European High Speed Rotorcraft

yasotay

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For those of us who are interested in seeing vertical aviation move forward out of its biplane stage, this is very encouraging.

Looks for Lead in Fast Rotors
Posted by Graham Warwick 10:44 PM on Jan 28, 2014

Europe's rotorcraft industry has high hopes for the planned Clean Sky 2 public-private research program. Clean Sky 2 is expected to include not one, but two fast rotorcraft flight demonstrators, one led by AgustaWestland and the other by the company formerly known as Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters).

Clean Sky 2 is planned to run from 2014 to 2023 with €4.05 billion ($5.55 billion) in funding -- €1.8 billion from the European Union and the rest from industry. For both manufacturers, the program is a chance to keep pace in fast-rotorcraft development with the U.S., which plans to fly two demonstrators under the Army's Joint Multi Role (JMR) program.

As Clean Sky managers tour Europe briefing industry and academia on the plans for Clean Sky 2, now in the political approval phase, leaders of the proposed fast-rotorcraft integrated aircraft demonstrator program (IADP) are providing glimpses into the different objectives behind the two vehicles they plan to fly before the end of this decade.

Outer wings and proprotors tilt, engines remain fixed (Concepts: Clean Sky)

AgustaWestland will lead design of a second-generation tiltrotor -- the first generation being the company's AW609, a design acquired from former partner Bell Helicopter. The flight demonstrator will aim to validate a tiltorotor configuration in which the outer wing panels tilt with the proprotors while the inner wing sections stay fixed. The engines may or may not remain fixed while the proprotors tilt.

This configuration promises to increase efficiency in both helicopter and aeroplane modes, allowing a longer-span wing for lower drag in cruise flight while minimizing rotor download on the wing in vertical flight. Karem Aircraft uses a similar approach in its tiltrotor for JMR, while Bell uses fixed engines/tilting proprotors in its design for the US Army program.

Or tip-mounted nacelles tilt with outer wings (Concept: Clean Sky)

AgustaWestland is aiming for a cruise speed exceeding 300kt, allowing the pressurized aircraft to fly 250nm in under 1hr 45min on search-and-rescue and medical missions. The proposed schedule calls for a critical design review in first-half 2016, demonstrator first flight in mid-2019, reaching TRL 6 by the end of 2022 ready to transition to a certification program beginning in 2033.

Airbus Helicopters' concept artwork for the second fast-rotorcraft demonstrator, LifeRCraft, is more generic, showing a swoopy notional follow-on Eurocopter's X3 compound-helicopter testbed. The objectives under the IADP include combining a cruise speed of 220kt with hover performance as least as good as a conventional helicopter, while lowering noise and emissions.

Tractor- (top) or pusher-prop compound configurations (Concepts: Clean Sky)

LifeRCraft has the same architecture as the X3, with two (tractor or pusher) propellers at the tips of short wings driven from the same gearbox as the single main rotor. Sikorsky's compound helicopter for JMR has coaxial rigid main rotors and a single rear propulsor, while AVX's has coaxial rotors and ducted fans. The goal under Clean Sky 2 is to take the Eurocopter/Airbus compound helicopter to TRL 6 by 2020.

More X3-like LifeRCraft in action (Concept: Clean Sky)
 

VTOLicious

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2 presentations of the CleanSky2 information day attached!
  • Fast Rotorcraft IADP: LifeRCraft Compound Rotorcraft
  • Fast Rotorcraft IADP - Tiltrotor
...from the CleanSky HP: http://www.cleansky.eu/search/node/rotorcraft

Edit: Attachment too big :mad: , check it out the links:
http://www.cleansky.eu/sites/default/files/documents/cs2/2a-_20140123_cs2_fast_rotorcraft_-_lifercraft_iadp_vienna.pdf
http://www.cleansky.eu/sites/default/files/documents/cs2/2b_-_20140123_cs2_fast_rotorcraft_tiltrotor_iadp_vienna.pdf

BR Michael
 

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Triton

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AgustaWestland Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor (NGCTR)

