VIDEO: Yes or no to the Mono?

We know the US Army is looking for a new breakthrough in rotorcraft performance. Helicopters may be the most efficient way to hover and move vertically, but they are slow and don’t go very far. The world’s biggest helicopter makers understand the problem, and have proposed a wide range of solutions, including coaxial/compound rotors (think Sikorsky S-97, Piasecki X-49, Eurocopter X3), Bell’s proposed hybrid tandem rotor, and Bell and Boeing’s dual and quad tiltrotors. Each attempts to make the aircraft faster and longer-range, with some level of trade-off with efficiency in hover.

There is perhaps another answer, and it comes from the perhaps unlikely inventor Douglas Baldwin — a former member of the F-22 system program office. As the founder of Baldwin Technology, for the last decade Baldwin has spent about $2.6 million of the government’s money to develop a concept for a mono tiltrotor, which he claims would be at least half the size, one-third the gross weight and one-third more fuel efficient than current rotorcraft. More interestingly, the mono tiltrotor concept adds a new configuration to the long list of vertical takeoff and landing designs.



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