Military Review

In the US, working on the replacement of helicopters

Famous American defense science agency DARPA has announced a competition for the design of the aircraft, which can replace the helicopters. It is reported that the new aircraft will be able to make a vertical take-off and landing, as well as fly with more speed than a helicopter and lift much more payloads into the air. The project was named Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane - VTOL X-Plane. 4 companies involved in this project are: Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, The Boeing Company, Karem Aircraft and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Experimental aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing should get rid of the main drawbacks of helicopter technology. For quite a few years, engineers have been trying to create efficient vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, but they have not managed to increase the maximum flight speed without reducing the payload or the flight range. At the same time, the DARPA agency program proposes to solve this problem by combining the capabilities of a fixed-wing aircraft and a rotary-wing aircraft.

It should be noted that such devices already exist. For example, commercially produced convertiplane V-22 Osprey, which was created by the designers of the company Bell and Boeing. Osprey is a tiltrotor that, thanks to the rotation of the engine nacelles, is able to fly both in aircraft and helicopter, accelerating in the air to 550 km / h. At the same time, with all its advantages, the V-22 Osprey has a number of significant drawbacks: the convertiplane is characterized by a bad weight-to-payload ratio, and its value is quite comparable to the price of the 4 combat fighter. At the same time, the military need such devices, but with greater flight speed and carrying capacity.

In the US, working on the replacement of helicopters

According to the technical specifications of DARPA, the new aircraft will have to meet the following requirements:
1. The maximum flight speed is up to 740 km / h.
2. The weight of the device - 4,5-5 tons.
3. The payload is at least 40% by weight.

It is assumed that this machine can complete the long-term history modern helicopters, replacing light and attack helicopters. Due to the high speed of flight, such devices will be able to quickly approach the landing zone or the line of attack, and also quickly leave, if necessary, an active combat zone. In addition, the high speed of flight allows for less vulnerability to fire from the ground, especially when it comes to the use of MANPADS, anti-aircraft artillery systems and small-arms weapons. In the future, on the basis of the new technology, it will be possible to develop heavier aircraft that will be able to transport heavy military equipment and at least hundreds of soldiers in full gear.

DARPA commissioned the development of a new aircraft to four large companies, with 3 of them already presenting a model of a promising vehicle. Aircraft companies Sikorsky and Karem Aircraft design similar to the convertiplane V-22 Osprey. In turn, the development of the Boeing company has an original design, it uses the 4 lift-marching fan at once. At the moment, engineers at Boeing have already developed a model of the device, which was called the Phantom Swift. He became an air demonstrator of a new type of platform. At the same time, the fourth company - Aurora Flight Sciences - went on a difficult, but quite promising way. She decided to use high-speed electric fans in the device. At the moment, the existing prototype of the composite 70-kW fan, which develops a thrust of the order of 200 kg and has a diameter of 81, is already ready.

V-22 Osprey

As part of the implementation of the first phase of the VTOL X-Plane program, Sikorsky engineers are going to collaborate with their colleagues from the research division of Skunk Works, which is part of the well-known American company Lockheed Martin. Skunk Works engineers have luggage from hundreds of various unique developments, including those in the field of creating a modern aviation technicians. The joint efforts of these two large companies will be aimed at creating a new aerodynamic scheme for the aircraft. This scheme has already got its name - Unmanned Rotor Blown Wing Concept. It is reported that it will combine completely new principles for controlling and controlling the rotors of the VTOL apparatus and the aerodynamics of the fixed wing.

Sikorsky specialists confirm that the aircraft will have a rather low level of complexity - this is one of the key requirements that are imposed by DARPA. In addition, it should without any problems ensure the cruising speed of flight - in 300 nodes (555 km / h), and its effectiveness in vertical takeoff and landing, as well as hanging in the air should not be lower than 75% of the efficiency of the device when making normal horizontal flight. The machine should have a lift ratio to its weight with a payload of at least 10.

