JMR-FVL: Army Casts Dice for Future Helicopters
September 24/15: The fuselage of the Bell Helicopters V-280 tiltrotor demonstrator aircraft was unveiled by manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems on Tuesday. Assembled by the company’s rapid prototyping facility, the fuselage will be combined with the V-280 wing, engines and tails. The V-280 Valor design will compete with Sikorsky/Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant design from September 2017 in a two-year evaluation period for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Both are part-funded through the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMRTD) program, part of FVL, with contracts awarded last year.
The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s estimated $100 billion Future Vertical Lift program, which is expected to replace between 2,000-4,000 medium class UH-60 utility and AH-64 attack helicopters after 2030.
In reality, FVL will fall far short of that number if it ever goes ahead, but those figures are the current official fantasy. While they’re at it, the Pentagon wants breakthrough performance that includes the same hovering capability as smaller armed scout helicopters, and a 100+ knot improvement in cruising speed to 230+ knots. That’s almost certainly achievable, thanks to new developments that involve very different helicopter designs.
The JMR-TD Precursor Program
JMR-TD Phase 1: The Finalists
Contracts & Key Events
FY 2005 – 2012
Background: JMR-FVL Program & Contenders
News & Views
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