AgustaWestland Next Generation Tilt Rotor

AgustaWestland has announced they intend to commence test flights of their Next Generation Tilt Rotor in 2021. This is a follow on from the none seat AW609 and will be able to accommodate 20 passengers, flying at a cruise speed of 300 knots.

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Unlike the 609, the NGTR features a tilting rotor mechanism, leaving the engine in the same position.

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S O
S O
October 17, 2015 12:17 am

Am I the only one missing a regular-sized vertical tail surface?

Barborossa
Barborossa
October 17, 2015 8:05 am

….So did I- can’t see something that short doing 300kts in a straight line…

I suspect that yaw is intended to be controlled by using engine power- which is a fairly fuel-hungry way of doing it- far better to have a fairly large control surface and let the engines run at constant revolutions.

The whole tiliting rotor thing seems a little odd too… I would have said that having another coupling in the drive shaft just introduces more friction and therefore upping the power needed just to turn the shaft- with it’s effect on fuel.

…It’s one of the reasons that Boeing went all-electric with the 787- without the need to power hydraulic and pneumatic systems, the engine should be able to run a bit easier, using less fuel.

…On the other hand, I can imagine the issues and problems with fuel, pneumatic & hydraulic lines during tilt transit, and the weight of the support structure for the V22….

Peter Elliott
October 17, 2015 8:24 am

Contractually can this model be offered to the military market? AW609 can’t.

Such a bird ought to be a contender for an HM2 replacement. Whether in the medium utility role too will depend on cost vs a conventional cab.

Jules
October 17, 2015 9:31 am

That would add some serious muscle to an LPH too, no need to send a carrier to bomb mud huts…

From memory the Clean Sky 2, which this is from I think, was going to use fancy materials in the tail surfaces so they could flex, like the wing surfaces of Concorde used to and they were talking about some fancy air bleed system, think Buccaneer, all together they reckoned they would not require much in the way of vertical surface, Keeps the profile lo too which lends itself to austere LPD/LPH/Carriers, and no need for a folding tail…

Donald_of_Tokyo
Donald_of_Tokyo
October 17, 2015 9:39 am

The rotar tilting technology will be the same way as V-280 is to adopt.

Two think I note was that
– the wing is relatively large. I hear that V-22’s lift from the wing is minimum. Maybe a wing-mode flight (= better for long range) is of much importance in this version?
– the wing is rotating. I think this is because the wing is large, to minimize down force from the wing in helicopter mode.

And, without wing folding mechanisms, as V-22 has, I do not think this airframe is good for Naval use. It look more a business jet than a military aircraft, although I agree this is just an “impression”.

shark bait
October 17, 2015 12:57 pm

@Donald, you are right. No folding wings would severely limit its naval applications. However if there was a push for a folding variant that would have some clear uses, especially for the royal navy’s carrier type.

S O
S O
October 17, 2015 1:38 pm

The CGI suggests shuttle service for offshore oil or gas drilling platforms, but the look of the fuselage suggests competition for short range turboprop airliners, possibly by using innter city VTOL.
The fuselage tail section looks as if it could accomodate a ramp for a quick change or even dedicated cargo version.

The missing vertical stabilizer surface could be replaced with aerodynamic tricks as the one (can’t translate) used on flying wings. I don’t see why this would be useful, though. This plane would not face severe height restrictions and save for two-blade propellers it would have greater height at the rotors/propellers than at the tail anyway.

I suppose it would be much simpler and safer to use the Rotodyne approach. Especially for offshore ferrying nobody would care about the noise even without noise management.

John Hartley
John Hartley
October 17, 2015 9:20 pm

I always fancied a bigger V-22 lookalike XXL powered by A400M engines.

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 18, 2015 7:43 am

The benefit of doing away with a tall horizontal stabilizer would be the reduction in drag.

I doubt this would have a direct military application. It would need a new body to hang off the wings rather than a simple paint job.

I would assume that AW will eventually get around to designing a military tilt-rotor, but a military version of this would need new undercarriage and a large sliding cabin door either side of the fuselage. Separate flight crew doors would also be favourable on this size of military aircraft.

A military version based on this would only be competing with the V280 initially, which would be flying about in just a couple of years, so it’s probably worthwhile for AW to look into.

Bigger than this, and a Chinook sized cabin cross-section and rear ramp door would probably be the practical standard. I think the ability to produce that would be a fair few years away for AW.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
October 18, 2015 2:29 pm

The problem of inner city VTOL would be the same as I think killed the Fairey Rotodyne (one of my favourites in the “missed opportunity” class). To make the much higher running costs worthwhile, a VTOL passenger plane needs to land right in the city centre, which means special airports have to be built on very expensive land right next to buildings – can you imagine the controversy and cost involved with that?

TAS
TAS
October 19, 2015 3:16 pm

So nobody has picked up on the folding wing slabs? Anybody? Guesses? Countering ring-vortex effects? Stabilisation in the hover? Pay for advertising when you land? Considered opinions received with interest.

Peter Elliott
October 19, 2015 3:30 pm

Isn’t it just to get them out of the way of the down blast from the rotors? That way you can have a bigger wing for more lift in horizontal flight.

TAS
TAS
October 19, 2015 4:46 pm

Makes sense, but doesn’t explain why we don’t see anything similar on Osprey or the Valour concept.

Mark
Mark
October 19, 2015 4:59 pm

Having a tilted wing allows for more lifting power from the rotors as the large wing area is not in the way. Having the wing fixed allows for more wing lift to be generated by the wing as the aoa is constant through the flight phases. You pays your money you take your choices. Seems somewhat of a half way house this one from very early prototypes of this design. The tilted wing may also affect landing in certain wind conditions it does become a rather large airbrake