Boeing looks ahead to a ‘V-23′ Osprey

As I reviewed my notebook from the Paris Air Show today, I can’t believe I skipped over this tantalizing gem from Boeing’s rotorcraft press conference.

The BellBoeing V-22 is in full-swing production, but Boeing’s people at least are already looking beyond the Osprey configuration. In an answer to my question, Phil Dunford, Boeing’s president for the rotorcraft division, even coined the ‘V-23′ designation for this theoretically improved tiltrotor.

Click on the jump below for the full transcript [courtesy of Boeing's Paris Air Show podcasts] of Dunford’s comments about the ‘V-23′.

DUNFORD: Downloadalleviation on the V-22 is very important to us. If we want to improve the lifton the V-22 it would be really nice to get rid of that 10% download that thewing gives you.


[DUNFORDcontinues until Q&A begins]


TRIMBLE:This is Steve Trimble with Flight International.


DUNFORD:Hey, Steve.


TRIMBLE: Iwas wondering. You mentioned – I didn’t catch it – something about a 10% downloadon the V-22. I didn’t understand what you were talking about.


DUNFORD:Well if you think about it those rotors have to operate over a wing. It’ssimilar on a Chinook to some degree. So what happens is if you had that rotoroperating with nothing below it, basically clear air between it and the ground,you wouldn’t be getting the … download you would get with the rotorwash hittingthe wing. So what we have to do is alleviate that somehow. One of the thingsyou would like to do in a hover is tip the wing up a bit, but then you would bea tiltwing airplane. So there are things you can do with the airflow toactually minimize that. So we have actually flown some things on the XV-15 thatlook promising. I don’t know the details of those but they are aerodynamic innature. But anything we can do to increase the download and increase the hoverperformance of the V-22 is good because, remember, the V-22 is not a helicopter,and you shouldn’t compare it. It’s something better than a helicopter in my opinionbecause it optimizes the performance of the helicopter and a fixed wingaircraft. In order to do that, you have to optimize the rotor performance. There’sa lot of twist in it and everything else. The answer to your question is it’sjust the wing effect with the rotorhead.


TRIMBLE: Isany of that included in a Block C or a Block B configuration.


DUNFORD: Idon’t think so. That’s one of those technology developments that are furtherout. That might be what we do when we’re V-22 — let’s say, call it ‘V-23′. SoI don’t think you’re going to see that in the marine airplane. That’s somethingwe have to deal with right now that was part of the configuration that we hadto develop. And having said that, that’s offset by its significant capability toSTO off the ground. If you really want to get off at a higher gross weight andyou have a couple of hundred feet you can certainly get off with a higher grossweight then with a vertical takeoff.


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7 Responses to Boeing looks ahead to a ‘V-23′ Osprey

  1. EG 22 June, 2009 at 9:22 pm #


  2. alloycowboy 23 June, 2009 at 1:11 am #

    Sure it would be nice to get rid of the 10% download. But that is not going to happen. You might get a couple percentage points reduction with new fangled technolgy but that always comes with a weight penalty. In the end all Boeing will do is increase the engine size and put more efficient rotors on it.

  3. AirShowFan 23 June, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Boeing has published all kinds of quad-tilt-rotor concepts over the past few years. Maybe those are what would see these optimizations. (Look up “Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor”).

    I don’t know if EG’s “Tilt-wing?” is a surprise that they’re use this technology (seems a lot less crazy to me than a lift fan! Or even a tilt rotor for that matter, when you think about it, since the wing doesn’t spoil the rotor downwash and you have the ailerons there in the downwash to help control the airplane), or a question about what “tilt-wing” means. Look up (Wikipedia, Google, VSTOL dot org, etc) the Vertol VZ-2, the Hiller X-18 and XC-142, and the Canadair CL-84.

  4. Steve 24 June, 2009 at 5:04 am #

    Can anyone come up with the total dollars spent over the last 20 or so years to develop the V-22? From my vantage point, the only benefit over the CH-53 is some additional airspeed. That being the case, why not use it for search and rescue, which the DOD apparently does not want to do? Seems like a major waste of taxpayers dollars for additonal airspeed. It’s not like the USMC needs more complex airframes or unsafe “nitch” capable airframes (Harriers and at some point the F-35.)
    “Better is the enemy of good enough.”

  5. George Zip 24 June, 2009 at 5:55 pm #

    This isn’t tilt-wing or QTR, but simply the payload enhancement studies that have been on-going for several years (incl. four-blade rotors, engine/xmsn upgrades (e.g. GE38) and drag reduction programs (e.g. tabs, slotted rotor sections and/or vortex generators)). I’m surprised Dunford would even suggest ‘V-23,’ since the upgrades — if ever funded — would be far more likely to be ‘MV/CV-22C.’

  6. Carlton 24 June, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    All the top aviation experts agree that the tiltrotor is a failed concept (except those at Bell and Boeing) You don’t see EADs or the Russians messing with this garbage.

    When tiltrotors are up, they push air down on the wing, cutting lift by 10%. Even worse, the wings must be thick and rigid so the downwash doesn’t cause them to flutter. This makes tiltrotors very poor airplanes. They can fly like a helo and an airplane, but with less than half the performance of either. Details are here.

  7. snogglethorpe 29 October, 2009 at 3:50 am #

    Using phrases like “All the top aviation experts agree” is a sure sign you’re talking out your ass…

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