According to the work plans, the first stage of the announced program VTOL X-Plane will last 22 of the month. During this period, specialists from Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin should create the design of the X-Plane aircraft, as well as develop the first experimental device that can fly into the sky in the fourth quarter of the 2017 of the year. These works are estimated at 15 million dollars. In total, the development program VTOL X-Plane is designed for a period of 52 month, and its implementation, according to preliminary calculations, will cost about 130 million dollars.

A feature of all four of the presented concepts of new aircraft are integrated multifunctional systems, which allow to use the internal space of devices with high efficiency, reducing the mechanical complexity and weight of devices. It is reported that by the end of 2015, all 4 companies will have to submit their draft designs. After this, DARPA will decide which projects can be brought to the prototype stage. It is assumed that the flight tests of new machines will begin no later than 2017-2018.

Information sources:
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  1. Igor39
    Igor39 28 March 2014 07: 57
    That's interesting.
    Did you try to fire the "Osprey" from the DShK?
    1. tronin.maxim
      tronin.maxim 28 March 2014 08: 45
      Somewhere I saw a similar apparatus, oh yes, exactly an avatar.
      1. slovak007
        slovak007 29 March 2014 00: 28
        Still in the terminators showed.
    2. mirag2
      mirag2 28 March 2014 08: 48
      Why not from Makarov?
      Needles are needed for him.
      And better, our similar devices.
      When we reach such a level, this will be the collapse of the entire American world, and before that they will all believe in their invincibility and exclusiveness.
      And in this sense it is very, very difficult to defeat a country that prints world banknotes.
      Especially with such a government that is openly sabotaging production within its own country!
      1. SkiF_RnD
        SkiF_RnD 28 March 2014 17: 52
        DShK with "Osprey" will do just fine.
    3. vik2014
      vik2014 28 March 2014 09: 43
    4. Civil
      Civil 28 March 2014 13: 38
      Jet propulsion for example
      1. SkiF_RnD
        SkiF_RnD 29 March 2014 19: 55
        Jet engine? Clear)
      2. SkiF_RnD
        SkiF_RnD 29 March 2014 19: 57
        "smallpox" Where is his jet engines?
    5. Saburo
      Saburo 28 March 2014 20: 15
      According to one version of Osprey, lost in 2010 in Afghanistan was shot down by fire from the ground. Although this is only a version, the tiltrotor officially crashed due to a pilot error.
  2. Humpty
    Humpty 28 March 2014 08: 05
    It’s scary to look at a tiltrotor. In a classic helicopter, if there is a technical failure, there are more chances to survive. I know the surface of seven crashes and two serious helicopter crashes (all Mi-8) in five cases without casualties.
    1. TAMERLAN 7
      TAMERLAN 7 28 March 2014 11: 32
      Quote: Humpty
      It's scary to look at the convertiplane

      This system has a much greater chance of an accident than a helicopter. Dangerous machine!

      I prefer less dangerous concepts

      1. iConst
        iConst 28 March 2014 15: 53
        Quote: TAMERLAN 7
        This system has a much greater chance of an accident than a helicopter. Dangerous machine!

        The first steps of helicopters (helicopters) were even worse. Children's illnesses go away if the concept is correct.

      2. Turkir
        Turkir 30 March 2014 11: 32
        Interesting concepts. Who is their developer?
        1. TAMERLAN 7
          TAMERLAN 7 31 March 2014 09: 44
          Quote: Turkir
          Interesting concepts. Who is their developer?

          Such concepts are now being developed by everyone. For instance:
          The American corporations boeing and sikorsky aircraft announced the creation of an alliance to jointly develop a new type of high-speed military helicopter demonstrator, which will be presented at the US Army joint multi-role (jmr) program, which is part of a project to create a new generation of helicopters future vertical lift (fvl ) And even there are demonstrators.


