The Army recently extended technology investment agreements with two commercial companies to continue concept refinement and technology maturation for future vertical lift, or FVL, research.
The Army is continuing its ties with AVX Aircraft Company and Karem Aircraft Incorporated.
“This is an opportunity to execute further technology maturation with these two partners and expand the knowledge base of the Joint Multirole [JMR] Technology Demonstrator [TD] efforts in support of FVL decision points,” Dan Bailey, program director for FVL/JMR, said.
AVX will mature coaxial compound design, focusing on aerodynamic stability, high fidelity computational fluid dynamic analysis and limited wind tunnel testing scheduled for 2015-2017.
Karem Aircraft will fabricate and test subcomponent articles of its optimum-speed tiltrotor concept, which will include rotor blades and hub components such as actuators, bearings and electronics. These steps are part of a hub integration functionality test to prepare for a full-scale wing-rotor ground tie-down test in the future.
Karem Aircraft and AVX join Bell Helicopter and Boeing-Sikorsky Aircraft in the continuing efforts to refine requirements and reduce risk for the FVL family of aircraft.
The JMR TD will demonstrate a mix of capabilities to investigate realistic design trades and enabling technologies. Results from the JMR TD air vehicle demo will inform the FVL effort of promising vehicle configurations, the maturity of enabling technologies, attainable performance and capabilities, and highlight the affordable technical solutions required to achieve those capabilities.
The Army continues to explore the art of the possible, which includes open dialog with these and other vendors, Bailey said. “The intent of the JMR TD effort is to maximize the knowledge gain and risk reduction toward an anticipated future vertical lift acquisition program.”
The Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America’s Soldiers.