AVX Aircraft Company and L3 Technologies have announced their coaxial helicopter design, which is competing for Phase 1 of the US Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)-Competitive Prototype (CP) programme competition.

The company say that the pictured CCH design, combined with rigorous engineering and production processes and certifications, will deliver a ‘safe, performance-driven, affordable aircraft’ capable of operating in highly contested airspace and degraded environments for extended periods.

“This FARA-CP solution provides L3 and AVX an opportunity to demonstrate the agility and innovation that sets our team apart in support of the US Army’s modernisation priorities,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of L3 Technologies in a news release.

“We are collaborating to deliver a prototype that provides powerful leap-ahead capability for our warfighters at an affordable life-cycle cost.”

“We are extremely pleased to reveal the design for this very important U.S. Army program,” said Troy Gaffey, AVX CEO and Chief Engineer.

“AVX and L3 provide unique engineering design skills and manufacturing expertise that will provide the Army with an advanced, lethal and affordable reconnaissance and light-attack platform.”

According to the company, their design offers the following features:

  • A fly-by-wire, side-by-side cockpit optimized for pilot efficiency
  • Two ducted fans that provide forward and reverse thrust for both high-speed operation and agility
  • State-of-the-art modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based digital backbone and avionics systems
  • A small form factor that meets C-17 loading and Navy DDG shipboard size limits through manually folding blades and wings
  • Modularity that provides for component reuse and a high degree of systems commonality across all of the U.S. Army capability sets
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maurice10

Am I correct in thinking that helicopter development has moved at a snail’s pace over the last 50 years? The Chinook concept (two separate rotors) is as old as gin. Okay, attack helicopters broke the mould; but recent developments could radically change the way they fly and carry. I do believe we are on the frontier of an exciting period in helicopter design.

Captain P Wash

Yes to a degree but, the very nature of the concept limits certain criteria such as top Speed, Ceiling, Stealth and payload.
Having said that, the current direction Is changing the basic design and addressing all of the afore mentioned, hence the Tilt Rotor designs and the Boeing Defiant.

Ever seen a Chinook do a Display ? Bloody Incredible.

DaveyB

Yes, is the short answer. There has been a massive leap in material technology for airframes and engines, we should also include avionics and digital flight controls. However, if we look at basic helicopter aerodynamic design, the only real advancement has been with the semi-rigid head and BERP blade tip designs. The major problem facing all helicopters is the relative airspeed over the advancing and retreating blade tips. I’ll try to keep this explanation rather basic and not go into retreating blade stall issues. Because the tips are much further out than the inboard portion of the blade they are… Read more »

maurice10

DaveyB, your knowledge on the subject is comprehensive, to say the least, and thanks for the technical background.

Steve

With ever reducing air frames, two key roles continue to be key, which are transport and attack, if they can combine the two in a reasonable price, this would help the british army a lot.

Spyinthesky

Is this not a little late to the game or is it in a niche or area other existing designs and prototypes don’t address. Looks interesting mind.

Steve

Not really, from what i read the US is looking for replacement for the blackhawk/apache. Something that can bring the troops to the battlefield and then provide close air support once there.

Rokuth

Sounds a lot like a Mil Mi-24/35 Hind type of aircraft… except as a hybrid fixed/rotary wing version.

Glass Half Full

So what might a UK hypothetical army orientated aircraft fleet look like in 10-15 years time, starting from where we are today? My hypothesis is that the MoD may be sitting on the sidelines looking at what the US produces from its Future Vertical Lift program, given the significant capability enhancements planned for that program, then deciding if what is developed works, is affordable and if it fits the UK’s requirements. It seems both Apache and Chinook for the UK will be around into the 2040’s at least, based on relatively recent upgrades and orders and the longevity of these… Read more »

Elliott

My prediction is the US Army disagree with USMC and USN resulting in both mediums being procured. SB-1 for the Army and V-280 for the USMC and Navy. The Army wants reliability, simplicity and ease of entry to service while the USMC wants speed and range so they can keep their amphibs further out.

MattW

I do like the Russian coaxial style rotors, works extremely well on the KA-50 & KA-52