2007-07-15 - X-49 fliesPiasecki X-49A flies

Verbundhubschrauber hebt ab<br /> On June 29, Piasecki Aircraft Corp. (PiAC) achieved first flight of its X-49A Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP) Compound Helicopter Technology demonstrator.

The VTDP is a second generation of PiAC's "Ring-Tail" ducted fan compound helicopter technology that replaces the conventional helicopter's tail rotor. In addition to providing anti-torque and yaw control, the VTDP also provides forward thrust and thrust vectoring control. In combination with a lifting wing and modification to the flight control, propulsion and other systems, PiAC believes the VTDP Compound offers significant improvement to helicopter speed, range, ceiling, survivability and life cycle costs.
The X-49A VTDP Flight Demonstration is being conducted under a two Phase flight test program. The Phase 1 test effort is focused on in-flight validation of loads, performance, dynamics and vibration reductions of the test aircraft within the existing SH-60F operational flight envelope. After successful completion of these tests, including demonstration of performance improvements, the Government may decide to pursue Phase 2 flight testing that would incorporate a propulsion system upgrade and drag reduction features for flight verification of the performance enhancements.
This program is a U.S. Army Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) initiative being managed by the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Fort Eustis, VA. Successful flight demonstration of this technology will provide the Services a basis for assessing potential application of this technology to upgrade existing helicopter platforms such as the H-60, AH-64, and Marine Corps H-1 helicopters, as well as expand the technology base for future potential platforms, such as the Joint Multi-Role rotorcraft.

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