The new Super Helicopter/s for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft program.

Although the fly-off is for the US Army, which is working on the latest helicopter replacement for a number of types, it is likely that other services may well decide to come in on whichever is chosen to meet the Army’s future needs from flight performance, combat survivability, affordability, sustainability, safety and more, with the increasing possibility of conflict with near peers that have sophisticated air defences.

Maj. Gen Anthony Crutchfield, head of Army's aviation headquarters at Fort Rucker, Ala. has stated that he doesn't want future generations of Army aviators flying today's generations of Army helicopters. The present two contenders are the Sikorski-Boeing SB-1 Defiant X, and its rival the Bell V-280 Valor.

the Defiant X fits within the footprint of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk it is intended to replace, its reversible pusher propeller can rapidly reverse pitch and act as an air brake to slow then stop the rotorcraft in a hover, while the smaller rotor diameter of the co-axial helicopter, compared with the V-280, allows it to fly in tighter formations and enable more aircraft to fit in a landing zone.

The Valor is fast, faster than the Defiant is likely to get, and both the USMC and Air Force have a lot of combat experience with the tilt rotor design in the V22. The Valor will have the same power although it is smaller, and the engines now remain still while it is just the rotors that tilt.

Both are presently flying and proving out their unique configurations which are giving them both higher speeds and long range presently aerodynamically unattainable for helicopters in the present inventory, but it will also be the digital design phase that is working out the software for everything from flight controls to navigation and ability to evade incoming anti-aircraft missiles that will also count.

The fastest helicopter...(as opposed to tilt rotor.)
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