Boeing Concept

Boeing, Sikorsky Team For FVL Development

By Graham Warwick
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

January 28, 2013

Boeing has studied compound helicopters with ducted and unducted propulsors, with and without wings.

Graham Warwick

Between them, they supply 80% of the U.S. Army’s helicopters. Now Boeing and Sikorsky are teaming for the long haul in a bid to develop and produce advanced rotorcraft to replace those helicopters.

The companies will submit a joint proposal in early March for the first phase of the Army’s Joint Multi-Role technology demonstration (JMR TD). But their teaming is a long-term commitment to pursue jointly the proposed follow-on Future Vertical Lift Medium (FVL-M) program to replace the Army’s utility and attack helicopter fleets beginning in the 2030s.

FVL-M is the only new-development program on the horizon for a U.S. industry that is being kept in robust health, producing upgrades of existing platforms while being starved of the new programs needed to underwrite development of the next generation of advanced rotorcraft.

Boeing, Sikorsky and the Bell Boeing tiltrotor joint venture have been studying JMR demonstrator concepts separately under contracts from the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD). Boeing’s decision to team long-term with Sikorsky leaves Bell Helicopter on its own to pursue a tiltrotor solution for both JMR TD and FVL-M.

Read more: Boeing, Sikorsky Team For FVL Development — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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