g4lly Posted December 26, 2008 Share Posted December 26, 2008 http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/12/the-quest-for-t.html The Quest for the 300-m.p.h. Helicopter Speedhawk1This year marked the passing of Frank Piasecki, one of the pioneers of rotary aircraft. Piasecki was perhaps best known as the man who successfully developed the first tandem-rotor helicopter, paving the way for long-serving military aircraft like the CH-47 Chinook and the CH-46 Sea Knight. But Piasecki also backed compound helicopter concept, which would added vectored thrust and lifting wings to a conventional helicopter design to boost its speed, range and agility. The Piasecki X-49 "Speedhawk" -- an experimental helicopter based on a Sikorsky YSH-60F Seahawk -- first flew in 2007. The "ring tail" helicopter incorporated Piasecki's vectored-thrust ducted propeller and other modificiations. The Speedhawk was funded by the Army to test the possibility of pushing existing helicopters to reach speeds up to 200 knots (360 kilometers per hour). But Piasecki is not the only outfit chasing after record helicopter speeds. Challis Heliplane has also forwarded a concept for the "world's fastest" rotorcraft. The Challis Heliplane would feature a single fixed wing on the retreating blade side of the aircraft of the aircraft that would provide extra lift at high airspeeds. And Bell Helicopter, maker of the military's fast-flying Osprey tiltrotor, has already debuted a civilian version of the hybrid aircraft, which can go twice as fast as a normal helicopter. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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