Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bell Helicopter's Hybrid Tandem Rotor Idea

Here is a video link to something that was posted on the blog The DEW Line.  Follow this link to check it out ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll_bIhnV2Es&feature=player_embedded).

Something new from Bell.  This is their candidate for replacing both the AH-64 and UH-60 helicopters in an all new configuration that Bell calls Hybrid Tandem Rotor.  Bell's executive VP for government programs, Robert Kenney; stated to the public recently.

Quoting from the DEW Line posting by Steven Trimble(May 4, 2009), "The HTR 'splits the difference between a helicopter and a tiltrotor," said Kenney at the resent Army Aviation Association of America's (Quad-A) convention held in Nashville, Tennessee

The Bell-Boeing V-22 can tilt its tandem rotor 95 degrees, while the HTR's wing tilts by 25 degrees and gains 5 degrees more by adjusting the cyclic controls.  The HTR could achieve a forward speed of 225 knots.  The V-22 cruises at mroe than the 300 knots.  Currently the fastest helicopters are limited to about 170 knots.

This particular configuration has never been attempted before - or so Bell engineers think.  Kenney himself went after the engineers and designers with all sorts of questions and they answered him right back.  At the end of the presentation, Robert Kenney was asking himself why anybody hadn't seen this before. Why it hadn't been tried before. "Now that you see it it's kind of a no-brainer."

Right now, this is just a concept.  There are no plans to make a actual prototype demostrator.  Unless the US Army launches a new competition to replace the AH-64 and UH-60s.  The program, known as the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) requirement does exists, but as of yet, not been funded to enter a long-term development phase. For the foreseeable future, the US Army will stick with what it has right now.  

Bell, however, was hoping to "spark some interest" in the US Army at the recent Quad-A convention.  As VP Robert Kenney said, "This is a kind of it's coming out party, so we'll see what the interest levels are." 

UPDATE(May 8, 2009): received permission to post the concept artwork for the HTR from Bell.

Ref. ( http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2009/05/bell-helicopter-reveals-hybrid.html).

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