'Team Invictus' to work on Bell's FARA prototype

By Jaspreet Gill / June 4, 2020 at 2:55 PM

Bell announced today a new team of nine companies working to develop its 360 Invictus Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft competitive prototype.

Team Invictus is "working closely together to deliver the Bell 360 Invictus prototype using a configuration that emphasizes operational availability, sustainability and maintainability," according to a Bell press release.

Bell was selected earlier this year as one of two companies to build prototypes for the competitive flight test phase for FARA, the Army’s No. 1 priority under the service's future vertical lift effort.

The 360 Invictus adopts technology from the company's 525 Relentless helicopter, like a single main rotor system and a fly-by-wire flight control system, has a 40-foot rotor diameter and adheres to the Army's 180 knots requirements.

Collins Aerospace, which announced its partnership with Bell last year, is providing a "new generation of avionics hardware and software featuring cyber-hardened and digital backbone solutions to configure and integrate mission systems," the release says.

GE Aviation is working on the aircraft's Health Awareness System and is also developing the T901 engine, which is the designated engine for FARA, for the Improved Turbine Engine program.

Astronics is developing a modular framework for the aircraft, L3Harris Technologies is developing an advanced, stabilized multi-sensor imaging and targeting system and MOOG is developing components for Bell’s fly-by-wire flight control system.

A "fully retractable, tail dragger landing system" is being developed by Mecaer Aviation Group, while TRU Simulation + Training is working on a high-fidelity flight simulator. Parker Lord is working on the aircraft's rotor dampers and the active vibration control system and ITT-Enidine is focusing on "the passive liquid inertia vibration eliminator units for all modes of operation including high speed."

"Each team member brings a capability that is vital to the success of the Bell 360 and we are honored to have proven, capable and well-respected industry partners on Team Invictus," Chris Gehler, Bell vice president and program director for FARA, said in the release. "This is an outstanding industry team and we are working diligently to produce a FARA weapon system that is operationally effective and affordably sustainable, as well as complementary and in many ways common to the [Future Long Range Assault Aircraft] program."