Textron subsidiary Bell introduced the new Bell 360 Invictus military rotorcraft as its entry for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) Competitive Prototype program this week. The aircraft will feature lift-sharing wings to reduce rotor lift demand in forward flight, a fly-by-wire flight control system, supplemental power unit, and articulated main rotor with high flapping capability. According to Bell, the 360 Invictus rotor design is based on the rotor system of its 525 Relentless.
“Bell is committed to providing the U.S. Army with the most affordable, most sustainable, least complex and lowest risk solution among the potential FARA configurations, while meeting all requirements,” said Bell Vice President of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems Keith Flail. “360 Invictus is an exciting opportunity for us to continue our support of Army modernization.”
The 360 Invictus is expected to have a top speed of greater than 185 knots, a combat radius of 135 NM with greater than 90 minutes time on station and be capable of hovering out of ground effect (HOGE) at 4,000 feet in temperatures of up to 95°F. Other companies competing in the FARA program include Boeing, Sikorsky, Karem Aircraft and an AVX Aircraft-L3 Technologies team.