Bell Helicopters unveils future attack reconnaissance aircraft «Invictus»

Bell Helicopters has recently unveiled a dedicated entry into the United States Army’s “Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft” (FARA) program through its Model 360 “Invictus”. The design of this helicopter showcases stealth qualities not unlike the ultimately-abandoned U.S. Army’s RAH-66 “Comanche” armed scout stealth helicopter of the 2000s but brings about all-modern, digitally-driven solutions to the battlefield that include mature stealth capabilities, inherent weapons modularity, enhanced agility through digital Fly-by-Wire (FbW) controlling, and excellent straight-line performance. The helicopter takes on a wholly sleek appearance with special attention paid to reducing external protrusions. A slight “chine” line is featured running the length of the fuselage. Bell marketing materials state an operating crew of two (gunner and pilot) with a cruising speed of 180 knots (207 mph) and a range out to 135 nautical miles (155 miles) not including 90 minutes on-station. An integrated Supplemental Power unit (SPU) aboard the aircraft will provide additional boost/dash speed capabilities as well as auxiliary power for ground running actions (such as maintenance). Handling is enhanced by the same system trialed and proven aboard two other impressive Bell projects – the Model 525 “Relentless” and V-280 “Valor” helicopters. An integral “triplex” redundant system aids in handling of the rotorcraft reducing crew workload and adding autonomy.

Al Jundi

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