Boeing unveils a new high-speed version of Apache attack helicopter during the Vertical Flight Society’s 75th Annual Forum & Technology Display.
The concept, called the Advanced AH-64 Block 2 Compound, is developing to serve as a gap filler in a U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.
U.S. aerospace manufacturer has shown footage of a high-speed version of Apache attack helicopter. Graham Warwick posted images of the Apache gunship concept and photo of a scale model of a new helicopter that was unveiled by the Boeing on social media.
@Boeing goes public with compound AH-64 Apache concept at @VTOLsociety #forum75 showing model just out of the wind tunnel. Streamlined fuselage and engine nacelles, retractable gear, longer wings, tail-mounted propulsor. Tail rotor retained pic.twitter.com/l8q0OqzRvQ
— Graham Warwick (@TheWoracle) May 14, 2019
“Boeing seeks to provide an affordable means to keep the current U.S. Army medium attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache, capable on the highly complex multi-domain battlefield of the future through 2060,” the company said in written response to questions from Rotor & Wing International. “Boeing’s objective is to offer and field new technologies which make up the advanced Apache in the late 2028 timeframe.”
According to the released photo, the new helicopter designed with the streamlined fuselage and engine nacelles, retractable gear, longer wings, tail-mounted propulsor.
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The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage, and four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons for carrying armament and stores, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has significant systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
Jane’s Defense Weekly early reported that the new gunship will feature an enlarged main wing, revised engine exhaust arrangement, large vertical tail fin, and a rear-mounted pusher propeller. The design may also feature a new, rigid rotor system, which is a standard feature on other compound helicopter designs.
Also the Rotor & Wing International said that Boeing already has conducted wind tunnel testing of a scale model of a high-speed Apache gunship.
Unveiled last October at the Vertical Flight Society’s Helicopter Military Operations Technology (HELMOT) conference in Hampton Roads, Virginia, the AH-64E Block II compound helicopter would feature a rear propulsor, increase aircraft speed to 185 kts, increase payload to 5,900 pounds hover-out of ground effect (HOGE) on takeoff, and increase range to 460 nm.