    2. Unheavyshadow
      Unheavyshadow 28 March 2014 22: 49
      Mi-26 shot down in Chechnya, it caught fire and landed in a minefield, then more than 100 people died
  3. shuhartred
    shuhartred 28 March 2014 08: 27
    The same eggs side view. We need a new principle of flight, everything else, attempts to build a steam plane. It will turn out, it will fly, but still not that.
  4. rugor
    rugor 28 March 2014 08: 55
    The picture strongly resembles a grater for vegetables.
  5. saag
    saag 28 March 2014 08: 55
    Quote: mirag2
    When will we reach such a level

    already left and for a long time second photo
    1. family tree
      family tree 29 March 2014 01: 34
      Although similar, it’s a helicopter request Its side rotors do not rotate vertically. Mi-12, the heaviest and most lifting in the world.
      Empty: 69 100 kg
      Norm take-off: 97 kg
      Max. take-off 105 kg
  6. vik2014
    vik2014 28 March 2014 09: 46
  7. vik2014
    vik2014 28 March 2014 09: 48
  8. vik2014
    vik2014 28 March 2014 09: 50
  9. Dwarfik
    Dwarfik 28 March 2014 10: 06
    Quote: tronin.maxim
    Somewhere I saw a similar apparatus, oh yes, exactly an avatar.

    There were frames even earlier), for example, a very similar mechanism flashes in "Terminator"!)
  10. Vinny-buh
    Vinny-buh 28 March 2014 10: 11
    On dusty sites this helicopter will not replace ... Purely deck and airfield option
    1. Saburo
      Saburo 28 March 2014 20: 27
      The Americans need such things for the UDC and aircraft carriers. If you didn’t know, Osprey’s main operator is not the Air Force, but the ILC. And the main feature of the Marine Corps is mobility on a global scale. Of course, the good old Sea Hawk is in some way not inferior to the Osprey, but in some respects no helicopter can be compared with it.
  11. kafa
    kafa 28 March 2014 10: 50
    black undead. UAVs can and do, and transport and strike options are not a priori feasible. give to the Chinese they don’t slap expensive toys based on this flying outsole laughing
    1. Realist1989
      Realist1989 28 March 2014 14: 11
      Yes, I also thought - where are the goods and passengers there you can place in general laughing
  12. Tilkus75
    Tilkus75 28 March 2014 11: 21
    Where are our ekranoplans? !!!! Where is the Caspian monster? Why not resume the project? What is not promising? I doubt it. Expensive? So pump up and sell for rubles or gold and not for dollars.
    1. Realist1989
      Realist1989 28 March 2014 14: 10
      Well, ekranoplanes are still of a narrower profile than tiltrotoplanes, they are for landing, or search and rescue operations at sea. In the civilian sphere, they would probably be advantageous only in extra-large sizes and carrying capacities - such as the Be-2500. A tiltrotor is the next step after a helicopter, it can cover all sectors - both military and civil-commercial ...
    2. ar-ren
      ar-ren April 6 2014 15: 37
      >> What's not promising?

      1. Can’t walk across the ocean due to the storm
      2. On the rivers - birds interfere.

      Not promising.
  13. Realist1989
    Realist1989 28 March 2014 12: 34
    I am not an expert, and I want to ask a question to people who know - why do tiltrotors have such giant screws? A large number, but a smaller one cannot be replaced, say, instead of 2 huge 4 smaller ones? Not enough lift? Or will it become more expensive in terms of fuel consumption?
    1. Hort
      Hort 31 March 2014 11: 28
      of course: both more expensive and more difficult to manufacture and maintain,
    2. ar-ren
      ar-ren April 6 2014 15: 43
      >> why do convertoplanes have such giant propellers?

      Since the tiltrotor takes off by helicopter, the coefficient of thrust of the propellers relative to the weight of the tiltrotor (thrust ratio) must exceed the weight of the tiltrotor. And this can only be achieved with large screws.

      Due to the take-off run, the aircraft has enough thrust-weight ratio of 20% of the weight of the aircraft. For example,

      >> but a smaller one cannot be replaced, say, instead of 2 huge 4 smaller ones?

