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The Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant team would likely be flying today if the US Army had not preferred automated composite rotor blade manufacturing, according to a key officer speaking at the Vertical Flight Society's Helicopter Military Operations Technology (HELMOT) conference in Virginia.
Brigadier General Walter Rugen, US Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) cross-functional team director, told the HELMOT audience on 24 October that the army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) asked the Defiant team to do technological things that had perhaps slowed development. Gen Rugen told Jane's after his presentation that one of the requests - automating composite rotor blade manufacturing - is a way to make production more rapid and more affordable, ..
Ned Chase, AMRDEC Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) deputy programme manager, told Jane's that the automated rotor blade manufacturing request likely added nine months to the Defiant's timeline...
My guess is there is a lack of urgency that kept them from doing both at the same time to fly earlier.
The Army's requisition programs are as bad as the Navy.
originally posted by: ThePeaceMaker
I've said it before and I'll say it again. It looks horrible. I know I know looks aren't everything but it all looks a little complicated or like someone has taken a helicopter body and dumped a prop and two rotors on it. I understand the the prop is for more forward speed but it looks like it was designed and someone's thought 'we need more forward speed... I know let's just stick a prop on the back'. Would working on tilt rotor aircraft been more worth while I just don't see this getting much attention for sales but hey what do I know