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Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft)


Compound Helicopter Proposal


United States | 2024



"This advanced compound helicopter by Boeing was actively being proposed against a U.S. Army armed reconnaissance helicopter requirement - better known as FARA."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/27/2024 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The United States Army has enacted the FARA ("Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft") requirement to find a successor to its Boeing AH-64E "Apache" currently being utilized in the armed reconnaissance role. The role once fell to the lightweight Bell OH-58 "Kiowa Warrior" which was retired in 2014. The Boeing RAH-66 "Comanche" stealth helicopter, joined by the Bell ARH-70 "Arapaho", were both developed for the role but both saw cancellation at various points in their timelines.

Boeing's entry reveals shades of the RAH-66 stealth helicopter cancelled in 2004: its design is sleek with streamlining to the extreme complete with a low-mounted main rotor blade unit, internal side-fuselage weapons bays, and well-contoured engine intakes. The crew of two is seated in a typical tandem fashion with the pilot in the rear cockpit and the weapons officer in the front. At the "chin" position is a triple-barreled Gatling-style automatic cannon installed in a trainable mounting allowing the helicopter to attack light-armored ground targets at various angles. For stouter ground targets, the internal weapons bays each house 2 x AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) for lethal killing firepower at range.

As with other FARA entries, the Boeing proposal is of "compound" arrangement utilizing a standard main rotor along with a tail rotor unit facing port side. To this added a "propulsor" unit in "pusher" configuration adding the required performance to this fast-reconnaissance aircraft. To preserve aerodynamic efficiency, the "tail-dragger" wheeled undercarriage is wholly retractable in the design and the missile armament, being held completely internally until needed, offers no drag for straight line dashing actions.

The main rotor blade consists of a six-bladed assembly seated low over the fuselage while the tail rotor is given four blades and the propulsor unit follows suit with four blades of its own. All are driven by a single-engine arrangement buried within the fuselage of the helicopter. The end result is a helicopter with the performance of a fixed-wing aircraft all the while retaining its Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.

Internally, the aircraft is to be controlled through an all-modern, digital Fly-By-Wire (FBW) system offering the agility and maneuvering required of operating in contested airspaces at low altitudes. Controls are being made redundant allowing either cockpit position to guide the aircraft as needed. The cockpit offers exceptional vision due to its light framing which, when coupled with the advanced onboard systems, enhances crew and machine survivability. Furthermore, the cockpit is configurable for mission need and future growth through an open architecture approach. Pilots are granted access to a wholly-modern touch screen environment for ease-of-use.

The competitive fly-off phase of the FARA program is set to be had in 2023 with operational capability reached sometime in 2028. Competition is being had from AVX, Bell, Karem / Northrop / Raytheon, and Sikorsky.

The Boeing entry involves defense players AvioniX and Aurora Flight Sciences and is being headed by Boeing Phantom Works.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

February 2024 - The United States Army has cancelled the FARA program, terminating all accompanying developments as a result.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Boeing FARA Compound Helicopter Proposal.
1 x General Electric Aviation XT901 turboshaft engine developing 3,000 horsepower each driving a six-bladed main rotor unit, four-bladed tail rotor unit (facing port side), and four-bladed propulsor unit in "pusher" configuration.
Propulsion
202 mph
325 kph | 175 kts
Max Speed
14,764 ft
4,500 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
1,383 miles
2,225 km | 1,201 nm
Operational Range
1,000 ft/min
305 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Boeing FARA Compound Helicopter Proposal.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
42.7 ft
13.00 m
O/A Length
39.4 ft
(12.00 m)
O/A Width
11.0 ft
(3.35 m)
O/A Height
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft) Compound Helicopter Proposal .
STANDARD:
1 x 20mm Gatling-style three-barreled cannon in powered chin turret.

OPTIONAL:
4 x AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) stored internally in side-fuselage bays (two missiles per bay.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft) family line.
FARA - Base Project Name.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Boeing Phantom Works / Boeing Company / AvioniX / Aurora Flight Sciences - USA


[ Untied States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (202mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft)
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Image of the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft)
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Image of the Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft)

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
CLOSE-AIR SUPPORT
RECONNAISSANCE
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Boeing FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft) Compound Helicopter Proposal appears in the following collections:
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