In the wake of the unsuccessful Iran hostage-rescue attempt in 1980, when three of eight helicopters failed and crippled the mission, military planners came to a realization: The U.S. fleet was in desperate need of an aircraft that could combine the speed and range of a jet with the vertical lift of a helicopter. In response, they designed the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey. The V-22 can carry two dozen troops 1,000 nautical miles at speeds around 250 miles an hour. It is one of the most versatile craft in the U.S. Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) fleet, which includes helicopters and jump jets. It is also the youngest: The V-22 represents the last major addition to the VTOL arsenal in more than 20 years.
As modern warfare evolves to include more lightning-fast, covert strikes similar to the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound, VTOL is once again a priority for U.S. military planners. Two programs could improve the speed, range, and hover efficiency of VTOL aircraft: the Army launched a program that officially began accepting designs for technology that could be used in next-generation rotorcraft. Sikorsky and Boeing filed a joint proposal based on Sikorsky's X2 rotor and propeller system; Bell Helicopter, the co-developer of the V-22, submitted an updated tilt-rotor; and European aerospace giant EADS put forth a design likely based on Eurocopter's experimental X3. DARPA announced a $130 million VTOL X-Plane program that asks aerospace engineers to propose entirely new approaches to VTOL - a fixed wing, a rotary wing, or maybe something in between.
With top speeds of more than 250 mph, improved VTOL aircraft could increase military reach, shorten travel time for combat troops, and deliver personnel and cargo virtually anywhere, regardless of terrain.
After years without significant innovation, VTOL is flying high once more.
Despite huge advantages of recent tiltrotors , they still have weak points :
* still use helicopters complex cyclic controls
* heavy - many gearboxes , cross shafts.
* have very high operating costs - 23000$/h
* have many complex components
* are very expensive
* still unsafe - many fatal crashes .
So what innovations will allow to fly that VTOLs faster and more efficient ?
* novel VTOL flight mode aircraft stabilization system voiding heavy , complex and expensive cyclic controls ,cross shafts and many gearboxes.
* lighter weight , more efficient rotor tilting construction.
* lighter weight and less complex OEI (one engine inoperative )system.
* hydraulic system replacement with only electric .
* great reduction of overall aircraft weight
* flight safety increasing due failure points reduction
* construction engineered for rapid and cost effective production
* and many more other advantages and new capabilities ( classified info so far ).
The modern turboprop (twin engine) has approx. 1300$/h flying costs , recent tiltrotors - 23000$ , NATO's target for next generation medium size rotorcraft - 10000$/h , JETCOPTER target - medium size (12 seats ) , turbo prop speed tiltrotor with less than 4000$/h flying costs.
So the cost reduction is the critical condition even for Air force and with the old tech approach - not solvable . Too many complex and expensive components to be too often checked and overhauled increase flight costs , aircraft /components / parts built up time , and finally all together will lower a lot air forces readiness level .
Alternative to that Army Aviation has a lot of catching up to do, not only in terms of the performance features provided by the aircraft, but the way in which aircrafts are designed, engineered, manufactured and sustained.
So future (in eyes of 2013 ) VTOL in will need to achieve much higher levels of rotorcraft efficiency .
For any VTOL use cases , the JETCOPTER tiltrotor to be more efficient than other designs . Electric for UAM , hybrid for RAM , VIP , MEDEVAC or MILITARY - the JETCOPTER VTOL construction will work better for all.
NASA's lately released studies showing that the tiltrotors are "the best configuration for the commuter looking to avoid congestion in the typical urban setting". Tiltrotor aircraft were analysed and compared to other UAM reference vehicles on sizing, cost, and performance. The study found that the tiltrotor configuration is capable of reaching speeds 54% to 93% faster than the other electric designs. The increased speed leads to a 24% to 42% decrease in overall mission time.
The study concludes tiltrotor aircraft "appear to be a viable configuration for UAM when speed is a priority" and afford a "high-performance aircraft solution with manageable tradeoffs."
UAM companies that now in will be in a hurry to switch from multiprop design to tiltrotor will meet the other great challenge - cyclic control . The swash plate construction still complex , expensive and have many single failure points. JETCOPTER patented VTOL mode stabilization system that will allow to control aircraft in VTOL mode without swash plate , while giving bunch of other advantages.
Tiltrotor as the main VTOL design JETCOPTER choose years ago, during that time were engineered a bunch of construction improvements , filled several patents for better capabilities tiltrotors. JETCOPTER company now is the developer of most advanced tiltrotor construction.
JETCOPTER plan to launch its tiltrotor functional prototype powered with hybrid powertrain and later to develop all electric EVTOL more efficient than any recent multirotor design.
The JETCOPTER's innovations will make tiltrotor to fly and operate like efficient turboprop airplane .
In 2022 -2023 period JETCOPTER plan to select few strategic partners for UAM , RAM and military markets developing. Focusing on a single rotorcraft design for all VTOL applications will significantly reduce development costs , will shorten enter to the markets time and significantly to increase customers volume.