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Picture of the day

Working on a Chinook feature, and I found this… “Shall we dance?” (RAF Chinooks – Crown Copyright)

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Picture of the year (so far) – V-22 Osprey in Iraq

The US Marine Corps has just released this rare image of an MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor operating in Iraq – there are green rotor-tip lights, the Marines now tell me. (US Navy photo)

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V-22 Osprey: Time may hate it, but PopSci loves it

Popular Science has included the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey in its “The Best of What’s New” list for 2007. Not bad for an aircraft that entered development 25 years ago. Makes up for Time magazine’s shoddy “special investigation” into the V-22, and gives me an excuse to run this great picture of a US Air […]

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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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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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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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Tiltrotors could airlift FCS, but at what cost?

The US Defense Science Board has just released its report on the VSTOL/STOL airlift requirements to support the US Army’s concept of “mounted aerial manoeuvre” – flying a fully equipped armoured force from an intermediate land or sea base directly to the battlefield. The report is important to two camps: the US Army backing the […]

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Blue Thunder? – China’s Z-10 attack helicopter

China-watching website sinodefence.com has posted perhaps the clearest picture yet of China’s Z-10 attack helicopter. The site says the Z-10 first flew in 2003 and is expected to enter service in 2008-9. Changhe Z-10 (sinodefence.com photos) The Changhe-built Z-10 looks to be in the same class as the Agusta A129, Denel Rooivalk and Eurocopter Tiger. […]

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Brownout or brown trousers?

Brownout has caused numerous military helicopter crashes in Iraq and Honeywell’s synthetic vision technology, which is revolutionising business-jet cockpits, has been picked as part of a solution to the problem. Brownout occurs when a landing helicopter is enveloped in the dust blown up by its rotor. No longer able to see the ground, the crew […]

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