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Wednesday September 13, 2006

Wind Tunnel Testing Completed on Bell Boeing Quad Tiltrotor

Langley AFB, Virginia, USA ( Bell Helicopters Press Release ) - Wind tunnel testing for the Bell Boeing Quad Tiltrotor model (QTR) was completed today at the NASA Langley Research Center Transonic Dynamics Tunnel (TDT). Installation of the 1/5th scale model into the sophisticated and unique TDT facility began June 27, 2006, with test operations conducted by Bell, NASA and U.S. Army Research Laboratory personnel.

The QTR tiltrotor concept is a four-engine C-130-sized aircraft with the capability of taking off, hovering and landing like a conventional helicopter as well as flying with the high speed and range of a fixed-wing turboprop airplane by rotating its outboard nacelles from the vertical to the horizontal position.

The model consists of powered forward and aft rotors, pylons, nacelles and dynamically representative wings, representing a configuration that would support a flying demonstrator.

Preliminary results of the QTR wind tunnel testing and QTR Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) Program status will be the subject of a press conference scheduled in conjunction with the Association of the U.S. Army national meeting at the Washington (DC) Convention Center, Room 102A, from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on Tuesday, October 10, 2006.

The fuselage of the QTR model used in the wind tunnel testing is 213 inches long with rotors that measure 91 inches across. It is a "semi-span" model, with only half of the aircraft represented. The 1/5th scale QTR aero-elastic model has been designed to replicate the aerodynamics and structural responses of a full-scale aircraft.

This complex testing investigated the interference effects of the forward wing and rotor on the rear wing and rotor, along with substantiating the aero-elastic stability of a rear wing having a 63 percent greater span than the V-22 wing.

Last summer, the model's rear wing, rotor, pylon and nacelle were tested in the wind tunnel to record baseline characteristics without the forward wing. Results of both sets of tests will be correlated to similar wind tunnel and flight tests of the V-22.

This Bell-funded test was conducted in parallel with Bell Boeing efforts under the United States Army-led Joint Heavy Lift Concept Design and Analysis (CDA) program and will provide key substantiating data to support the ongoing conceptual design work.

Bell Boeing received a cost-share contract in September 2005 for an 18-month study to evaluate QTRs sized to meet a variety of range, payload and operating condition combinations. A key result of this study is a roadmap for continuing company-funded activities in 2007, and a technology development plan and cost estimate for proceeding into the next phases of development beginning in 2008.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $31 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense and Department of Homeland Security; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment and launch services.

  • news: Bell Boeing Wins JHL Contract ( Sep 19, 2005 )
  • news: Tiltrotor Airlift Technology for Army Transformation ( Jul 19, 2004 )
  • news: Osprey 's big cousin excites Pentagon ( Sep 26, 1999 )
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