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NH90 news and discussion thread

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Sancho, Jun 25, 2013.

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  1. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    [MENTION=12345]Scorpion82 [/MENTION][MENTION=12345]halloweene[/MENTION] [MENTION=8921]Picdelamirand-oil[/MENTION]

    I didn't found a similar thread with the search function, but I am currently pretty interested in it and all the NG helicopters like the X3. That's why I have 2 (and a half) questions for you guys:

    1. Can you tell me how pleased the French and German forces are with it, in the operational service so far? Especially about how they served in Afghanistan (I know the Germans had them there, not sure about the French though).

    2. I am currently obsessed with the idea if it's possible to modify the NH90 with the X3 techs (stubwings with prop engines, no tailrotor), as a special varient, but with high commonality to the basic NH90, for roles like Medivac, special ops, ASW, or as a civil passenger version for off shore platforms for example. Since most of the NH90 is already fully developed, it would reduce the development time and costs for such a varient by far, compared to a complete new developmed helicopter, like the once in the US JMR competition.
    Do you guys think that such a modification of the NH90 would be feasable? And what effect would it have wrt the flight performance to place the stubwings with the props not to the center of the airframe, directly under the main rotor, but in the rear section of close to the ramp and similar to the AVX concept? :

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Portals/AWeek/Ares/GrahamW/AVX JMR-1.jpg


    I know that it has a coax system and the X3 doesn't, but my question is only related to the performance difference of speed and range with the prop engines.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  2. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Italian also use NH 90 in Afganistan and they said that performance are 15% better than expected. I can't answer to your special variant proposal but AFAIK there is management problem with NH 90 due to too much variants....
     
  3. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Can you say something about the experience of French forces with the NH90 in general?

    There are basically only 2 varients of the NH90 now, but the customers can choose different options like more cabin height, different weapons and avionics afaik. The varient I think about is not only an option, but a real varient, with some modifications of the airframe, but still simple than to develop a completely new helicopter, basically like this:

    [​IMG]

    1. normal NH90 TTH
    2. deleted tailrotor, tail and side doors
    3. added stubb wings with prop engines
    4. added multi purpose bay, for rear gears, weapons or fuel tanks
     
  4. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Nobody any opinion about it? There are actually only a few changes necessary to convert it into an X3 version, with a lot of benefits to gain. So is it feasable, what might be issues?
     
  5. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    If somebody wants it, he will have to pay the development. Generally France pay the development and export country pay the recurrent cost and say that it is too costly.
    So i don't see a market for this machine.
     
  6. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Of course, dedicated funding is required, but I am generally thinking about the technical feasability based on the NH90 and the necessary development costs/time?

    The X3 design basically is one of the most simple designs compared to all the new helicopters (Sikorsky X2 - coax/pusher, Bell 280 Valor - tiltrotor, AVX - coax/twin prop, Kamov coax/coax pusher, Mil Mi X1 normal/pusher) and still it's showing very impressive performances, even in the EC155 demonstrator. That's why this idea to fascinates me currently and why there are so many questions:

    How difficult would be the modification from a technical point of view?
    The wings on the 155 X3 are mounted above the cabin, which means the basic cabine would remain the same right?
    Do you think the same, or even better performance of speed and range could be achieved with the NH90 platform?
    What would be the effect of the wings and the props to the performance in high altitude areas?
    Would it be possible to extend the cabin size, to the original lenght with the tailrotor, for more internal space?
    Would foldable wings be possible?

    Eurocopter says 50% more speed and range is the goal for the X3 development, which translated to the NH 90 TTH should be around 450 Km/h vmax, around 390 Km/h cruise speed and more range.
    All these specs and the size of the helicopter as mentioned would be perfect for any MEDIVAC, CSAR, ASW or special ops role and Eurocopter already sees applications in the civil role for the 155 X3 roo, which makes the bigger NH90 base even more preferable.

    Wrt the market, IN for example has a requirement for up to 100 x medium class naval helicopters and most of them for the ASW, or SAR roles on. The NH90 is even competing against the Sikorsky S70, but afaik the French forces soon will have to think about a Puma replacements too, which mostly serves in exactly these roles right? The US forces are searching for a Black / Sea Hawk replacement, which alone would be a huge requirement. Not to forget that any modern navy currently is going to amphibious vessels, be it LDPs, or LHDs, which all would benefit from such a medium class helicopter version with improved performance.
     
  7. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    The X3 is a concept demonstrator fast developped to show the validity of the approach.
    There is no doubt that eurocopter is able to adapt the concept to NH90. But NH90 is provided by a dedicated consortium and not by Eurocopter.

    [​IMG]

    btw, why do you want to change wing position?
     
  8. Sancho

    Sancho Lt. Colonel IDF NewBie

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    Hi Pic, sorry for the late reply. Is the X3 "just" fast developed to show the validity, or is it just the most simple NG concept? I think the latter is the case, since the only real change is the addition of the wings and pro engines, while all other concepts are based on pusher props, coax rotors, or tilt rotor designs. All of them are far more complicated and needs more development time, not to mention brand new base aircrafts, while the X3 was simply adapted on the existing EC155, with components of other EC helicopters and the same engine of the NH90. That's even why I was thinking about a similar adaptation for the NH90, as a fast and cost-effective development, compared to the US, or Russian counterparts.


    But over 60% of the NH consortium is owned by Eurocopter, so that shouldn't be an issue at all.


    Actually I asked about it to understand what the possible changes might be in flight performance of the aircraft, or the prop engines, since the latest AVX concepts shows the props being added to the rear sides of the airframe.
    Also having them in the center position, basically rules out any side doors, since entry of troops or passengers directly in front of these rotors would be to dangerous. Another point is, that a gunner would have hardly a 90° FOV with them in the center position, but if they can be placed further to the rear, 120 to 150° should be possible or?
     
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