrated a speed of 250 knots. Such a configuration may be a good direction for this program. Tilt-rotor designs are another possibility, and indeed attack tilt-rotors have been considered in the past. Yet the V-22 program has been anything but trouble-free over the years. There are some other concepts on the table too. Either way it is good to see some development in an industry that has been rather stagnant.

Regarding the requirement to carry troops in back, I am not certain what they are looking for. Do they want something like the Mi-24 Hind or Sikorsky S-67? Or do they want a family of helicopters with a high degree of commonality like the AH-1 and UH-1 or the original LHX program?

The Joint Multirole Helicopter has been the plan to replace AH and UH for a long time. This is just the first time someone has mentioned it publicly.

For the UH and AH platforms to merge is a good idea. How they do it is really the question. I dont know where they got the 200kt requirement from, but one can clearly see that a 200kt helo can go alot farther in two hours than a 120kt one.

First, your post indicated that the V-22 was an Army program.
“Do Army Generals have some sort of problem with basic cognitive function? Comanche, failure. Crusader, failure. FCS, failure. ARH, failure. V-22, FAILURE.“
Second, it is a technology demonstration program. Ever heard of ABC concept? Technology demonstrator that was a forerunner to the X2. Didn’t work out, but potentially it offered incredible advances, so they tried it out. Its what R&D is.
200kts? That would be good, and we have several possible ways to get there, why not try it out?
Optimally piloted? With a fly by wire control system, optimally piloted is not real difficult. So why not try it out? Combine utility and attack in the same platform kind of like an armerd H-60. Why not give it a shot.? Your point is good if it was a developmental program but it is technology program! If it doesn’t work, then we will know.

you misunderstood. i would never be so dumb to think V-22 was an Army program. What i’m saying is that tiltrotor needs to be taken out of people’s vocabulary when it comes to future MDAPs, unless we want to have another V-22 mess on our hands. For the Army to think they can pull of a tiltrotor program does indicate lack of basic cognitive function. Did you read about the internal evaluation of the Army’s acquisition capabilities?? They need to fix that first, then maybe the taxpayer can trust them with developing tiltrotor, or optionally (not optimally) piloted aircraft, or a “multirole” helicopter. By combining multiple missions, you combine all the costs, constraints, and risks of the technology required for each role. We have been down this road with numerous acquisition programs. We do not need to repeat any more past mistakes. Children learn this lesson, why can’t DoD? You are wrong about it being just for “technology demonstration”. The Generals’ remarks indicate they are committing the future of Army aviation on these concepts.

x 2 Hell, even the moon landing didn’t take 20 years and we didn’t even know most of what it would take to get there when we decided to do it. 200mph helicopters have been around since before the Cheyenne.

All good points, William.

It is sad that this rotor design disappeared off the face of the earth with this helicopter design. The hingless rotor provides the structural rigidity that was the key to this aircraft being able to fly so fast. Oh, and I should mention, I got the top speed wrong. The site I looked at was jumping back and forth between knots and miles per hour and I wasn’t keeping up. The actual top speed of the Cheyenne was 212 kts or 240 mph. Still more than what the Army is looking for. It seems to me that if the Army would specify VTOL instead of wanting a “helicopter” they would open the field to vehicles potentially much more capable than simply “a helicopter”.

There’s a reason the Corps like the AH-1 and UH-1 so much. Both were built for very specific purposes and do them well. They figured out how to give them a lot of common parts, but they’re still two distinctly different birds. Combine them thinking you’re going to save money and you’re just going to run into yet another Bradley-B-1-JSF fiasco where it’ll double in cost and development time. Bloat out an attack helo to carry cargo and troops and you’ve got a slow, maintenance-intensive, and expensive helo begging to fall out of the sky.

I recently ran across an article at Defense News about the X-2 and the S-97, a derivative of the X-2 that’s being developed for the Army at Sikorsky’s expense. Again I have to wonder why the US Army continues to insist on paying for development, when they typically get much better and less expensive products when they allow contractors to fund development themselves?

“Sikorsky Aircraft is betting its own money on a radical new helicopter design, a gambit some observers say might become more common in austere budgetary times. The S-97 Raider will have a pusher propeller meant to send it zooming past the roughly 200 mph top speed of conventional rotorcraft — and, the company hopes, win Pentagon contracts. The Stratford, Conn., concern intends to furnish a prototype for testing by U.S. military service officials.“We’ll have our pilots in the seat and we’ll let the military evaluate it,” said Steve Engebretson, Sikorsky’s director for the Armed Aerial Scout program.” (http://​www​.defensenews​.com/​s​t​o​r​y​.​p​h​p​?​i​=​6​2​0​1​2​9​6​&​a​m​p​;​c​=​F​E​A​&​a​m​p​;​s​=​CVS)

My opinion is that the V-22 should of been proven first before purchased. They been testing tilt rotors since the 50’s and maybe before that with some progress on the V-22 for a perfection with technology. For the un-man project, they should of started that type of project during the 60’s which they already might have. I don’t think it would do as well, than a man aircrew tho for troops close support. If they want something to go that fast they might as well pull the props off the V-22 and install the Harrier jet engine type. I wonder who will get all that money spent that is going to go in there pockets when decided? I believe Kaman came out with one and was testing but he just pass away about a month ago, i haven’t heard if anyone is taking over tho.

