Bell Helicopter, U.S. Army to develop drive system technologies

  • 06-Dec-2010 05:06 EST

Bell Helicopter and the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate signed a $30 million Technology Investment Agreement to develop drive system technology under the Future Advanced Rotorcraft Drive System (FARDS) program. The FARDS program is focused on critical performance and affordability enhancing drive system technologies for the Army's Current/Future Force fleet of rotorcraft, as well as commercial rotorcraft. The program is targeting a 55% improvement in drive system power-to-weight ratio; a 35% reduction in production, operating, and support costs; 90% automatic detection of critical failures; and an 18-dB reduction in drive system-generated noise. The five-year FARDS program will develop more than 18 new technologies resulting in full-scale demonstrations of a main rotor gearbox and tail rotor driveshaft system.

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