Interesting but very loud, inefficient and a little issue of drag!! Maybe they should speak to www.vtoldynamics.com as they seem to have a much simpler solution with more flexibility...
10th January, 2014 @ 5:33 a.m. (California Time)
I think it has potential. I think it could also be a commercial cargo craft where one could fly it to a remote area and drive it to the location where it would be unloaded. It make getting the cargo there faster since one would not have to unload it to truck to deliver it to the destination.
Perhaps to silence the noise (or at least muffle it) would be to add mufflers to the engines?
10th January, 2014 @ 5:55 a.m. (California Time)
Oh yes you could, but it would still be eight engines screaming away and the nacelles needed to muffle that would be more weight and less cargo. I also wonder what its thermal signature would be with eight engines and exhausts. Anyhow, if the platform is VTOL, the need for wheels is greatly diminished so hence i feel the VTOL Dynamics option of hybrid electric and smaller footprint with greater forward flight speed is a better solution....Hey, its just my take on it.
10th January, 2014 @ 6:22 a.m. (California Time)
@Kestrela - I looked at the www.vtoldynamics.com site. It's still a bluesky project without a prototype and not a "roadable" vehicle. So it is not an apple/apple comparison.
Now taking the www.vtoldynamics.com system as what it is, a pure aircraft that is VTOL capable, it looks like it will be very usefull. That is of course if it ever makes it off the design table and into the real world.
10th January, 2014 @ 6:48 a.m. (California Time)
VirtualGathis - Yes it looks interesting, but they have flown a scale POC thats about 1.5m x1.5m and the site shows it flying so it may not be as "Bluesky" as we think, anyhow...I digress...ha ha
10th January, 2014 @ 8:36 a.m. (California Time)
" Maybe they should speak to www.vtoldynamics.com as they seem to have a much simpler solution with more flexibility..."
Bit short on wheels...
10th January, 2014 @ 2:19 p.m. (California Time)
Keith Reeder - If its VTOL are wheels needed?
10th January, 2014 @ 2:55 p.m. (California Time)
A sling load casualty carrier would appear more practical.
10th January, 2014 @ 8:44 p.m. (California Time)
Keith Reeder - As i said, if its VTOL, if it was quieter, stealthier and less bulky, Why would it need wheels?
11th January, 2014 @ 12:12 a.m. (California Time)
because it would not be roadable without wheels.
11th January, 2014 @ 4:43 p.m. (California Time)
Don't expect good returns from this guys and gals, all that suspension weight will eat into the payload capacity.
11th January, 2014 @ 11 p.m. (California Time)
You cant land everywhere, you need wheels to drive into towns where the buildings are tall and the roads are not large like they are in America.
The idea is it flies close to the casualty then drives the last bit which it cannot fly due to high building or a forest or some other issue, it then drives away with the casualty and flies as soon as it can.
Seems a brilliant idea to me, if a little noisy and with a very bad thermal signature.
12th January, 2014 @ 4:25 a.m. (California Time)
Interesting idea but the propeller noise will be far louder than the engines. Current turbo diesel engines may also have a power to weight problem. Just controlling the vibration of the engines will be a major challenge. Computer control of the rpm and variable pitch on the propellers may solve a lot of the problems. It would seem that small turbine engines might be better. It's also going to take a lot of fuel for eight engines running near full power to fly 250 nautical miles with a load. I have seen some amazing RC model multi-copters but stealth seems to be a weak point near the ground. It might just be simpler to remote control a regular helicopter. I hope they can work all the bugs out.
12th January, 2014 @ 2:05 p.m. (California Time)
Exactly what is wrong with the current ASR method of a winch and 100 yards of cable? It's less than 1/10th the weight, and adds just as much versatility.
12th January, 2014 @ 3:34 p.m. (California Time)
The idea is good , landing on water would be an added benefit and using
turbo diesel wankel engines would save a huge amount of weight and noise Wankel tec in Germany makes unit that would be usable at 30 % of the weight
13th January, 2014 @ 1:26 a.m. (California Time)
Whilst one might clear the immediate vicinity of hostile troops to enable a VTOL aircraft to come in quickly and collect casualties, there is no guarantee that you will not have snipers some distance off to whom a target forced to hover above the tree-line, or whatever, would be a sitting duck. on top of that, there is no tail rotor to catch in the branches of trees. Also, I assume that there is redundancy in the rotors, so if one did get damaged, the aircraft would still function to some extent. Not only that, the footprint would be far less than that of a rescue helicopter, thus opening up the landing site options.
