Bell has revealed three new concepts for high speed military rotorcraft that aim to combine the capabilities of heliciopters and jet fighters.
All three concepts use what the company is calling its High-Speed Vertical Take-Off and Landing (HSVTOL) technology, which aims to blend the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft.
Jason Hurst, vice president of innovation at Bell said, “Our HSVTOL technology is a step change improvement in rotorcraft capabilities.
“Our technology investments have reduced risk and prepared us for rapid development of HSVTOL in a digital engineering environment, leveraging experience from a robust past of technology exploration and close partnerships with the Department of Defense and Research Laboratories.”
Bell’s HSVTOL design concepts feature a low downwash hover capability and cruise speeds of over 460mph (740km/h) with the flexibility to be used on a range of missions from unmanned personnel recovery to tactical mobility. The aircraft gross weights range from 4,000 lbs (1,800kg) to over 100,000 lbs (45,000kg) and will leverage the company’s experience of tiltrotor aircraft, digital flight control advancements and emerging propulsion technologies.
Bell has explored high-speed vertical lift aircraft technology for more than 85 years and developed experimental VTOL aircraft such as the X-14, X-22, XV-3, XV-15 for NASA, the US Army and US Air Force, with the XV-3 and XV-15 leading to the development of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.