An engine ignition glitch spoiled the planned arrival of the Carter Aviation Technologies PAV-II prototype, but the slowed-rotor compound aircraft still appears to be gaining momentum.
The PAV-II launched from a nearby airport, intending to land at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh on 29 July, but an engine ignition warning early in the flight caused the pilot to return to base.
In an interview with Flightglobal, founder and designer Jay Carter revealed plans for a new, turbine-powered version of the single-engined, fixed-wing auto-gyro, and disclosed ongoing discussions with a possible foreign partner to license the technology for production.
The PAV-II is powered by a 350hp turbocharged piston – the Lycoming IO-540. In a recent series of tests, it has powered the aircraft to a top speed of 186kt (344km/h) at a maximum altitude of 18,000ft, Carter says.
“This aircraft flies faster than most four-place fixed wing airplanes on the same horsepower and it lands vertically,” Carter says.
The next step is to build a new prototype powered by the Honeywell TPE331-14, a 1,750shp turboprop, he says.
That aircraft, which is now in fabrication, can fly at about 300kt up to 50,000ft altitude on a 6,000nm segment, Carter says.
Building and flying the turbine-powered prototype requires more investment. A Textron subsidiary, AAI Corp, had once licensed Carter’s technology to compete for the T-X Transformer contract, a programme sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The AAI/Carter team lost the contract to a Lockheed Martin/Piasecki team, and AAI’s support seemed to evaporate, Carter says.
Carter purchased the licenses back from AAI, allowing him to look for a new manufacturing option. “We’re talking to several major aerospace companies, but they are not US,” he says.
Asked to elaborate on the regions where companies are based, Carter declined, saying: “I can’t tell, because then the word will be out and people will put two and two together. We’ve got a [non-disclosure agreement], and we’re negotiating, so I can’t say anything about it.”