JVX: Tilt-Rotor Future Or Folly? CSC 1984 SUBJECT AREA Aviation JVX: TILT-ROTOR FUTURE OR FOLLY? Submitted to Dr. R. Wiggins In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for Written Communications The Marine Corps Command and Staff College Quantico, Virginia Major J. J. Porter, Jr. United States Marine Corps 6 April 1984 JVX: TILT-ROTOR FUTURE OR FOLLY? Outline Thesis statement: JVX's tilt-rotor technology possessess the greatest potential to satisfy the Marine Corps' medium assault transport helicopter requirement from the 1990's into the twenty-first century. I. Evolution of JVX A. CH-46 program B. HXM program C. JVX program II. Tilt-rotor technological developments A. Tilt-rotor advantages B. Transcendental Model 1-G C. Bell XV-3 D. Boeing-Vertol VZ-2A E. Bell XV-15 III. Impact upon the Marine Corps A. Concept with no changes in employment/missions B. Concept with changes in employment/missions 1. Over-the-horizon amphibious assault 2. OV-10 -replacement 3. Self-deploy capability 4. Intra-theater capability JVX: TILT-ROTOR FUTURE OR FOLLY? The Marine Corps has proven itself to be a light, mobile, amphibious force capable of rapid-response and forcible-entry worldwide. In order to accomplish this feat, it has been in the vanguard of the development and employment of certain doctrine and equipment. Examples of this include amphibious doctrine, helicopter assault support, and AV-8 Harrier offensive air support. With the pressing requirement to replace its aging CH-46 medium assault transport helicopters, the Marine Corps has yet another opportunity to develop new technology. This new development is the Joint Services Advanced Vertical Lift Aircraft (JVX). JVX is a tilt-rotor aircraft. It has an airframe that is basically one of a fixed-wing aircraft with movable rotors located at each wingtip. However, it has the capability to change from a fixed-wing mode to a helicopter mode. Because of its versatility, speed, and range, JVX's tilt-rotor technology possesses the greatest potential to satisfy the Marine Corps' medium assault trans- port helicopter requirement from the 1990's into the twenty- first century. JVX will replace a helicopter that first flew in 1962 and has seen continuous service in the Marine Corps since 1964. The Boeing-Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight was first ordered in 1961, and the last of 600 helicopters was delivered in 1971. During its delivery period, the aircraft underwent improvements and two model redesignations in 1966 and 1968.1 With a view toward modernizing its existing fleet, the Marine Corps began modifying all CH-46's in 1977.2 Beginning in late 1984, the Marine Corps will further modernize its fleet by a Service Reliability and Maintainability Program designed to extend the Sea Knight's service life into the 1990's. The need to replace the CH-46 was first identified twelve years ago, when the Marine Corps initiated its requirement to develop a medium-lift, next-generation helicopter. This V/HXM Program was supported in 1981 by then Deputy Secretary of the Defense, Graham Claytor, but was questioned by the Navy. The Navy's suggestion to purchase additional CH-46's or H-60's was opposed by the Marine Corps on grounds that it would have been a temporary solution to long-term needs.3 In addition to intraservice disagreement, three other events spelled the end of the V/HXM Program. The first event was the issuance of a 27 August 1981 memorandum from Dr. Richard DeLauer, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. He requested that all service secretaries examine the possibility of combining Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) and helicopter needs into one program.4 In mid-September 1981, General P.X. Kelley,then Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, responded to the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, that "'It appears to me that the proposed development program basically offers ...the Navy an opportunity to solve the Marine Corps' V/HXM require- ment while providing an aircraft with the potential to meet the needs of other services.'"5 The second event was the issuance of a September 1981 Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Fiscal Year 1983 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) review. This POM expressed an urgent requirement for an advanced vertical lift aircraft to be used by all the services. The reason given for a vertical lift aircraft was the anticipation that future hostilities would require aircraft to be less dependent upon runways.6 The last event was a decision by Congress. In its Fiscal Year 1982 Defense Appropriations Bill, Congress cancelled funding fdr the Marine Corps' V/HXM Program.7 Two weeks after Congress' action, then Deputy Secretary of Defense, Frank Carlucci, issued a 30 December 1981 Decision Memorandum that established the JVX program. The Memorandum specified a joint Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force program...created to develop a common multi-mission aircraft, and each of the services would contribute an initial $1.5 million dollars in Fiscal Year 1982 to get the JVX program in motion; the Army was to be the executive agency; a Marine Corps officer was to be the program manager; the request for proposals (RFP) was to be released prior to the end of 1982; and the aircraft should have an initial operational capability (IOC) in the early 1990's."8 