Interesting little video of the X-49A SpeedHawk, the Piasecki-modified SeaHawk/BlackHawk to prove Compound Helicopter benefits.
Boeing eyes X-49A technology for Apache attack helicopter
By Stephen Trimble
Boeing is to enter talks with Piasecki Aircraft aimed at expanding its role in the company's X-49A experimental compound helicopter programme.
The X-49A, a Sikorsky YSH-60F modified with wings and a vectored-thrust ducted propeller, has been in flight test since July (pictured below), with
Boeing providing technical support but no funding. However, the company is now ready to start investing its own funds and take a more direct role in
Piasecki's project, says Pat Donnelly, Boeing's director of advanced rotorcraft.
Boeing's interest is rising as Piasecki moves close to completing the first phase of flight testing and prepares to enter the project's more
ambitious second phase. During the current phase, Piasecki's team has sought to prove that the X-49A can operate within the full envelope of the
baseline YSH-60F. In the next stage of work, the company intends to demonstrate the compound helicopter's faster speed using its unique propulsion
system and drag-reduction measures.
Boeing wants to expand its role in the programme for several reasons, says Donnelly. Primarily, it wants to know whether its technology could be
applied to a future US Army requirement for a Joint Multi-Role (JMR) rotorcraft, which would replace Boeing's AH-64 Apache attack helicopter
(pictured below) after 2020.
After demonstrating the compound helicopter technology on the YSH-60F, Boeing will seek to transfer the concept to the Apache, says Donnelly. Boeing
then may be able to offer a compound version of the type to the US Army as a "JMR-light", he adds, or assess the technology's feasibility for an
link to video
First flight looks great but it looks back heavy when it takes off........
It would be great for high speed special forces insertion.
[edit on 11-1-2008 by Jezza]