Source:
http://www.aviationtoday.com/categories/military/AgustaWestland-CEO-Romiti-Full-of-Surprises-for-Heli-Expo_81404.html
http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/archive/2014/02/
 

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Triton

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Artist's impressions of AgustaWestland NGCTR

Source:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:7a78f54e-b3dd-4fa6-ae6e-dff2ffd7bdbb&plckPostId=Blog:7a78f54e-b3dd-4fa6-ae6e-dff2ffd7bdbbPost:5a152edc-dcd8-4a55-8d5d-312966fe692c
 

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Triton

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"FARNBOROUGH: Airbus leads Clean Sky 2 rotorcraft development effort"
By: Kate Sarsfield

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/farnborough-airbus-leads-clean-sky-2-rotorcraft-development-401683/

Airbus Helicopters is planning a rapid return for the technology employed on its record-breaking X3 compound rotorcraft demonstrator that flew off into graceful retirement last month.

During an almost three-year test campaign the X3 - which features a pair of propellers mounted on stubby wings alongside a set of standard rotors on a AS365 Dauphin fuselage - captured numerous speed records, with the rotorcraft being taken to 255kt (472km/h) on 7 June last year.

It has since been handed over to France's Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Paris Le Bourget airport.

But now Airbus Helicopters will utilise the technologies validated during the X3's 155h of flights to lead the development of a brand-new high-speed rotorcraft under the auspices of the European Commission's Clean Sky 2 programme, which was given the green light last week.

Dubbed LifeRcraft by the airframer - or low impact fast and efficient rotorcraft - it is targeting a cruise speed of 220kt. Clean Sky 2 calls for preliminary studies, architecture and specifications this year with development and testing of components and subsystems envisioned in the 2016-2018 timeframe, says the airframer. Flight evaluations could start in early 2019, it says.

“There is a lot of value in the application of compound helicopters not only in terms of performance, but they also offer a high level of safety and reliability,” said Airbus Helicopters chief executive Guillame Faury in a Farnborough briefing. “In hostile environments, such as search and rescue, coastguard and border patrol and offshore operations, these characteristics are vital.”

Launched in 2008, Clean Sky is a multi-year partnership involving the European Commission and Europe’s aviation industry. It is designed develop the technologies that will enable the next generation of low emission and low noise aircraft.

Clean Sky 2 is planned to run from 2014 to 2023 with €4.05 billion ($5.55 billion) in funding - €1.8 billion from the European Union and the rest from industry.

Meanwhile, Faury says the airframer is determined to repair its reputation following the ditching of two EC225s in the North Sea in May and October 2012 which led to an eight-month fleet-wide grounding. The cause of the two incidents was later traced to failure of the bevel gear vertical shaft in the helicopter’s main gearbox.

“We have used this [intervening] period to challenge ourselves,” he says. “We have learned a lesson and we are always striving to raise the bar in terms of customer service and quality of our products.”

Airbus Helicopters has already begun to retrofit the key gearbox component across the 11t type’s global fleet and all Super Pumas manufactured from the beginning of July are fitted with a redesigned shaft that incorporates a number of safety improvements.
 

Triton

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Artist's impressions of Airbus Helicopters Clean Sky 2 concept.

Source:
http://www.emergency-live.com/en/equipment/airbus-helicopters-advances-clean-sky-2-high-speed-efficient-rotorcraft-demonstrator-gallery/
 

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Triton

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From Graham Warwick on Twitter posted 4:58 PM - 13 Jul 2016

Model of Leonardo Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor for Clean Sky 2 Fast Rotorcraft program - @cleansky_ju #FIA16


https://twitter.com/TheWoracle/status/753378018224070656
 

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Triton

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Artist's impressions of Airbus Helicopter Clean Sky 2 hybrid rotorcraft concept.

