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Here's A First Look At One Of The Army's Potential Black Hawk Replacements
The Army is currently considering two advanced rotary-wing aircraft to replace the Black Hawk as part of the branch's Future Vertical Lift program, and after a year of firsts for Bell's tiltrotor V-280 Valor, Boeing and Sikorsky are raring to catch up in 2019 with the much-anticipated SB-1 Defiant.
On Wednesday, Sikorsky owner Lockheed Martin unveiled a first look at the SB-1 demonstrator developed for the U.S. Army's Joint Multi-Role demonstrator, the precursor to the FVL program.
Sikorsky and Boeing provided the first look at the new SB-1 Defiant helicopter systemCourtesy of Sikorsky
The Defiant is, as Task & Purpose's Brad Howard described it, "a bigger, badder version" of Sikorsky's S-97 Raider, featuring a unique coaxial rotor system "designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today's conventional helicopters and offers advanced agility and maneuverability," according to Lockheed. Here are some of the delightful details for the more technically-inclined, per Popular Mechanics:
First made public in 2017, the Defiant "has great potential," according to Swami Karunamoorthy, a professor of engineering at Washington University in St. Louis with a specialty in helicopter dynamics. The strengths that the Defiant brings, Karunamoorthy says, lies in that fact that it doesn't rely on one singular style of propulsion. It's "a hybrid system," he tells PopMech over email.
The hybrid system has a "coaxial rotor design for vertical flight" Karunamoorthy says, "and a pusher propeller system to increase the forward flight speed." A coaxial helicopter design features two sets of helicopter rotors and has been a concept in flight design beforea flight was a reality, dating back to the 1700s. Working in tandem with a propeller system "may be twice the current speed record as it claims," he says.
The demonstrator unveiling is a reassuring sign for Defiant after a rough patch for Sikorsky. The Raider attack copter only recently resumed testing in June of this year after a disastrous August 2017 crash. And earlier in December, the Defiant's first flight was delayed well into "early 2019" by what Flight Global characterized as "'minor' problems were discovered within the aircraft’s testbed."
“Sometimes its instrumentation that was installed [didn’t] get the measurements we were hoping to get, or the software wasn’t reading properly,” Boeing Future Vertical Lift business development director Randy Rotte told Flight Global. “We have some pieces... that required some mechanical repair.”
In the meantime, chief rival Bell has been flaunting the V-280 Valor for just over a year, hitting speeds up to 190 knots with its rotors smoothly transitioning between its hover and cruise configurations as recently as April 2018 — progress that's bound to be making executives at Sikorsky nervous.
It sure would be nice to know what the hell is going on in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently claimed the U.S. military had killed more than 1,000 Taliban fighters in little more than a week – because body counts worked so well in Vietnam – and President Donald Trump said during his speech commemorating the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that the United States had gone on the offensive against the Taliban.
"The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue," Trump said, without elaborating further.
It's clear that Afghanistan is the new hotness, but the only people who aren't talking about how the strategic situation has changed since Trump abruptly ended peace talks with the Taliban via tweet are the U.S. military leaders in charge of actually fighting the war.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.
The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.
We salute the foul-mouthed Navy vet remembered as 'the most inappropriate guy with the biggest heart'
Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.
"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.
The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.
Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.
A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.
William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.
He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.