The Invictus has a low-drag tandem cockpit that optimizes pilot field of view with full pilot functionality from either seat. The lift-sharing wing relieves rotor-lift demand, suppressing retreating blade stall, for increased speed. The Invictus features retractable weapons and the helicopter control system includes fly-by-wire options. The high-performance rotor blades are designed for high speed, low life-cycle cost and significant drag reduction. The design is based on the Bell 525’s efficient high speed (200+ knots in level flight) solution. A modular open systems approach enables rapid development and reduced costs through the aircraft’s lifecycle.
As reported by Aviationweek.com, Bell aims to start test flights of its Bell 360 Invictus demonstrator for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) contest in the second half of this year pending delivery of the helicopter’s General Electric T901 turboshaft in March-April. Bell is completing functional tests on the 360 demonstrator at its Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas, where the vehicle was recently reassembled following its transfer from the company’s production facility in Amarillo. Aside from the T901, the vehicle is now 95% complete and will undergo ground tests through the first half of the year, says Jayme Gonzalez, program manager for the Bell 360. Watch a Bell armaments background video here. Learn more at Aviationweek.com and Bellflight.com.