Bell’s VTOL Aircraft Concepts Are A US Military Asset
HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft.
The future of flight continues to blur the lines between aircraft types, this time, it’s Bell grabbing our attention with its new aircraft concepts.
Bell’s high-speed vertical takeoff and landing (HSVTOL) concepts are optimised for military use, and include the following features:
- Low downwash hover capability
- Jet-like cruise speeds over 400 kts
- True runway independence and hover endurance
- Scalability to the range of missions from unmanned personnel recovery to tactical mobility
- Aircraft gross weights range from 4,000 lbs. to over 100,000 lbs.
“Bell’s HSVTOL technology is a step change improvement in rotorcraft capabilities,” said Jason Hurst, the Vice President of Innovation at Bell.
The primary goal of the aircraft company is to “evolve HSVTOL technology for modern military missions to serve the next generation of warfighters.”
Looking at the aircraft, we can’t help but compare them to aircraft built on the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. That being said, these concepts suggest multiple applications, both manned and unmanned.
“Our technology investments have reduced risk and prepared us for rapid development of HSVTOL in a digital engineering environment, leveraging experience from a robust past of technology exploration and close partnerships with the Department of Defense and Research Laboratories.”
— Jason Hurst, Vice President of Innovation at Bell
Bell has worked on high-speed vertical lift aircraft tech for more than 85 years. Its VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 have been made for the likes of NASA, the US Army and the US Air Force.
All have played a part in the development of its Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor platform. This platform has “changed the way the US military conducts amphibious assault, long range infiltration and exfiltration and resupply with a cruise speed and range twice that of helicopters it replaced.”
Bells aircraft concepts are simply a sign of the times for the aviation space. But what do you think of Bells ideas?