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Secretive Next-Gen Helicopter That Could Replace Army’s Fleet of Black Hawks

Started by Solar, November 26, 2020, 11:15:56 PM

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Solar





Sikorsky / U.S. ArmyThe SB-1 Defiant performs a flight demonstration in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Oct. 22. The combat helicopter reportedly has reached speeds of 250 mph. (Sikorsky / U.S. Army)

The greatest military in the world could get even more lethal if the Army decides to acquire a fleet of next-generation helicopters that are faster, more fuel-efficient and have a wider combat range than its current crop of aircraft.

At least two vendors are competing for the lucrative government contract, according to The National Interest.

A frontrunner is the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant helicopter, which in June hit a record speed of 205 knots, or about 235 miles per hour. It has since reached 250 miles per hour, or 217 knots, according to the Army, and will ramp up to 250 knots, or 288 mph.

The Black Hawk combat helicopter currently used by the Army has a maximum speed of 159 knots, or 183 mph.

Boeing Co. and Sikorsky, part of the Lockheed Martin Corp., built the Defiant pursuant to a 2014 Army contract the team was awarded.


Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said sleeker, faster combat helicopters will help the United States maintain its military edge over its foreign rivals.

"This is a very crucial moment for the Army for bringing in these new platforms into the formation so that we can maintain that technological edge for years to come," McCarthy said, according to Military.com.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said the Army will continue to test-fly the Defiant prototype before any decision is reached.

"We are flying before buying," McConville said, according to an Army report on the aircraft's flight demo Nov. 9.

However, he said he was already impressed that the Defiant flies at twice the speed and has three times the combat radius of the Army's current fleet of Black Hawk combat helicopters.

McConville added that he was thrilled by the advancements that have been made in military technology.

"I'm excited to see what everyone is doing to transform Army aviation," the general said following the flight demo.

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Dayton3

If it has dual main rotors why does it need a tail rotor at all?    It thought a tail rotor became unnecessary if you had duel counter rotating main rotors to eliminate the torque  on the body of the chopper?

Solar

Quote from: Dayton3 on December 02, 2020, 10:43:49 PM
If it has dual main rotors why does it need a tail rotor at all?    It thought a tail rotor became unnecessary if you had duel counter rotating main rotors to eliminate the torque  on the body of the chopper?
Probably for precision control considering the demands placed on a highspeed attack helicopter.
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Yuriy the Loader

Quote from: Dayton3 on December 02, 2020, 10:43:49 PM
If it has dual main rotors why does it need a tail rotor at all?    It thought a tail rotor became unnecessary if you had duel counter rotating main rotors to eliminate the torque  on the body of the chopper?

A pushing propeller is installed at the back to increase the speed of the helicopter. And the upper blades are freed from the bulky and complex "swashplate", which in other helicopters of this type, makes this scheme very unreliable.