A JVX technical assessment team was established a month later. It was composed of representatives from the armed services and from the National Aeronautics and Space Admin- istration (NASA). The JVX team performed a three-month tradeoff analysis of potential concepts. These concepts were the advancing blade concept (ABC)/compound helicopter, the lift/cruise fan configuration, the conventional helicopter, and the tilt-rotor configuration.9 Meanwhile, in November 1982, the White House issued a report on advanced technology for rotorcraft. The report stated that "helicopter range and speed should increase by 100 per cent, noise and vibration be reduced by 50 per cent, life cycle costs reduced by 25 to 50 per cent, and fuel consumption reduced by 25 per cent. Military helicopters should have sufficient ferry range to self-deploy worldwide"10 On 3 April 1983, the JVX assessment team released its preliminary findings. It stated that a tilt-rotor configuration couLd perform all the JVX missions and meet the self-deploy- ment criteria.11 The program, however, has been beset by interservice problems. The Navy was ordered to take charge and pay fifty per cent in late 1982, when the Army complained of inadequate definition of its payload for its Special Mission Electronic Aircraft (SEMA), inadequate development of the Modern Tech- nology Engine (MTE), and greater interest in a new family of light helicopters (LHX) program.13 Furthermore, the Army, tasked with paying thirty-four per cent of the cost, announced that it no longer had a requirement for JVX.14 As a result, the Air Force, which pays sixteen per cent, announced that it will probably drop out of the program if the Army does. The Air Force cited a near-term priority of obtaining HH-60 helicopters for combat search-and-rescue and special operations.15 If the Army and Air Force drop out of the JVX program, one of two possibilities may occur. The first possibility is that the Navy/Marine Corps will be the sole service to procure its planned 602 aircraft of the total twenty-billion dollar program of 1086 aircraft. This is reminiscent of the F/B-111 joint services project. The second possibility is that the entire program will fail. JVX must satisfy many requirements before it is accepted by all the services. These requirements are:16 * Maintain a continuous cruise speed of at least 250 knots and a dash speed of 275-300 knots below 500 feet altitude. * Withstand +4 to -1 instantaneous g-loading and a capability to execute a maximum rate 1801degree level turn at 250 knots in fifteen seconds or less. * Evade surface-to-air missiles and gunfire by evasive maneuvering, jamming, and decoying. * Achieve a vertical descent rate between 20,000 and 30,000 feet per minute. * Defend itself with a combination of guns, air-to- ground missiles, or air-to-air missiles. * Maintain single-engine altitude of at least 15,000 feet with full internal payload; fly single-engine at cruise speed and land at the point of intended landing with a ground roll of 100 feet with 15 knots of wind. * Execute a power-off glide or autorotation to a survivable emergency landing. * Conduct low-level, contour, and nap-of-the-earth flying. In addition to the joint service needs, the Marine Corps has the following requirements:17 * Fiscal Year 1991 Initial Operational Capability (IOC)- Replaces CH-46E * 200 nautical mile radius with 24 troops * 50 nautical mile radius with 8,300-10,000 pound external load * Night, marginal weather capability * Self-deployable * LHA Shipboard Compatible * Potential for OV-10 Replacement Although helicopters may succeed in performing many of these requirements, tilt-rotor aircraft have the potential to perform more. The most important requirements are speed, evasion, and self-deployability. Helicopters are currently limited to maximum forward speeds of 170-200 knots. This is caused by a phenomenon called retreating blade stall, where the blades can no longer pro- duce sufficient lift to support the craft. A tilt-rotor aircraft, on the other hands performs takeoffs, landings, hovers, and low-speed flight by positioning its-propellers upwards. It achieves its acceleration and fast forward flight by rotating its propellers forward to a fixed-wing mode.18 Evasion of enemy guns and surface-to-air missiles by maneuvering is improved by two means. The first, discussed above, is by speed and acceleration. The second is lower noise caused by lower tip speeds of the rotors.19 Self-deployability is accomplished by longer range with reduced fuel consumption. Both the helicopter and tilt-rotor have similar propulsive efficiency at airspeeds below 150 knots. However, above this airspeed, the helicopter becomes less efficient, due to increased drag of the rotor mechanism. The tilt-rotor, on the other hand, increases in efficiency and airspeed by converting its rotors to act as propellers and flying like an airplane.20 Tilt-rotor technology is not entirely new. Tests began in the 1950's with the Transcendental Model 1-G, Bell XV-3, Boeing-Vertol VZ-2A, and Bell XV-15. The Transcendental Aircraft Corporation developed its convertiplane, the Model 1, in 1951. The modified Model 1-G first flew in 1954. Although mostly privately financed, the program received Air Force contracts to investigate the conversion problems of a convertiplane.21 Meanwhile, in 1951, a joint Army-Air Force contract was initiated with Bell Helicopter to develop