OH-58 Block II proves 6k95 high, hot performance
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company announced today its OH-58 Block II demonstrator successfully proved hover out of ground effect performance that exceeds the maximum gross aircraft weight of 5,500 lbs at 6k95 during test flights conducted in Colorado.
"We completed several test flights at several different altitudes and temperatures, each to prove the OH-58 could perform at minimum altitude of 6,000 feet on a 95 degree day," said Jeff Lowinger, executive vice president Engineering and Xworx for Bell Helicopter. "Each test was more impressive than the last. The OH -58 exceeded our most optimistic expectations."
The Block II demonstrator conducted its first flight at Bell Helicopter's Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 14, 2011. Bell Helicopter developed this aircraft with its own resources and at no cost to the government.
Bell Helicopter is developing this OH-58 Block II fleet representative demonstrator to facilitate prototyping activities in anticipation of a US Army future requirement of 6K/95 performance. The Block II OH-58 provides an attractive, cost efficient alternative for the US Army and US taxpayer, and will demonstrate Bell helicopter's ability to meet or exceed all performance requirements for the Army's Armed Aerial Scout.
The Block II demonstrator takes an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and makes it a fast fielding, low risk and lowest cost solution to achieve 6,000ft and 95 degree performance hover out of ground effect at maximum gross weight. The "high-hot" performance can be attained with propulsion and drive train upgrades to the existing platform using a Honeywell HTS 900 engine. This upgrade program builds upon the F model Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP) improvements by adding a new engine, transmission and rotor system.
"By continuing to upgrade the OH-58F into a Block II program, the Army will save money that they can invest in future technologies or future platforms," said Mike Gleason, Block II project manager. "It will also give the Army and the tax payer a return for the money invested in the F model program."
"Along with the performance upgrades, the Block II will adopt fully integrated condition-based maintenance (CBM) technologies, said Stephen Eppinette, Army business development manager for Bell Helicopter. The Block II will have will have higher performance, increased safety, and greater operational readiness while reducing life-cycle costs."
With more than 750,000 fleet combat hours, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is a military certified, combat- proven aircraft that is safe, rugged, and reliable; maintaining the highest operational readiness rate of any Army helicopter operating in Afghanistan and Iraq while simultaneously having the highest operational tempo.
Source: Bell Helicopter
More from Defence Helicopter
Uruguay's African peacekeepers to receive new support helicopter
The donation of a utility helicopter by the UA will increase the Uruguayan peacekeeping deployment’s air support capabilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Turkiye's Gokbey helicopter marks first indigenous engined flight
On April 22, 2023, Turkish Aerospace’s T-625 GOKBEY general-purpose helicopter conducted a test flight with an indigenous TEI-TS1400 engine for the first time.
Canada to upgrade AW101 rescue helicopters in-country under Leonardo-IMP deal
Canada's IMP Aerospace will carry out upgrades on 13 of the 16 AW101 aircraft covered by the CMLU programme under a sub-contract from Leonardo Helicopters UK.
US Coast Guard to upgrade radars for MH-60 and MH-65 helicopter fleets
New Honeywell IntuVue RDR-7000 weather radars will be installed on USCG MH-60 and MH-65 helicopters.
Royal Navy helicopter crews transfer control of UAS in European first
Using technology supplied by QinetiQ, two Royal Navy helicopter crews successfully exchanged control of a UAS while in flight.