JMR Tech Demo Targets Leap in Rotorcraft Capability

RSS

The draft solicitation for the Joint Multi-Role advanced-rotorcraft technology demonstration (JMR TD) has been released by US Army's Aviation Applied Research Directorate, making it clear the service's goal is to achieve performance, reliability and affordability well beyond what today's helicopters provide.


Concept: Bell Helicopter

Phase 1 of the JMR TD is to demonstrate air-vehicle technology for the planned Future Vertical Lift (FVL) medium-class utility rotorcraft that is intended to replace the UH-60M Black Hawk beginning in 2030. Phase 2, to demonstrate mission-system technology, will follow later and be competed separately.

The draft broad-area announcement (BAA) says the Army plans to spend $200 million on two air-vehicle demonstrators, with first flights in the fourth quarter on FY2017. The service is looking for industry to at least match the government funding, in cash or in kind, to demonstrate its commitment to the FVL program.

Concepts: Boeing

The draft BAA does not include the "model performance specification" for the FVL Medium -- that is still under development -- but it indicates industry should focus on configurations and technologies not in the current DoD rotorcraft inventory.

The BAA identifies key challenges to be addressed as: speeds greater than 170kt, rotor advance ratios greater than 0.4 in edgewise flight, conversion between low-speed and high-speed flight, unloaded rotor dynamics, efficient power distribution for auxiliary thrust devices -- all things that hint where the Army's thinking is headed, for the demo at least.

Concepts: Sikorsky

The Army plans to award multiple contracts for preliminary design of demonstrator aircraft then, following preliminary design reviews in the third quarter of FY14, downselect to a smaller number based on the funding available for detail design and construction of demonstrators.

That's when it will get interesting, because the availability of Sikorsky's two private-venture S-97 Raider prototypes and Eurocopter's X3 could play into how many JMR flight demonstrators the Army is able to fund. The detail design review is scheduled for the second quarter of FY15.

Concept: AVX Aircraft

The Army wants industry teams to do a "deep-dive analysis" of their objective FVL Medium designs to identify those features primarily responsible for performance and decide which need to be flown to reduce risk and which can be demonstrated on the ground to reduce cost.

The air-vehicle demonstrator must have the same fundamental features as the objective aircraft. It will almost certainly be smaller, but must be big enough that established scaling rules apply (which is not that easy when it comes to rotorcraft). The key metrics to be demonstrated include empty-weight fraction, cruise lift/drag and hover efficiency -- all of which must be better than today's rotorcraft.

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Ares?

Aviation Week's defense blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.

 

Aug 27, 2015
blog

Aviation Week Lifts Veil On Boeing B-52 Bomber (1952) 20

In 1952, Aviation Week provided the first details on the new Boeing B-52 bomber....More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Bonanza Travel Pays 3

The legendary Beechcraft Bonanza has an impressive production record, so perhaps the marketers back in 1949 were onto something when they coined the phrase "Bonanza travel pays."...More
Aug 14, 2015
blog

Venerable Boeing 727 Prototype To Fly Again 29

The most famous 727, the prototype aircraft which would join United as N7001U, was delivered to the airline in October 1964 having served its time as a Boeing test aircraft....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Aviation Week And The Bomb

Aviation News did not predict how nuclear weapons would change the world. But neither did anyone else....More
Aug 13, 2015
blog

Collins Radar Takes The Ups And Downs Out Of Flying

Turbulence? Rockwell Collins had a solution for those bumpy rides in the early 80s with its WXR-700 Doppler Weather Radar....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×