the XV-3 experimen- tal tilt-rotor convertiplane. The aircraft first flew in 1955 and proved the feasibility of the tilt-rotor concept. Further evaluation continued into the 1960's with a contract awarded by NASA.22 Research continued, when Boeing-Vertol was awarded a joint Navy-Army contract in 1956 to develop the VZ-2A. This aircraft first flew in 1957 and further proved the tilt-rotor concept. NASA also participated in further evaluations.23 The most recent tilt-rotor research aircraft is the Bell XV-15. This program began in 1973 as a joint Army-NASA project. The Navy entered the program in 1979. This 13,000-pound aircraft first flew in 1977 and is the basis for future derivatives for JVX.24 Joint operational testing for the XV-15 began in 1982 and continues today. The first mission evaluated was to determine the detectability and survivability of the aircraft operating against air defense threat systems. Next, the aircraft underwent shipboard evaluation and downwash evaluation. Finally, tests were completed for contour flights, simulated aerial refueling behind a KC-130, wake turbulence, and forward firing weapons delivery patterns. The overall success was high.25 Tilt-rotor JVX will have significant impact upon the Marine Corps. Whether or not the concept of employment changes, JVX will provide speed, mobility, and versatility. If the concept of employment and currently identified Marine Corps helicopter missions remain the same, JVX will present an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, improve- ment. This will result in a substantial increase in speed, a doubling of payload weight for the CH-46E, and a significant increase in range and endurance over most helicopters. The basic mission will remain the transportation of personnel, supplies, and equipment for the landing force during amphibious operations and subsequent operations ashore.26 During amphibious operations, the buildup of combat power ahsore will be quicker. Once ashore, ground forces will be resupplied quicker and will be more mobile. Units will be able to be repositioned rapidly to influence the conduct of the offense and defense. Furthermore, JVX will be more responsive, since the aircraft will have greater endurance. Although the aircraft is evolutionary, it is also revolutionary. The development of JVX will integrate with new concepts of amphibious assault, cause changes in current amphibious doctrine, and cause new ways to execute other Marine Corps missions. The new concept of amphibious assault calls for launching from points over the horizon, where ships would be less vulnerable to enemy attacks.27 This new plan takes full advantage of the capabilities now provided by the CH-53E helicopter and the potential capabilities offered by the Landing Craft Air-Cushioned (LCAC) and JVX. This would allow rapid buildup of combat forces ashore and enhance survivability of the amphibious task force. The over-the-horizon concept, however, surfaces other problems with regard to the use of UH-1N command and control (C&C) and AH-1 attack escort helicopters. The triple and double airspeed of JVX over the UH-1N and AH-1, respectively, will make the choice of these helicopters impractical to lead an assault wave from the snip to the landing zone. Possible solutions are: (1) meet the assault aircraft at a Penetration Control Point or other suitable control point, (2) use JVX as C&C and attack aircraft, or (3) use AV-8, A-4, or F/A-18 for escort. As a replacement for the OV-10 aircraft, JVX would make this visual reconnaissance airplane completely shipboard compatible. This mission, along with the Forward Air Controller (Airborne) (FAC(A)) mission, could be used during amphibious operations out of range of current land-based aircraft. The tasks provided could be performed by squadrons organized specifically for visual reconnaissance and FAC(A) or by squadrons also committed to assault support. The ability to self-deploy 2100 nautical miles without refueling has important strategic implications for the use of JVX. This includes the ability to self-deploy forces worldwide, the ability to quickly reinforce units committed to operations, and the ability to link up with prepositioned stores in Norway and Diego Garcia. Studies show that JVX can fly from the east coast of the U.S. to Norway in fourteen hours, the Persian Gulf in twenty-four hours, or to the west coast of Africa in eighteen hours. Furthermore, the aircraft can fly from the west coast of the U.S. to Hawaii in ten hours.28 Once deployed to another part of the world, JVX could provide intra-theater mobility by assisting Marine KC-130 aircraft in assault support. This would free more KC-130's to perform combat aerial refueling. Also, JVX would allow Navy carrier-on-board delivery (COD) aircraft to be used elsewhere. Between World War II and the Korean War, the Marine Corps revolutionized combat by developing the concept of helicopter vertical envelopment. At that time, the helicopter was in its infancy. Now that tilt-rotor technology has surpassed this stage, the Marine Corps has another opportunity to be in the forefront of a new concept and fulfill a pressing requirement. This JVX concept, a multi-service and multi-mission tilt-rotor aircraft, will satisfy the Marine Corps' urgent need to replace medium assault transport helicopters for the 1990's and beyond. Footnotes 1John W. R. Taylor, ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1971-72 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971), p. 263. 