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Bell and Sikorsky Continue to Compete in the New US Attack Helicopter Project

by MSI
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You can read the news article published in the November 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:

 

In October, Bell and Sikorsky introduced the new helicopters they are developing for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program of the US Army. The proposed platforms were introduced with 3D images by Bell for the 360 Invictus on October 2, and by Sikorsky for the RAIDER X on October 14.

Sikorsky RAIDER X

Sikorsky RAIDER X

 

The Bell 360 Invictus features a relatively more traditional design. Its single main rotor enables the helicopter to perform both lifting and basic manoeuvres, while stub wings mounted at the centre of the fuselage provide additional lift at high speeds. The helicopters armaments can be concealed within the fuselage or integrated onto the stub wings. Another interesting technical feature of the helicopter is its Supplemental Power Unit (SPU), which functions both as a secondary engine in emergency situations and as an auxiliary power unit. As an additional advantage, Bell offers the 360 Invictus as an aircraft with proven, low-risk technologies.

Bell 360 Invictus

Bell 360 Invictus

 

The RAIDER X developed by Sikorsky has a more unusual design, drawing its lifting force from two coaxial rotors with rigid pals, rotating in opposite directions. The design of the helicopter removes the need for a tail rotor, which normally serves to stabilise the helicopter on the horizontal axis by preventing it from spinning. In addition to these design elements, the helicopter also features a propeller at the rear for propulsion. The RAIDER X is capable of reversing the thrust direction of the tail propeller, and stands out with various capabilities, such as its ability to accelerate and decelerate while remaining completely horizontal and to decelerate during a dive, which is not possible with traditional helicopters. The design of RAIDER X is based on the X2 technology for which Sikorsky had initially laid the foundations with the S-69 helicopter that performed its maiden flight in 1973.

 

 

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