Last year, the Army downselected from four vendors to two--a Boeing-Sikorsky team offering the SB-1 Defiant, a compound helicopter
with coaxial rotors, and Bell Helicopter offering the V-280 Valor, a tilt-rotor aircraft.
The Mi-38 was originally seen by Mil as a stop-gap, pending availability of the Mi-X1 compound helicopter
, which was to have high-speed blade tips and a ducted pusher propeller.
You might have, for instance, a tilt-rotor for one requirement; a compound helicopter
for another requirement," he said.
Little information is available on the Piasecki Pathfinder IV, a compound helicopter
with the company's patented Vectored-Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP) at the rear end.
A burgeoning market for unmanned cargo delivery systems and long endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms for the US military has spurred Textron Systems subsidiary AAI to take a major technology stake in compound helicopter
start-up, Carter Aviation Technologies.
The development of compound helicopter
platforms, especially, the self-funded X2 program by Sikorsky, that is evolving rapidly as the S-97 Raider & forms the backbone of the SB>1 Defiant for the JMR-FVL program, and X3 by Airbus Helicopters; have already heralded the beginning of a new technological era as well as leap for military helicopters, in terms, of operational spectrum & capabilities.
Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tiltrotor and Sikorsky-Boeing's SB-1 Defiant, a compound helicopter
with coaxial rotor blades, will make their first flights in 2017.
The X2--a compound helicopter
with coaxial rotors and a pusher-propeller at the rear--has flown at speeds of up to 250 knots in level flight.
Sikorsky, in anticipation of Army requirements, began developing its new X-2 compound helicopter
in 2005 with its own R&D dollars.
The only compound helicopter
concept currently funded by the Defense Department is called the Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP).
The development of experimental compound helicopter
platforms, especially, the self-funded X2 program by Sikorsky & X3 by Eurocopter have already heralded the beginning of a new technological era as well as leap for military helicopters, in terms, of operational spectrum & capabilities.
Army has awarded AVX a Technology Investment Agreement to refine AVX's objective aircraft design developed under a previous JMR contract and make preparations for building and flight-testing a coaxial compound helicopter