Source:
http://www.airbushelicopters.com/website/en/ref/Clean-Sky-2_384.html
http://www.emergency-live.com/en/equipment/airbus-helicopters-advances-clean-sky-2-high-speed-efficient-rotorcraft-demonstrator-gallery/
 

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yasotay

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Take a look at the Clean Sky 2 Inforgraphic (first picture posted just above by Triton). In the bottom right corner, under the PARAPUBLIC post, there appears to be another concept that shows a single rotor helicopter with no wings and (my guess) a rotating prop/tail rotor.
 

CJGibson

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I have a question about moving the self-loading cargo on and off the Airbus aircraft.

Do the propellers stop turning while the passengers are embarking and disembarking?

Chris
 

yasotay

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CJGibson said:
I have a question about moving the self-loading cargo on and off the Airbus aircraft.

Do the propellers stop turning while the passengers are embarking and disembarking?

Chris

One would hope so. Highly likely I would think.
 

_Del_

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yasotay said:
Take a look at the Clean Sky 2 Inforgraphic (first picture posted just above by Triton). In the bottom right corner, under the PARAPUBLIC post, there appears to be another concept that shows a single rotor helicopter with no wings and (my guess) a rotating prop/tail rotor.

I think it's the same design coming toward you, not travelling away. You're only seeing one wing-mounted prop because of the angle. ( though the tail-unit looks inverted now that I'm examining it)
 

Triton

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Those with Aviation Week subscriptions, enjoy!

"Airbus Moves Ahead With Clean Sky 2 Demonstrator"
Airbus targets greener high-speed rotorborne flight

Tony Osbourne
Mar 3, 2017

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/vertical-flight/airbus-moves-ahead-clean-sky-2-demonstrator

When Airbus Helicopters flies its Clean Sky 2 technology demonstrator in 2020, it is gambling not just on the future of its high-speed rotorcraft capabilities but also on a unique approach to saving fuel. Embedded in the architecture will be an “eco” or single-engine operative (SEO) mode, which will allow the twin-engine compound helicopter to shut down one of its engines while in cruise to save fuel, and spool it back up again rapidly as it enters hover or another critical ...
 

Triton

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"Leonardo’s Next-Gen Tiltrotor Targeting 2023 First Flight"
Tiltrotor technology demonstrator to focus on five key developments
Mar 3, 2017 Tony Osborne | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-space-technology/leonardo-s-next-gen-tiltrotor-targeting-2023-first-flight

With certification of its AW609 commercial tiltrotor finally in sight, Leonardo is now embarking on the next step of its tiltrotor journey. Backed by the European Union’s Clean Sky 2 aeronautical research program, the Anglo-Italian aerospace and defense company is now putting the finishing touches to the architecture it envisions will shape its next tiltrotor product and potentially give Europe the lead in fast civil rotorcraft. “Under Clean Sky 2, the key technologies ...
 

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Triton

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Model of Leonardo Next Generation Civil TiltRotor (NGCTR)

Source:
http://www.leonardocompany.com/en/-/photogallery-static
http://www.portaledifesa.it/forum/showthread.php?tid=523&pid=73990
 

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helmutkohl

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thank you for this! I didn't know they are building this! thought it was one of those things that would stay only on the drawing board.
As some one who lives in a country with a ton of small islands, one of the biggest controversies is building an airport in a small island at the cost of environmental damage.
Tilt rotors, to me, seem like a good compromise solution since it allows air access, but requires less landing space and physical impact.
but I wonder if its cost effective for civilian transportation use. it seems intended for oil rigs and has a seating capacity of around 25 people.

One project I was on, was looking for something around 50-100 pax to have some economic viability
 

TomcatViP

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Lot of small Islands? WiG. WiG are boats for places where usually you'll find all the expertise needed to fly, navigate and sustain them safely and economically.

Now, back to the subject, I am amazed how far is the rotor from the gear box. That's a long shaft to be loaded in complex modes. An apparently sophisticated way to get into serious problem IMOHO.
 
