23 October 2010

Unconventional Helicopter Developments

250 kt record breaking flight, complete with Pr0n film* music soundtrack


And their EADS/Eurocopter video

X2 Raider Mockup

The X-2 Raider, blissfully music free
Graham Warwick gives a survey of new technologies that might find their way into the Joint Multi Role (JMR) rotorcraft program, along with the video of the X-2's record breaking flight (top)

Meanwhile, EADS is flight testing its X3 (I wonder where they got that name) compound helo, which uses dual wingtip props, and it provides anti-torque by varying the pitch of the thrusters.

It's far less ambitious than that of the X-2, but their selling point is reduced life cycle cost, which is probably more a shot at the expensive tilt-rotors out there than the X-2 advancing blade concept, which really doesn't seem particularly different in the amount of bits that move.

One interesting twist is that the X3 will slow its rotor at higher speed, reducing drag, though I could see this added to an advancing blade helicopter as well, particularly if the aircraft has a wing.

My quick look at the demonstrator indicates that it is not a particularly useful helicopter.

With two props about a yard from where the entrance to the passenger/cargo area is, both loading and unload, as well as the use of a winch for a rescue mission, would appear to me to be highly problematic.

Of course, the X3 is a demonstrator cobbled together with bits of various existing helicopters, so an operational version would likely address these shortcomings.

Sikorsky is also pitching a replacement for the OH-58D, theS-97 X2 Raider, which is rather similar to the MI-24 Hind or the Augusta/Westland Lynx concepts for an attack helicopter which retains transport capabilities or the ability to carry its own reloads.

*Not that I'd know what pr0n movies' sound tracks actually sound like.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.


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