AVX has completed the preliminary design of several aircraft and has worked with leading component manufacturers to build the major components for an OH-58D size concept demonstrator. After the Army cancelled the RH-70 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), AVX began studying the use of AVX Technology in the Armed Aerial Scout application and concluded that coaxial rotor, drive system, and ducted fan designs could readily migrate to the OH-58D fleet to provide significant performance improvement and extend the life of the OH-58D fleet for the next 20-25 years at a low cost.
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, AVX was founded in 2005 and 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 combines proven technologies to achieve greater aerodynamic efficiency, speed, range, fuel efficiency, HOGE and utility than conventional helicopters.
The fuselage yaw moment imposed naturally by the main rotor can be eliminated through the use of coaxial, or tandem, counter-rotating main rotors, as known in the art. The natural yaw moment created by a single rotor is essentially cancelled by the second rotor, making yaw control in forward flight a matter of a relatively small power requirement. In conventional tandem rotor helicopters, forward thrust is generated by the same mechanism used for a single rotor helicopter; forward thrust is created by tilting the main rotors forward to provide a forward vector component to the rotors' lift vector.
In the AVX desing, however, thrust is provided by two ducted fans that are mounted at the rear of the aircraft and spaced apart laterally. Differential thrust generated by the fans provides yaw control for the aircraft, and forward thrust is provided by the fans working in combination. The coaxial rotors are preferably utilized primarily for lift, and not for forward thrust, which simplifies the control requirements. The coaxial rotor with ducted fan configuration also results in lower vibratory loads being imposed on the helicopter, thereby increasing its speed capability. The fan ducts serve to protect the fans, augment the fan thrust at low airspeeds, increase the efficiency of the fans at cruise speeds, and provide horizontal and vertical stabilizing surfaces to ensure aircraft flight stability.
The AVX Aircraft OH-58F performance upgrade, designated the OH-58F/AVX, replaces the current OH-58F main rotor, drive system and tailboom/tail rotor with new AVX Modification Technology™ components. This modification to the OH-58F with AVX Modification Technology™ will provide the U.S. Army with the lowest cost upgrade solution while exceeding all of the Army’s Key Performance Parameters. AVX Modification Technology™ can be used to modify other fleets of helicopters as well.
AVX Modification Technology™ can be used to modify existing fleets of helicopters such as the OH-58F Kiowa Warrior fleet to provide the following benefits:
- Greater aerodynamic efficiency
- 20%+ speed increase
- 20%+ range increase
- 30% increase in fuel efficiency
- Ability to operate at higher altitudes
- Ability to operate at hotter temperatures (6K/95 degrees) HOGE and utility than conventional helicopters such as the OH-58F
The AVX team has experience providing survivability with a range of rotorcraft including the Bell-Boeing V-22, Bell AH-1Z, Bell UH-1Y and Bell OH-58D. The Bell OH-58D/AVX retains the airframe survivability of the Kiowa Warrior. The existing armor protection for the crew, engine and fuel controls would be maintained.
The main rotor hubs and blades for the OH-58/AVX are of all composite laminated construction designed to withstand ballistic impacts equal to the system on the current OH-58D helicopter, which has proven to absorb hits by small arms fire up to .50 Cal without catastrophic failure. The OH-58D/AVX helicopter would be capable of operation in adverse conditions such as extreme heat and cold (-40 to +40 degrees C), IFR meteorological flight conditions (including rain and inadvertent light icing), blowing sand and dusty landing zones, and salt water environment.
The engine would utilize the same air filtration system as the Engine Barrier Filter (EBF) on the OH-58D helicopter. The laminated composite main rotor hubs and blades will have similar ballistic tolerance to the OH-58D rotor system. The rotor blades wwould incorporate a leading edge abrasion strip to minimize wear during flight in rain, sand and dust, and the composite material wwould be immune to the affects of operation in a salt water environment. The drive system and rotating controls are designed with sealed bearings to minimize intrusion by foreign particles and thereby provide for long life and safe operation in any type hostile environment where military operations may be conducted.
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