Archive | October, 2007

One from the history books – the cyclogyro

It must be all this talk of reviving old ideas, but Robot World News is running a story about a new look at an old idea – too old for even me to remember – the cyclogyro. The what? The cyclogyro is a sort of flying paddle steamer – lift and thrust is provided by […]

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Heliplane revisits Rotodyne’s high-speed hopes

On the subject of compound autogyros, Flight International alumnus Stewart Penney points me to this great video of the Fairey Rotodyne – Groen’s inspiration for the Heliplane gyrodyne. The Rotodyne’s rotor was tipjet-driven for take-off and landing and autorotated in the cruise, propulsion being provided by a pair of Napier Eland turboprops. The Rotodyne set […]

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DARPA’s high-speed Heliplane hits a hurdle

The Salt Lake Tribune has just run a profile of local gyroplane developer Groen Brothers Aviation. It contains a brief reference to “design issues” uncovered in September during the preliminary design review for the Heliplane high-speed rotorcraft demonstrator GBA is designing for DARPA. So I contacted DARPA, which said: “We underestimated the difficulty in achieving […]

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Picture of the week

Not often you see an RAF Tornado posing behind a USAF tanker. “Got gas?” (USAF photo)

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Piasecki’s X-49A sets the pace

Perseverance pays off, and Piasecki Aircraft appears to be having some success with its X-49A “Speedhawk” – a Sikorsky H-60 modified with Piasecki’s vectored-thrust ducted propeller (VTDP). The attached video shows the helicopter has exceeded 170kt in flight testing. The X-49A is flying at Boeing’s test centre in Delaware, and Dave Harvey on rotorhub.com, says […]

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Could the Airbus A380 really replace Lockheed’s C-5?

Steve Trimble reveals that the Airbus A380 is a potential candidate to replace not only Air Force One, but also US Air Force Lockheed C-5 outsize airlifters. While it is hard to imagine the President of the United States flying around in the flagship of European aerospace, it makes sense they would want competition when […]

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Defence exec takes over: what next – Boeing KC-787?

Ever since Boeing took over McDonnell Douglas in 1997, the company has tried to project a “One Boeing” image. It has never been true. The commercial and defence sides of the company have different cultures. So Boeing has worked to bridge the divide, moving executives between the businesses. The latest move sees an Integrated Defense […]

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Picture of the week

“Black world, what black world?” (USAF photo)

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Clean, quick and composite – Europe’s R&D targets

The European Commission has unveiled the first tranche of aeronautics research projects to be funded under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). No real surprises among them: there is a big emphasis on reducing the environmental impact of air transport and advancing the use of composites in aircraft. Leading the list of oh-so-European-sounding projects are: MAAXIMUS, […]

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Discopter – what goes around comes around

Steve Trimble over on The DEW Line reveals Boeing has a DARPA contract to study a disk rotor high-speed rotorcraft. Like most things in aerospace these days, this is not a new idea. Swiss architect and designer George Vranek, on his diskrotor website, traces the concept of a circular rotor with retractable blades back to […]

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