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Author Topic: X-49A Piasecki Vectored Thrust Ducted Propellor Compound Helicopter (UH-60 mod)  (Read 38705 times)

Offline carolm

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You see it here first. Ready to fly any day now.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 06:37:12 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »

Offline Jemiba

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.. and another photo from Vertiflite, issue from summer 2006. 
First flight was announced for "early in 2007" . If "early" means
at least in the first half, there are around two months time ...  ;D
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline CammNut

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This programme survives on funding "earmarked" - added to the Pentagon's budget - by Congress every year. If I remember correctly, it started out with a plan to use an AH-64 as a testbed, then an AH-1W, then the US Navy YSH-60F prototype now being used (the idea being it needed the thruster to pull a mine-countermeasures sled through the water), then the programme was transferred to the US Army (with the idea of making Black Hawks go faster so they are less vulnerable). Even if it flies, don't hold your breath waiting for it to go into production.

Piasecki also had some interesting ideas on rotorcraft unmanned air vehicles for the US Army's Future Combat Systems, including a modern version of its AirGeep, but they were cancelled last year.

Offline Iranian F-14A

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Interesting waste of a H-60.I personally don't hold much for this concept,and I normally love every model of the Blackhawk/Seahawk.

Offline yasotay

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Currently there are only two classes of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) still on record for the FCS effort.  The Class I and IV remain.  CLI remains a ducted fan effort and the CL IV is the NG Firescout effort.

Cam is correct that the UCAR program was doing well in the Laboratory and the industry teams were moving well also.  Indeed DARPA was preparing to down select to a single program when the Army decided it would not fund the program.

As to the X-49, the concept showed promise in simulation, with significant capability over the UH-60L and meeting many of the Army future requirements that the current UH-60 is only able to do with significant external support (FARPs).  There are issues with the mechanical soundness of the planned high mounted wing and the proposed engine arrangement for the final version of the aircraft.  The one seen in the pictures are a low wing initial effort by Piasecki.

Offline CammNut

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Here's the latest picture from Piasecki. The completed X-49 "SpeedHawk" experimental compound helicopter has been moved to Boeing's flight test centre near Philadelphia and is being prepared for a first flight in June.

Funding permitting, Piasecki plans to fly the X-49 first within the existing SH-60 flight envelope (the aircraft is converted from a YSH-60 prototype) then bring it back to install the third engine and do a drag clean-up, including fitting retractable gear and a rotor-hub fairing, before trying for the target 200kt forward speed.

Funding permittting...

Offline Sundog

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That is such a cool looking Helo, I can't wait to see it fly.

Offline Jos Heyman

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Do you know its US Navy serial number?

Offline yasotay

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CammNut!!  Thanks for the great picture.  Now to see if I can get to Philly for the first flight!  Do you know the date?

Offline Jos Heyman

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As a reply to my own request for information: I believed the serial is 163283.

Offline Sentinel Chicken

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  • American 71 Heavy, contact departure 126.47
    • TAILS THROUGH TIME: Short Trips on the Long Road of Aviation History
Does the whole tail assembly pivot to one side to counter rotor torque when in a hover? There appears to a break point on the tail boom where on a Seahawk the tail folds.

Offline turboshaft

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The break is to allow the thruster section to be folded to reduce the vehicle's footprint. The vectoring is achieved by means of rudder and elevator sections within the VTDP.

The X-49A is strictly a tech demo; the use of a small turboshaft to power the VTDP section is not practical for a production vehicle, and was only driven by concerns over available installed power.

Offline yasotay

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The break is to allow the thruster section to be folded to reduce the vehicle's footprint. The vectoring is achieved by means of rudder and elevator sections within the VTDP.

The X-49A is strictly a tech demo; the use of a small turboshaft to power the VTDP section is not practical for a production vehicle, and was only driven by concerns over available installed power.


Actually  believe their proposed endstate is to have a third engine installed (another T 700 series) to provide High/Hot power for the aircraft.

Offline yasotay

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The X-49A flew for the first time yesterday (29June) in the afternoon.  It hovered and did some coordinated turns.  The flight was successful. 

An interesting twist; Boeing has invested in the effort.  In fact the flight testing is being done at a Boeing facility.

I will post a picture as soon as I get one.

Assuming Cammnut does not beat me to it. ;)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 06:46:46 am by yasotay »

Offline Sundog

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Excellent! I can't wait to see the pictures. Hopefully the tests will go well enough to begin forward flight trials soon.