Friday, 11 Nov, 2011 Technology

Flying Military Vehicles from AIA and Lockheed Martin


The research division of the DoD is in search of someone that could design and make a 4-seat, off-road flying vehicle able to resist in a war zone.

The description of the so-called Transformer TX program reads that DARPA "seeks to combine the advantages of ground vehicles and helicopters into a single vehicle, maximizing flexibility of movement. The TX concept will provide options to counter traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road obstructions."

The Aviation Week says that military contractors AAI and Lockheed Martin both managed to come up with feasible designs for such a vehicle. The two have also moved closer to testing a prototype fly-drive vehicle.

The aim of such a flying military vehicle is to transport personnel from a ship to a land-based site. In case the terrain becomes dangerous to cross, the vehicle would be able to fly over the barriers.

Below there are two approaches for building such a vehicle, that of the AAI and the Lockheed one.

Specifications of the AAI's vehicle:

- 7,500 lbs

- unpowered rotor

- fold-out wing

- a single 1,200 shp Honeywell HTS900 turboshaft powering 4 electric wheel motors

- able to perform a "jump" take-off

- speed 80 mph

- flight speed range is 50 to 155 kt

- maximum altitude is 10,000 ft

Specifications of the Lockheed Martin's vehicle:

- 7,000lb vehicle

- 41.f ft wing span

- ducted fans that tilt from horizontal to vertical - to help the vehicle lift off - and vice versa for forward flight

- Pratt and Whitney EnduroCore heavy-fuel dual rotary engine that drives 4 electric wheel motors

- a pair of turboshaft engines that power the fans

- trailing-edge flap to increase lift at low speed

- flight speed is up to 130 kt

Phase 3 test flights are expected to occur in 2015.

[via Discovery News] Powered by

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