Though having said all that, body bags are a real deterrent to warmongering politicians. So all this effort to save lives that would be lost otherwise and unmanned drone fighters and bombers with no lives to lose are not exactly conducive to world peace. You can almost hear the cash-registers ringing as they contribute to even greater arms industry profits and government debt.
13th January, 2014 @ 3:54 a.m. (California Time)
This aircraftwill neverfly, becausethe total surface areaof the discs istoo low!
13th January, 2014 @ 3:57 a.m. (California Time)
The only problem is it would need 4x's the Hp and fuel as a Blackhawk making it impractical as it couldn't even carry the fuel, much less cargo.
All because small rotors are NOT, repeat, NOT eff. And why all practical VTOL craft have large rotors, basic physics one can't wish away.
13th January, 2014 @ 9 a.m. (California Time)
Probably needs a bogied 8 wheel configuration for safety on the road.
BTW... that is what rail cars have been for well over 100 years.
13th January, 2014 @ 9:22 a.m. (California Time)
"The trouble is, helicopters can only land in nice, big open areas that can be miles from where they're needed."
This made me laugh. I can attest to the fact that a helicopter does not need "...nice, big open areas..." to land.
Having flown UH-1Vs in medevac configuration, in the Pacific Northwest with significant forests etc... I never encountered a patient I couldn't get to within 200 metres in one direction or more often than not, we would run our medic down with the hoist and return to pick up the patient once stable.
Nevertheless, both UH-1V and MH-60K/L were put into very tight spots by myself and crew that were far from being nice, big or open, and then brought out again.
The only place I encountered that would make recovery doubtful was the Amazon jungle which was so dense, triple canopy and devoid of any clearings that the only hope would be a river extraction.
In any event I believe our patients deserve a human at the controls making decisions based on survivability of the machine with its precious cargo of wounded.
UAV craft are the future but not the answer for everything. I believe that we will still have need of a human for some tasks. I seriously doubt a UAV of similar size could land in some of the places I did only because of the dynamics of swaying branches, wires, antennas and the occasional flying mattress.
Oh well, "more power to them".
13th January, 2014 @ 9:27 a.m. (California Time)
As is you have a poor performing helicopter matted with a poor performing ground vehicle carrying the extra weight it does not need to fulfill its mission.The only way this concept can work is to separate the two by having the helicopter part separate itself on touchdown, allowing the ground vehicle to continue its mission.
13th January, 2014 @ 11:53 a.m. (California Time)
"...body bags are a real deterrent to warmongering politicians."
Based on your reasoning, we should just get rid of all rescue aircraft, vehicles, pilots, medics... Heck we could even get rid of the hospitals, doctors, nurses and save a ton of money if high body bag count is the goal. Apparently its not you, your son or daughter who might be in need of medical care and would be deemed an appropriate high cost conflict deterrent.
13th January, 2014 @ 12:13 p.m. (California Time)
I agree that the www.vtoldynamics.com solution looks much more promising. If wheels are truly necessary (which I doubt, see Bryan Haslett's post above), a light weight solution more along the lines of a dune buggy seem far more practical. The primary means of mobility must be air mobility, not ground.
13th January, 2014 @ 12:24 p.m. (California Time)
The gist of most of the comments seem to be: "it isn't perfect so it is no good." It is a prototype for gosh sakes. If this concept proves out, it will have great potential not only in military but civilian fields. They have combined several existing technologies into a new format that will give it unique capabilities. Let them finish their project and see if it flies literally. Like the Osprey, it will not replace a technology like helicopters but compliment it by extending its potential usefulness. Good luck to them.
13th January, 2014 @ 12:42 p.m. (California Time)
A close look shows the props are not adjustable and the engines do have mufflers. The props are far louder than the engines, this thing could never be stealthy in fact it would probably cause deafness in the pilot. Just think of the noise of a light plane times eight; enemies could hear you coming miles away.
I think electric motors fed by a single turbine engine/generator with battery backup would work better and be simpler, lighter and far more powerful (but not much quieter).
Gas or diesel fueled engines have a hard time making quick, accurate, rpm changes; electric motors don't have that problem. And the battery need only be large enough to fly a reasonable distance for an emergency landing.
8th February, 2014 @ 2:15 p.m. (California Time)