Carter almost ready to fly slowed rotor/compound helicopter

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A second slowed rotor/compound helicopter prototype could be flown for the first time in December, according to its developer, Texas based-Carter Aviation Technologies. The company's original demonstrator crashed beyond repair in 2005.

The second prototype's rotor is to be tested by the end of October and "system testing" is to take place in November, with a maiden flight in December. This new demonstrator is substantially different from the first. Under construction for two years, the new demonstrator's single tail boom with horizontal and vertical stabilisers replaces the first vehicle's twin boom.

 Carter Gyrocopter
 © Carter Aviation Technologies

Called a personal air vehicle by Carter, its rotor is now on a mast that tilts forward up to 15° and aft 30°. Tested in July, this allows a stable cabin, while the blade angle of attack changes during acceleration and deceleration. With the vehicle's sailplane configuration its width increases to 13.7m (45ft) from 10.3m, giving improved lift. Using a Lycoming twin turbocharged TIO-540 engine it will have a cruise speed of 155kt (290km/h) at 7,500ft (2,300m).

"We think the experimental kit aircraft is the fastest way to market," says Carter president Jay Carter, adding that for generating revenue he would allow others to use the vehicle's technology that has "been in development for 14 years".

For the new demonstrator Carter has teamed with a number of other companies including Blue Mountain Avionics, Concorde Battery, Aeroshell and Ice Management Systems.