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helmutkohl

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oh in this case no, such planes would not be useful for us because the island is nearly 1,000km away from a major city.
we need an actual plane. So I'm highly interested in what Leonardo is producing.
We were leaning towards the ATR-400S, but that would still require a significant runway
 

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Why does/ did it take so much time to certify AW.609 ? it seemingly has been stuck at prototype level for a decade and a half ! 2005 ? even earlier ?


Frack - 2003 ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:


...and this is probably even worse...

Orders were 77 in 1999, and 70 in 2012, dependent on the final unit price. As of March 2015, there are 60 orders for the AW609. The company intends to have production facilities ready for completing orders right after FAA certification in 2017
 

yasotay

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Why does/ did it take so much time to certify AW.609 ? it seemingly has been stuck at prototype level for a decade and a half ! 2005 ? even earlier ?


Frack - 2003 ! :eek::eek::eek::eek:


...and this is probably even worse...

Orders were 77 in 1999, and 70 in 2012, dependent on the final unit price. As of March 2015, there are 60 orders for the AW609. The company intends to have production facilities ready for completing orders right after FAA certification in 2017
I suspect at least part of the problem after Bell left the program was dealing with European and US airspace bureaucratic agencies who had no regulations regarding aircraft of this type. Much dithering ensues, especially for a company with less political clout to get the change-phobic government aviation administrative bodies to agree. Of course the crash, due to software, and very little understanding of how software works by the agencies put a large crimp in certification. 737 MAX mis-adventure may have extended the issue as there is one word abhorrent to the bureaucrat - risk. Given all the stiff arm from governments I am very happily surprised that Leonardo continues to fight for certification.
 

helmutkohl

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in a related note
about the Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor (NGCTR)...
I emailed Leonardo after reading about it here, and surprisingly, they requested a video meeting tomorrow.
I just wanted a brochure, but I guess they are also interested in the airport project I am working on.

if anyone has questions about this aircraft you want me to ask them, let me know soon. no guarantees they can answer it though
 

yasotay

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Of the 10,000 questions I would want to ask these are the two big ones that come to mind -
1. What do they see as the most significant challenge to bringing NGCTR to flight?
2. How is Leonardo working to get the immature tilt rotor regulations within Europe and the US airspace agencies in place?

Unless it is against the House Rules perhaps you should invite them to join our merry band of aviation enthusiast.
 

helmutkohl

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Of the 10,000 questions I would want to ask these are the two big ones that come to mind -
1. What do they see as the most significant challenge to bringing NGCTR to flight?
2. How is Leonardo working to get the immature tilt rotor regulations within Europe and the US airspace agencies in place?

Unless it is against the House Rules perhaps you should invite them to join our merry band of aviation enthusiast.

Unfortunately I can't answer much (1. its still an early project so they also don't know some things, 2. since its a project with multiple stakeholders, they need to confirm a few things with them first before they can release more info to me). Most of the meeting was them asking me about what I need and how they could help me. (most of it was looking at the local market).

I can say that first flight is intended for 2023.
the most significant challenge is, as you suggested, civilian certification.
Tilt rotos are a new technology and a lot of uncertainties and rules are still in its infancy stages. That said
thats where the AW609 comes in, and that they're using it to get started on civilian tilt rotor certification and other rule making stuff in the EU.
Both this and NGCTR are also co-funded by the EC.

one thing is they are interested in learning from the experiences with the Osprey, especially in terms of marketing.
The Osprey in recent years has had a negative reputation built up, so that is a challenge as it may spill over to NGCTR due to the tilt rotor commonality.
 

yasotay

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Thanks for asking. I suspected it was premature to ask those questions.

The irony of the Osprey is that it is now the most used platform within the US Department of Defense, and has (at least last time I checked) the best safety record of all US military aircraft, given its high operational tempo. The Osprey story as you likely know was not without challenges early on and several crashes made for great headlines. Indeed the battle over the aircraft raged here on this forum for quite some time. Unfortunately, good news does not sell as well as bad, so that even to this day the stigma remains. Best thing I could recommend is to have the Public relations team armed with appropriate information to counter the press heard mentality.
 
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