Bell Helicopter’s TR918 Eagle Eye tiltrotor unmanned air vehicle technology demonstrator crashed on 5 April after losing engine power while in a stable hover. The aircraft, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207 turboshaft, was significantly damaged in the crash at Bell’s flight-test centre near Fort Worth, Texas, writes Graham Warwick.

Investigation to determine the cause of the power loss, and whether the UAV is repairable, is under way. The full-scale Eagle Eye demonstrator first flew in January and was flying in helicopter mode, but was about to begin envelope expansion flights when it crashed. “We were three-quarters of the way through the first test phase,” says Bell.

Source: Flight International