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.
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.