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High Speed Rotorcraft Analysis and Evaluation

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Applied Vehicle Technology

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Compound Helicopter, High Speed, Rotorcraft Systems, Tiltrotor


Multiple nations are exploring high speed rotorcraft technology demonstrators including the USA (Bell Helicopter – tilt rotor; Boeing/Sikorsky – coaxial compound helicopter), France/Germany (Airbus – X3 and RACER (Rapid and Cost Effective Rotorcraft) compound helicopter with props), and Italy (Leonardo – 609 tiltrotor). The military value of speed with associated range, response time and survivability aspects will vary across NATO member nations. Evaluation of high speed rotorcraft is needed to understand the tradespace associated with rotorcraft configured to reach speeds beyond the current fleet of helicopters.


The RTG group will evaluate the effect of increased rotorcraft speed on military capabilities. The scope of the effort will use rotorcraft configurations which are deemed viable to achieve a significant flight speed increase over traditional helicopters. Compared to traditional helicopters, higher speed rotorcraft configurations may increase system range, coverage area, and potentially survivability while decreasing response time. Time on station and endurance time may also be affected. The expected deliverable from the effort is a report evaluating both quantitative and qualitative criteria for high speed rotorcraft against the current baseline aircraft. The report will also include recommended investment and development efforts associated with high speed rotorcraft.


Within the effort, characteristics which will be considered (not prioritized) include: • Efficiency in Hover • Performances and Range / speed / response time • Drivers for Cost • Useful weight fraction • Maneuverability • Environmental effects of rotorwash, degraded visual environment and ground safety effects The effort will be baselined against current state of the art military rotorcraft (e.g. NH-90 and V-22). Projections of technically feasible rotorcraft configurations (i.e. helicopter, compound helicopter, tiltrotor) will be evaluated against traditional helicopters to illustrate pros and cons between the different configurations. The assessment will employ NATO ATP-49 missions in assessment of the characteristics listed above for both quantitative (using notional flight profiles) and qualitative assessments. • Quantitative Assessment (assess effect of speed and range) o Transport o Personal Recovery o Self Deployment (mission not in ATP-49) • Quantitative Assessment (assess response time, coverage area and time on station) o Recce and Tactical: escort, guard, covering the forces • Qualitative Assessment (assess effect of time on station mission) o Direction and Control of Fire o Maritime (mission not in ATP-49) o Attack Flight profiles will be generated and detailed analysis during technical team 1. Air mobile / movement 2. Personal recovery 3. Air Medical 4. Flight profile for mix of ranges / time on station (Recce and Security Escort Guard)

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