2John W. R. Taylor, ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1980-81 (New York: Jane's Publishing Incorporated, 1980), p. 301. 3Deborah M. Kyle, "OSD Directs Development of Joint Service Advanced Technology Rotorcraft," Armed Forces Journal International, 104 (February 1982), 20. 4L. Kim Smith, "JVX: A Tilt-Rotor Aircraft for the US Services?" Military Technology, 7 (January 1983), 40. 5Kyle, p. 20. 6Smith, p. 40. 7Kyle, p. 20. 8Smith, p. 40. 9Ibid. 10Mark Lambert, "The Helicopter Industry Must Change Its Ways," Interavia, 39 (May 1983), 524. 11Smith, p. 40. 12Ramon Lopez, "JVX Program Still a Lot of Questions," Interavia, 38 (April 1983), 348. 13 Deborah M. Kyle, "Joint Service JVX Program Wins Hill Support But May Lose Army's," Armed Forces Journal International, 120 (June 1983), 16. 14"JVX Pullout," Aviation Week and Space Technology, May 30, 1983, p. 274. 15Leonard Famiglietti, "AF Involvement in JVX Questionable," Air Force Times, July 25, 1983, p. 30. 16J. Michael Hoeferlin, "Navy Seeks Industry Proposals On Vertical Lift Aircraft Design," Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 24, 1983, p. 26. 17U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., 1983 USMC Helicopter/OV-10 Symposium Report, 12 January 1984, p. 6-2. 18Colonel William D. Siuru, Jr. USAF, "The Tillt-Rotor: The Best of Both Worlds," U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 107 (September 1981), 116. 19 Ibid, p. 117. 20Stanley Martin, Jr., Vice President-Development Engineering, Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas, "Tilt Rotor Technology for the 1990's," speech given to the 1981 American Helicopter Society. 21Leonard Bridgman, ed., Jane's All the Worid's Aircraft, 1955-56 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1956), pp. 318-319. 22John W. R. Taylor, ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1962-63 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962), p. 178. 23Ibid, p. 188. 24Taylor, ed., Jane's 1980-81, pp. 285-286. 25Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, Third Interim Report: USN/USMC Assessments of the XV-15 Tilt Rotor Aircraft, 4 October 1983. 26Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia, "JVX Concept of Employment" letter, 8 November 1983. 27U.S. Secretary of Defense, Annual Report to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1985, February 1, 1984, p. 139. 28Hoeferlin, p. 27. Bibliography Bridgman, Leonard, ed. Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1955-56. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1955. Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, Norfolk, Virginia. "JVX Concept of Employment" letter, 8 November 1983. "Companies Expanding Composite Uses." Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 1984, pp. 137-147. Famiglietti, Leonard. "AF Involvement in JVX Questionable." Air Force Times, July, 25, 1983, p. 30. Hoeferlin, J. Michael. "Navy Seeks Industry Proposals On Vertical Lift Aircraft Design." Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 24, 1983, pp. 26-27. "Improved Testing Methods Enhancing Rotor Research." Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 1984, pp. 101-105. "JVX Pullout." Aviation Week and Space Technology, May 30, 1983, p. 274. Kyle, Deborah M. "OSD Directs Development of Joint Service Advanced Technology Rotorcraft." Armed Forces Journal International, 104 (February 1982), 20. Kyle, Deborah M. "Joint Service JVX Program Wins Hill Support But May Lose Army's." Armed Forces Journal International, 120 (June 1983), 14-16. Lambert, Mark. "The Helicopter Industry Must Change Its Ways." Interavia, 39 (May 1983), 523-526. Lopez, Ramon. "JVX Program Still a Lot of Questions." Interavia, 38 (April 1983), 348-349. Martin, Stanley Jr., Vice-President-Development Engineering, Bell Helicopter Textron, Fort Worth, Texas. "Tilt Rotor Technology for the 1990's" speech given to the 1981 American Helicopter Society. "Military Seeking Upgraded Capabilities." Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 16, 1984, pp. 84-89. Naval Air Test Center. Third Interim Report: USN/USMC Assessment of the XV-15 Tilt Rotor Aircraft. Patuxent River, Maryland, 4 October 1983. Siuru, William D. Jr., Colonel, USAF. "The Tilt-Rotor: The Best of Both Worlds." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 107 (September 1981), 116-119. Smith, L. Kim. "JVX: A Tilt-Rotor Aircraft for the US Services?" Military Technology, 7 (January 1983), 40-47. Taylor, John W. R., ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1962-63. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962. Taylor, John W. R., ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1971-72. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971. Taylor, John W. R., ed., Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1980-81. New York: Jane's Publishing Incorporated, 1980. "Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Furthers Defined." Aviation Week and Space Technology, December 14, 1981, pp. 66-67. U.S. Marine Corps. 1983 USMC Helicopter/OV-10 Symposium Report. Washington, D.C., 12 January 1984. U.S. Secretary of Defense. Annual Report to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1985. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984.
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