Bell Helicopter and Van Horn Aviation (Booth No. 1521) of Tempe, Ariz., yesterday at Heli-Expo 2011 put the official stamp on an agreement that allows Bell to distribute Van Horn’s composite tail rotor blades for Bell 206 models.
Concurrent with unveiling its new composite blades for the MD500 series, Van Horn Aviation (VHA) president Jim Van Horn announced the company is in the process of purchasing a 23,000-sq-ft facility in Tempe, Ariz., in which to manufacture the new blades once the building is occupied this summer.
The Pentagon’s Naval Research office has selected Emteq to create a rotorblade tip lighting system.
Eurocopter (Booth No. 4637) and Sikorsky (Booth No. 2737) have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of a high-speed compound helicopter, but using different configurations. Sikorsky’s X2 reached its target of 250 knots last September in West Palm Beach, Fla., and also met vibration and workload targets, according to the U.S. manufacturer.
Eurocopter’s compound helicopter demonstrator, the X3 (“X cube”), met its first speed target on November 29 when it achieved 180 ktas in level flight at “reduced engine power.” The modified Dauphin has also expanded its flight envelope in altitude and bank angles. The X3 features a conventional main rotor and two propellers on stub wings.
Eurocopter’s compound helicopter demonstrator, the X3 (x cube), met its first speed target–180 ktas in level flight at “reduced engine power,” the manufacturer announced last week. The aircraft features a conventional main rotor, two propellers on stub wings and no tail rotor.
Eurocopter unveiled a compound helicopter demonstrator called the X3 (“x cubed”) designed to cruise at 220 knots–about 50 percent faster than today’s medium twins. The helicopter manufacturer believes it has found a sweet spot at a target speed that should make time savings profitable, and the technology could be incorporated into helicopters in less than a decade.
The U.S. Army could issue a formal request for proposal (RFP) early next year for what could become a helicopter armed aerial scout (AAS) program. The AAS–which might encompass at least 300 helicopters–is a potential $5 billion bonanza for the winner and could have significant implications for civil helicopter manufacturers, not just in terms of revenue but also with regard to driving, or not driving, new technologies such as the Sikorsky X2.
The Sikorsky X2 technology demonstrator last month unofficially set a new speed record for rotorcraft, as it reached 250 ktas at the company’s development flight center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The aircraft, which features contra-rotating coaxial main rotors and a pusher propeller, took off at 7 a.m. for its 17th flight, which lasted 1.1 hours. At the controls was chief test pilot Kevin Bredenbeck.
Eurocopter yesterday unveiled the X3 (“x cube”) demonstrator, a compound helicopter with a 220-knot cruise speed. The aircraft first flew on September 6 in hover, and is scheduled to fly again on Thursday. Some 100 flight-test hours are planned in the next 18 months, with the target speed expected to be reached in the first quarter.