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AVX JMR/FVL

AVX employs a horizontally integrated manufacturing strategy that utilizes a large compliment of world-class aviation industry team mates. The company claims that "By teaming with experienced aerospace companies for development of the AVX JMR/FVL design, AVX keeps the cost of development and eventual production of the aircraft lower than our competitors while delivering the highest levels of performance by the aircraft."

AVX Aircraft Company began its business life under founder David Brody in 2005 and has grown in both size and stature. In 2010 AVX Aircraft Company introduced itself at the annual Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) convention held in Fort Worth, Texas. AVX also introduced its proposal for converting the current OH-58 Kiowa Warrior to a coaxial rotor dual ducted fan configuration that provides improved performance at the lowest cost. Since 2010 AVX Aircraft Company has grown in size and has submitted numerous proposals based on its patented coaxial rotor dual ducted fan design concept. AVX is currently refining its proposal for the US Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft.

Ducted fan configurations are known for their superior aerodynamic performance over non-ducted fans and several implementations of ducted fan hovering air-vehicles have been developed and flown. However, most of these vehicles either utilized single duct configurations with the engine center mounted or utilized rotating ducts attached to a fuselage to for thrust vectoring. The application of ducted fan propulsion to hovering air-vehicles has been attempted and successfully demonstrated in various configurations but successfully meeting all the needs for a deployable system requires a combination of utility and physics of the problem to be addressed.

The coaxial main rotor/dual ducted fan configuration achieves a higher speed than conventional helicopters (coax, single rotor, or tandem) with auxiliary propulsion (the ducted fans), maintaining a level fuselage attitude, and low drag airframe design. The ducted fans provide all the propulsive force to overcome parasite drag; the rotor only provides lift in cruise.

In conventional helicopters the rotor is “tilted” to provide the propulsive force. The rotor incurs an increase in profile and induced power when it provides the propulsive force, making it less efficient than the ducted fans as a source of propulsive force. When the rotor is tilted to provide the propulsive force the fuselage pitches nose down which increases fuselage parasite and trim drag and aerodynamic download that requires an increase in rotor thrust; these effects increase power required. The AVX coaxial rotor/dual ducted fan configuration minimizes the parasite drag of the airframe and the rotor hubs and controls. These design features result in a cruise speed higher than conventional helicopters.

In level forward flight, lift is provided by the coaxial rotors while forward thrust is provided by the ducted fans. This results in the aircraft being level during forward flight, rather than tilted forward as is the case with conventional helicopter flight. The aircraft can ascend or descend with the fuselage level by changing the rotor collective pitch and adjusting cyclic to maintain a level fuselage attitude. If desired, the aircraft can ascend and descend by increasing or decreasing fan pitch to vary fan thrust, and pitching the fuselage nose up or nose down using cyclic pitch to maintain constant airspeed. Since the rotors are used only for lift in forward flight, and the lift is balanced because of the counter-rotating rotors, the aircraft can obtain greater forward speeds than are normally obtainable in a helicopter.

On October 10, 2013 AVX Aircraft Company announced that the Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) of the U.S. Army has awarded AVX a Technology Investment Agreement to refine AVX’s objective aircraft design developed under a previous JMR contract and make preparations for building and flight-testing a coaxial compound helicopter technology demonstrator. AVX Aircraft Company and its industry teammates have been designing and refining a unique Compound Coaxial Helicopter (CCH) since 2009 under the JMR Configuration Trades and Analysis (CTA) program. This new award allows AVX and teammates to continue with the CCH predesign, followed by a more detailed design, and the potential to build and test of a Technology Demonstrator aircraft that validates the critical technologies of the CCH configuration in order to meet the JMR performance criteria (speed, hover efficiency, and cruise efficiency) while providing the war fighter’s operational needs (troop transport, medevac, self-deployment, cargo, and ship board compatibility, etc.). An armed variant that has parts commonality with the transport replicates the transport performance including speed.

On 15 April 2019 the AVX Aircraft Company and L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced their compound coaxial helicopter (CCH) design, which is competing for Phase 1 of the U.S. Army Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)-Competitive Prototype (CP) program competition. The design solution will exceed the reconnaissance and light-attack mission of FARA with a high-performing and survivable platform. AVX-L3 CCH will meet 100 percent of mandatory requirements and exceed 70 percent of them. The CCH design, combined with rigorous engineering and production processes and certifications, will deliver a safe, performance-driven, affordable aircraft capable of operating in highly contested airspace and degraded environments for extended periods.

“This FARA-CP solution provides L3 and AVX an opportunity to demonstrate the agility and innovation that sets our team apart in support of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of L3 Technologies. “We are collaborating to deliver a prototype that provides powerful leap-ahead capability for our warfighters at an affordable life-cycle cost.”

“We are extremely pleased to reveal the design for this very important U.S. Army program,” said Troy Gaffey, AVX CEO and Chief Engineer. “AVX and L3 provide unique engineering design skills and manufacturing expertise that will provide the Army with an advanced, lethal and affordable reconnaissance and light-attack platform.”

The companies’ next-generation single-engine design, paired with a wing for lift during high-speed forward flight, provides leap-ahead capabilities in a faster, lighter and more lethal aircraft that requires less maintenance through its life cycle, featuring:

  • A fly-by-wire, side-by-side cockpit optimized for pilot efficiency
  • Two ducted fans that provide forward and reverse thrust for both high-speed operation and agility
  • State-of-the-art modern open systems architecture (MOSA)-based digital backbone and avionics systems
  • A small form factor that meets C-17 loading and Navy DDG shipboard size limits through manually folding blades and wings
  • Modularity that provides for component reuse and a high degree of systems commonality across all of the U.S. Army capability sets

The two companies announced their proposal in December 2018. With headquarters in New York City and approximately 31,000 employees worldwide, L3 develops advanced defense technologies and commercial solutions in pilot training, aviation security, night vision and EO/IR, weapons, maritime systems and space. The company reported 2018 sales of $10.2 billion. Founded in 2005, and headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, AVX Aircraft Company employs helicopter industry veterans and executives with a combined experience of over 400 years across a spectrum of skill sets. AVX has developed and has patented a unique compound helicopter configuration with coaxial rotors and dual ducted fans that combine proven technologies to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency, speed, range, fuel efficiency, HOGE and utility than conventional helicopters.

AVX/L3 Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) AVX/L3 Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) AVX/L3 Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) AVX/L3 Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)

AVX/L3 Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA)

Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA)

Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) The AVX Aircraft Company design for the Army FLRAA program offers the capabilities the Army wants for the future fleet of utility and attack aircraft at an attractive price. The AVX Capability Set 3 design aircraft has entry doors on both sides of the fuselage as well as a large rear ramp for easy cargo handling. Additionally, it has retractable landing gear and the attack variant carries all armaments stored inside until needed which provides a “clean” aerodynamic design. Notable are its specifications for payload capacity, rear ramp availability, forward speed, takeoff/landing performance and ease of maintenance. The AVX FLRAA uses the growth ITEP engine. AVX was selected for a further design study contract on FLRAA.



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Page last modified: 06-03-2020 15:15:06 ZULU