  14. spirit
    spirit 28 March 2014 12: 46
    DARPAe clearly do not give rest to laurels kf terminator. At first robots, now it
  15. terrible
    terrible 28 March 2014 13: 25
    ) and a tiltrotor on a 1m engine can fly)?
    1. Realist1989
      Realist1989 28 March 2014 14: 04
      I read about the project of the Yakovlev Design Bureau, the Albatross UAV-tiltrotor, which featured one engine. So, probably, only there should be at least 2 screws ... otherwise, the helicopter will turn out again))).
    2. igor36
      igor36 28 March 2014 14: 23
      it can’t fly on one engine, it just sits in its pylon with a synchronizing shaft that can provide rotation of the screws if one engine is damaged.
      1. terrible
        terrible 28 March 2014 15: 02
        those. transport, not combat. and the shaft might be damaged
  16. Hort
    Hort 28 March 2014 13: 45
    We need ECIPs, not convertoplanes as an answer to the osprey
    1. Realist1989
      Realist1989 28 March 2014 13: 58
      EKIP exists only in the form of the enthusiasm of its creators and some kind of radio-controlled model (whose flight could still be analyzed, but where so much information about its flights). And the convertiplanes are already working, they are already transporting people and goods. And while the reality of the creation of the ECIP is still to be justified, Russia already has practically completed projects for convertiplanes (Mi-30). Yes, and if we take the purely theoretical dimensions of convertiplanes and the similar carrying capacities of the ECIPs, ECIP will not fit into any ship hangar, the hull is too large. And the fact that first of all tiltrotors are a solution for carrier-based aviation - I think there should not be much doubt. So konvertoplan, IMHO - a new reality of carrier-based aviation, which, when developing production and simplifying it, will migrate to the civilian sphere (local airlines, where normal airfields are not really found, the Ministry of Emergencies would be useful), and EKIP is very difficult to call reality.
      1. Hort
        Hort 31 March 2014 11: 26
        in general, as far as I remember, there was a full-size ECIP model, which we even managed to blow through in the pipe. But then everything died out. Largely due to the ill-conceived policy of uh ... project management.
        The fact that this is not a ship's variant is a matter of course, but it could well be used in land aviation. In fact, ECIs and a separate infrastructure are not needed - helipads at airfields could well fit.
      2. Vasek
        Vasek April 2 2014 00: 36
        Quote: Realist1989
        EKIP exists only in the form of enthusiasm of its creators

        All aviation began with the enthusiasm of its creators.
  17. Peacemaker
    Peacemaker 28 March 2014 13: 58
    We need a new principle of flight, everything else, attempts to build a steam plane
    The Russians have long come up with an apparatus with a different principle of movement of the ECIP called ... But LOBBY! did not give him development! This unit can land anywhere it needs only 100 meters, 700km / h capacity and maneuverability without analogues.
  18. Gagarin
    Gagarin 28 March 2014 17: 18
    Let them design, build, implement - spend your money Pinocchio.
    These toys are not needed for the strong, but they will not help the weak.
  19. hitech
    hitech 28 March 2014 19: 59
    Weak-strong, that's not the point. The production of convertiplanes is a quantum leap in the production of the aviation industry. Not for nothing that Stalin once ordered the American B-29 bomber to be copied.
    1. bif
      bif 30 March 2014 01: 47
      Quote: hitech
      Weak-strong, that's not the point. The production of convertiplanes is a quantum leap in the production of the aviation industry. Not for nothing that Stalin once ordered the American B-29 bomber to be copied.

      "Do not confuse God's gift with scrambled eggs", that was a vital necessity, but here the tiltrotor is a dead-end branch of the evolution of helicopter engineering.
      1. The comment was deleted.
  20. saag
    saag 28 March 2014 20: 21
    Quote: hitech
    Not for nothing that Stalin once ordered the American B-29 bomber to be copied.

    He did it just to save time.
    1. schizophrenic
      schizophrenic 28 March 2014 22: 20
      Quote: saag
      did just to save time

      They copied to develop technology to which there was no access for the training of designers. As far as I understand, intelligence has worked. Tupolev himself said he could do better and faster. Stalin needed technology for exactly the factories, and for this, the B-29 fit perfectly.
  21. lexx2038
    lexx2038 29 March 2014 06: 27
    War is the engine of progress, and you will not say more. And skeptics at all times were enough. If they hadn’t tried, they would still be running with sticks.
  22. Grey68
    Grey68 April 4 2014 21: 36
    Let them create, the more DARPA will accept such projects, the more profitable for us.