Aircraft

Lockheed Martin details Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift concept

Lockheed Martin details Sikors...
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift  is based on the X2 technology demonstrator
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift  is based on the X2 technology demonstrator
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The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift comes in Assault and Attack variants
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The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift comes in Assault and Attack variants
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift has less downwash
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The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift has less downwash
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift variants have common systems
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The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift variants have common systems
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift  is based on the X2 technology demonstrator
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The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift  is based on the X2 technology demonstrator

Lockheed Martin has provided a glimpse of future combat rotorcraft with the release of new video of its Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift concept. Under development by Lockheed subsidiary Sikorsky Helicopters and Boeing, the futuristic helicopter comes in Assault and Attack variants that build on the X2 demonstrator that set an unofficial helicopter speed record in 2010.

Like the X2, the fly-by-wire Future Vertical Lift concept is based on a contra-rotating, co-axial rotor system combined with an aft push prop – all powered by an advanced turbine plant. According to Lockheed, this allows the concept to cruise at over 250 knots (288 mph, 464 km/h) and hover efficiently even at altitudes of 6,000 ft (1,800 m) in temperatures of 92° F (33° C). And it has greater range and payload capacity than comparable helicopters, though Lockheed is a bit coy as to just how much.

In addition, the foldable, rigid composite, rotor blades produce less downwash when dropping off troops and supplies, while the pusher prop and active rudders and elevators provide improved hover control and low-speed maneuverability as well as rapid acceleration and deceleration in horizontal flight.

The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift comes in Assault and Attack variants
The Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift comes in Assault and Attack variants

There's also an active vibration control to make the aircraft more comfortable and less noisy – which is what you want when you're dropping off commandos in the middle of the night. If things go pear shaped, the Future Vertical Lift can bring its weapons to bear in all flight modes. For long distance missions, it has aerial refuelling capabilities.

All of this is wrapped up in a composite fuselage that carries a crew of four and 12 fully-loaded troops or eight medivac pallets. Both the Assault and Attack variants share a large number of common systems and are designed to minimize the initial price, operating costs and maintenance over the aircraft's lifetime.

The video below provides an overview of the features of the Future Vertical Lift concept.

Source: Lockheed Martin

Sikorsky - Boeing Future Vertical Lift: The Way Forward

7 comments
fb36
I think the second engine in the tail is a huge extra cost for maintenance. A better design would be just use the exhaust from the main engine or (if that is not enough) add a ramjet (fed by the exhaust from the main engine plus taking more air from two sides).
Rusty Harris
Looks a lot like an overgrown version of the AH56 Cheyene
LarryWolf
In about 50 years they will all be 100% electric, superbly quiet with longer ranges than gas copters. Longer ranges? Yes, you got that right.
Ent
Let's hope these enable us to see the back of the Osprey family. No chance of recouping all the money the latter cost tho.
Catweazle
Such a pity the British Socialist government cancelled the Armstrong Whitworth AW.681 in 1965. It was a VTOL transport with a Mach .7+ capability and a capacity for 60 troops powered by four Bristol Siddeley Pegasus ducted-flow turbofans as used by the Hawker Harrier mounted in underwing pods. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armstrong_Whitworth_AW.681 They also cancelled the Hawker P1154 strike fighter, a VTOL Mach 2+ version of the highly successful Hawker P1127 Harrier, which, due to not giving a superfluous fan and heavy gearbox a free ride round the countryside, not to mention losing around a third of the useful fuselage payload volume to accommodate them, would have given us a much better aeroplane then the F35 - nearly fifty years sooner, and based on tried and tested technology to boot. http://www.harrier.org.uk/history/history_p1154.htm
Nelson Hyde Chick
I wonder how many hundreds of times more expensive this is going to be to develop than Lockheed told the Pentagon?
Mzungu_Mkubwa
@fb36, is it a separate engine, or is the prop just run off of a long driveshaft / gearbox from the main powerplant? (That would make much more sense to me than adding another turbine, but I tend toward the "keep it simple" end of the logic spectrum...)