During an exclusive interview with Rotor & Wing on Wednesday, Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison detailed the manufacturer’s plans for the future of tiltrotor technology. Bell has submitted its own proposal for the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate’s (AATD) Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (TD). All proposals had to be received by March 6.
Boeing, partner on the V-22 Osprey development, has submitted a joint proposal with Sikorsky for a coaxial, pusher propeller variant which follows the X2 development.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison at the company’s Heli-Expo booth. Garrison told Rotor & Wing that “there is no change” in the partnership with Boeing on the V-22 but that Bell is developing a third-generation tiltrotor for JMR without Boeing, which has teamed with Sikorsky on Future Vertical Lift. Photo by Andrew Parker
According to Garrison, the V-22 “will remain a partnership between Bell and Boeing—there is no change in the relationship and continue to work together every single day.”
What did change, he continued, “was the relationship in the JMR. We have proposed a tiltrotor technology variant (to AATD)—which is not a V-22. It is a newly designed third-generation tiltrotor.”
Substantiating this decision, Garrison points to the AATD’s Operational Effectiveness Analysis Report for JMR TD, which declared that, “tiltrotor is the most advantageous technology” for FVL.
“It will probably come down to a competition between tiltrotor and compound pusher technology,” said Garrison. “We have no issue with scalability and we can do 280 knots today, so we feel we are in a very strong position.”
A technology demonstrator will be required in the second half of 2017.
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