Research in the field of aviation is legion and many companies around the world are trying to create devices that can take off vertically like helicopters and then fly like airplanes by folding their propellers.
For example, we recently told you about the Transwing, a mix between a drone and an airplane.
This type of take-off has the advantage of allowing to fly in cramped environments without the need for a long airstrip, while folding the propellers to fly like an airplane increases the lift of the aircraft and allows to achieve longer distances by carrying heavier loads. However, a large number of constraints relating to switching from one flight mode to another delay the democratization of this technology.
The American company Bell Textron recently presented new models of high-speed aircraft capable of taking off and landing vertically with propellers.
Three concepts were presented for military applications.
The vehicles are based on HSVTOL technology, a technology that enables high speed vertical takeoffs and landings.
According to the company, HSVTOL technology will combine the hovering capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range characteristics of a fighter jet.
An expected cruising speed of 740 km / h
Among the characteristics promised by the manufacturer are cruising speeds of over 400 knots (740 km / h), total independence from take-off runways, great ability to remain stationary, great versatility for different types of aircraft. missions and a gross weight that can vary from 1.8 tons to 43 tons.
On the image provided by the company, we can observe three planes with different configurations. Two of them have a pilot and the third is remotely piloted. The engine air intakes are located in different places, making it possible to make the aircraft more or less discreet as needed. They all share a central fuselage equipped with wings at the ends of which are tilting engines with folding rotors. Vehicles use these engines in an upright position for takeoff and landing. The engines are then positioned horizontally with the rotors folded to improve aerodynamics in cruise mode. The propulsion is entrusted to other reactors located inside the fuselage.
Still at the prototype stage, it will undoubtedly be several years before one of these models will fly in real conditions.
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