On CH-53/HH-53 there is three gunners, not one for your information.

I agree. They been testing Tilt — Rotors since the 50’s and one would think they would of had iron out the deficiencies with today’s technology. The radio controlled flying saucer type already exist, unbelievable speed and maneuverability.

The length of the blades needs to be shortened with increase width with a true jet doing more than providing power to rotate the blades, delivering real thrust (Jet chopper). Consider using the telescoping blade with a variable pitch for landing along with the retractable/telescoping wings for lift and maneuvarability during accelerated flight speeds. The consept is sound and there is already results published as far back as the early 60’s. The UV-22, CV-22 etc. is limited to how fast it can go because of the props. The idea of a troop carrier going 400+mph; makes your teeth ache to want to be a part of this project if adopted. The Osprey is doing very well; now that the critics are eating crow lets temp them with this.

another amateur small thinker that cannot distinguish between strategy & tactics. DoD can achieve operational excellence chasing KPP’s of super-platforms til the cows come home. it’s not hard for contractors to prove this in controlled lab settings, or worse yet, highly touted computer simulations. For all this investment in exotic technology, DoD is still unable to decisively accomplish missions and produce good strategic results. DoD does not have realistic large scale joint operational tests, so there are no true tests of systems & organizations ability to accomplish missions. These tests are avoided because they would expose the flaws in the technology-worshipping doctrine. Predictably, DoD fails in real world joint operations, at exorbitant cost to boot. None of this is going to make sense to you until I get you to eat crow, so get your tastebuds ready.

Don’t feed the trolls, people!

Skynet thanks you for your assistance. (*grin*)

What if we combined the rotors of a helo and the turbines of a jet? Not big ones, of course. But smaller ones to provide more foward thrust.

How about the Army works on a real-life Falcon from the game “Halo: Reach”?

the apache would be even worse then the drones in a non-permissive environment, but one of its strengths is resistance to jamming (but then, if they jam the datalink to the sat, they can also jam the radio…)

he is right. v22 is a failure, albeit with some limited usefullness…

Combine utility and attack in the same platform kind of like an armerd H-60.

the russians gave it a shot in the mi-24 (i think — the big hind anyway). it had provisions for a couple troops, but they were never carried for a variety of reasons — not being able to maneuver properly is a strong one.

not chinese, india

“The trouble with the ARH-66 Comanche was that there was never no clear need for it and it could never find a mission that the AH-64 Apache wasn’t already doing.”

Syria. Iran. N. Korea. Apache would be DOA. Comanche was designed to thrive in such a SAM-hot environment. Apache is o.k. against Iraqis or Afghans with outdated ‘80s tech or zero air defenses. Inferior due to thermal and acoustic sigs, but good enough. Comanche was meant for another level of adversary and for superior counter-insurgency ops related to surveil and recon. Apaches put in that role had huge losses, including one ambush that destroyed or disabled I believe all but one in a whole squadron sent out forward in a mission in Afganistan. They can’t fire RPGs and MANPADS at them if they can’t hear them or lock on their exhausts and are killed before they know who’s firing at them. But the bureaucrats’ myopia prevented them from seeing past the wars they were fighting. Rumsfeld’s “You don’t fight with the army you want. You fight with the army you have” violated his own philosophy and short changed the future army. We lack options with a situation like Syria; options we would have had with Comanche. Shinseki always saw the need for it. But they took the planning away from the people who had the brains and the wisdom.

Whoa, folks. What we need is an army version of the air force’s famous skunk works to come up with the next non-fixed wing army toy. Take some brainiac scientists that are not psychologically adverse to blowing things up and put them into a room with army vets with 15 years experience like the types that comment here, and let them have a meeting of the minds. Have groups of these assorted designers come up with different prototypes and have contests to compete in different objectives periodically. Let the creative juices flow, but don’t go blindly following one Gen. Crutchfield’s idea of his when two heads are generally better than one general, generally speaking.

For instance, is speed to target area more important than survivability? Would you rather have a helicopter that can avoid fire hovering or get the heck out of Dodge? Or both? Let some helicopter aviation designers crawl inside the heads of some army pilots and see what happens. I can imagine a helicopter that moves sideways or down with enhanced quickness from rocket assist (yes, the rotors blades would have to adjust beforehand), or divides into four separate unmanned and one manned command helicopters, or is an actual plane with fold away rotors, and I’m not even a aeronautical engineer (yes, wise guys. I know you could tell.)

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