X-49 Speedhawk helicopter

      Home » Military Technology / Videos » X-49 Speedhawk helicopter
More Military Articles

X-49 Speedhawk helicopter

Now here is a fast helicopter up to 360kmh.
Dubbed the SpeedHawk by Piasecki, the X-49 is being developed with incremental funding from the US Army's Aviation Applied Technology Division to demonstrate the ability to increase the speed of existing helicopters to 200kt (360km/h).

The VTDP replaces the tail rotor and provides thrust for forward flight, while the wing unloads the rotor and allows the helicopter to fly faster.

Initially the aircraft will be flown within the SH-60's existing flight envelope, but the company then plans to install a third engine and push the helicopter to 200kt, says vice-president John Piasecki.

In forward flight most of the more than 2,100shp (1,560kW) from the two main engines will go to the VTDP, says Piasecki.

The third engine, called a secondary power unit, will replace the existing auxiliary power unit and provide another 600-700shp to the ducted propeller to push the compound helicopter to higher speed.

"This technology gives the helicopter the ability to productively use the extra power in forward flight," says Piasecki.

"Traditionally we add power to lift more, but we are at the outer edge of the envelope on the H-60, where a marginal increase in power brings a significant reduction in forward speed."

This is because the heavily loaded rotor stalls at higher speeds.

"The UH-60 is a 90kt helicopter in Afghanistan," claims Piasecki. "The power that goes into the high/hot hover cannot be used in forward flight."

While the SpeedHawk wing and tail add weight and download, "the aircraft has adequate margin in the hover to carry the payload, then can harness the power to fly at 200kt", he says.


x-49.jpg - 134.85kb
By netchicken: posted on 5-6-2007

Ok, even though the wings appear to be somewhere around the fuel cell/transition section area, it still looks like an unwieldy A/C to get cargo/personnel in and out of.

In other words, what is its purpose?
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 5-6-2007

What I cant figure out is how is the gyro from the rotor countered ?? Also even thought the rotor unloads the rotor in forward flight, how do they expect channel so much power to the tail rotor without serious maintenance issues with the telescopic shaft ?

Seems like they are trying to build a helicopter hotrod instead of a something functional. They should try to develop the Osprey design more.
By IAF: posted on 6-6-2007


Ok, first VTDP = Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller, like the JSF F-35, the thrust is vectored. That handles the yaw.

Second, the thing is flying... go figure.

Third, it's a compound heli, just like the Cheyenne, only a more simple design. See the wiki page.
By arfarf: posted on 19-10-2007

IAF, the vectoring thrust will provide the counter-torque necessary to keep it stable at hover and low speed.

There is a very big difference between the Cheyenne and the Speedhawk. The Cheyene is here at the helicopter Museum because technology hadn't caught up with the concept and therefore had a propensity for killing off test pilots:

Yeah, I know you are wanting my Taurus that is sitting in the background. Forget it. It ain't for sell! :sp
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 19-10-2007

X-49 Speedhawk helicopter | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy