Jun 222013
 
Presentation of Project Zero in Paris Air Show 2013 by Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland

Will it ever be displayed in flight?

Despite the offical AgustaWestland’s statement that the tilt rotor prototype flew several times within the last 2 years, many aeronautics enthusiasts expect the Italian manufacturer to release pictures of the demonstrator in flight.

Front view of the AgustaWestland's Project Zero under dome at Paris Air Show 2013

Front view of the AgustaWestland’s Project Zero under dome at Paris Air Show 2013

Presentation of Project Zero in Paris Air Show 2013 by Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland

Presentation of Project Zero in Paris Air Show 2013 by Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland

Presentation of Project Zero in Paris Air Show 2013 by Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland

Presentation of Project Zero in Paris Air Show 2013 by Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland

Side view of the AgustaWestland's Project Zero under dome at Paris Air Show 2013

Side view of the AgustaWestland’s Project Zero under dome at Paris Air Show 2013

Source: http://www.agustawestland.com/mediagallery

 

Side view of AgustaWestland's Project Zero in Le Bourget, Paris Airshow 2013

Side view of AgustaWestland’s Project Zero in Le Bourget, Paris Airshow 2013

Source: http://media.aerosociety.com/aerospace-insight/2013/06/17/paris-air-show-day-zero/8225/

Jun 212013
 

X3_header

Eurocopter X3 broke a world speed record with 255 kt in level flight (@10,000 ft), 5 kt more than the Sikorsky X2.

For the second time in its existence, this very same fuselage was made famous: the first event happened 22 years ago, when the Dauphin DGV became a world fastest helicopter with 372 km/h.

 

2013, June 7th D-Day

 

Catch it if you can: teaser

 

Catch it if you can: Eurocopter people sharing their experience

 

When the X3 met the TGV, French high speed train

Apr 262013
 
X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

Should we call it X3e, like all the current new models at Eurocopter? Or X3i? Or X3+? Or X3²?

Yesterday, Eurocopter presented a new concept, a helicopter where the pilot is only an option. The EC145 c/n 9001 is the usual research aircraft of the company, known recently for the “Blue Pulse” program, intended to reduce the rotor noise.

EC145 OPV Istres, France, Eurocopter

EC145 OPV F-ZWAM, Istres, France, Eurocopter

However, not only the new drone was presented. A small surprise was displayed at the end of the movie. You thought the X3 was there only by chance? Of course not!

The Istres Air Base is the most suitable flight testing area in France. All previous test flights of X3 were made there and even the main runway was adapted to land the American space shuttles.

A closer look onto the prototype makes it clear: the rotor head and the top of the airframe have been modified.

X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

X3 seen from behind, optimised for high speed

 

X3 seen from behind, Paris Air Show 2011

X3 seen from behind, Paris Air Show 2011

Yes, the aircraft is being prepared for very high speeds. Eurocopter’s X3 is becoming a fierce competitor to Sikorsky’s X2. Mr Bertling is preparing to leave his seat as a CEO to Mr Faury next week and this challenge is indeed a great gift: the company displays its innovative skills.

X3 and EC145 OPV on ground -"the best is yet to come"

X3 and EC145 OPV on ground -“the best is yet to come”

Do you remember the DGV, Dauphin Grande Vitesse, which became once the fastest helicopter with 372 km/h in 1991? The aircraft never forgot its appetite for the records. In fact, some parts of the Dauphin DGV were removed and the helicopter was modified to build the X3.

Aerospatiale Dauphin DGV, speed record breaker in 1991

Aerospatiale Dauphin DGV, speed record breaker in 1991

Now, for the pleasure of your eyes, enjoy these pictures from the movie.

EC145 OPV during accuracy freight landing

EC145 OPV during accuracy freight landing

EC145 cockpit, Optionnally Piloted Vehicle

EC145 cockpit, Optionnally Piloted Vehicle

EC145 OPV during freight flight

EC145 OPV during freight flight

EC145 OPV and X3 in Istres

EC145 OPV and X3 in Istres

 

 

 

 

Apr 102013
 

Bell Helicopter announced today a fully new aircraft, although drawings were already released months ago (see the article of Aviation Week).

It should perform well in hot and high altitude conditions, 95°F (35°C) and 6000 ft (1830 m).

Considering the previous experience developed together with Agusta Westland on the AW609 (first called BA609, then AB609) and Boeing on the V-22, Bell Helicopter is fully able to produce a performing and reliable tilt rotor aircraft.

The Bell brochure compares directly to the UH-60 Black Hawk, emphasing a range capability up to 2100 nm (almost 3900 km) during self deployment. Of course, the self deployment is in a ferry configuration, flying with auxiliary fuel tanks and almost no pax.

The video wants to display an aircraft that makes kids dream, brings the GIs back home safe and provides the “state of the art” technologies: video transmission from drones and… mission displays. In a time of financial crisis, advertisers would rather show reliable, useful and proven technologies than a futuristic and expensive toy.

Bell V-280 Valor FVL Airplane Mode

The aircraft could be proposed in 2 versions: tactical transport and combat. Beside possible door mounted guns for the transport variant, the armed version would carry weapons:

  • in pods under stubwings (rocket launcher, guns and cannons, missiles) ;
  • in a closed weapon cargo under the belly (for a stealth capability?) ;
  • in a chin mounted turret, possibily with a heavy 30 mm caliber.


Bell V-280 Valor FVL Landing Scene

Bell V-280 Valor FVL Low-Level

Bell V-280 Valor FVL Rear Quarter Attack

 

See the official dedicated website here: http://bellv280.com

Who are the competitors?

This aircraft arrives in a context of studies by the US forces, wishing for an Armed Scout and a JMR helicopter. The Armed Scout should be a smaller helicopter, but the Valor could still compete with the Sikorsky S-97 Raider and the Agusta Westland AW139M.

On the other hand, the Bell’s proposal can be compared with the Joint Multi Role concept from Boeing and Sikorsky, as a fast helicopter.

The main question remains open though: which weight do you want for an Armed Scout and a Joint Multi Role helicopter?

Mar 052013
 
Agusta-Westland Project Zero scheme

Agusta-Westland: Project Zero

The technology demonstrator was designed and built in less than six months and has already secretly flown several times in 2011 and 2012, demonstrating AgustaWestland’s advanced rotorcraft technology.

The tilt rotor technology demonstrator is completely electric powered, designed to hover like a helicopter and convert to a fixed wing aircraft in forward flight thanks to its two integrated rotors which can be tilted through more than 90 degrees.

source: http://www.verticalmag.com/news/article/AgustaWestland-unveils-Project-Zero-tilt-rotor-technology-de

see also: http://www.flightglobal.com

 

Agusta-Westland Project Zero scheme

Agusta-Westland Project Zero scheme ©AgustaWestland

Agusta Westland Project Zero

Agusta Westland Project Zero ©AgustaWestland