Electric tilt-rotor VTOL research testbed built by AgustaWestland revealed yesterday

 

Skunky And Fascinating AgustaWestland ‘Project Zero’ Electric VTOL Tilt Rotor

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 2013 AT 08:54AM

The radio control model world has been leading the innovation in flying machines for several years now… and some wild and very impressive electric VTOL machines have certainly been a big part of that. But yesterday, March 5, 2013, AgustaWestland revealed that they have built a full-scale flying research demonstrator that incorporates electric motors and tilt rotors, and they did it in relative secrecy in a fashion similar to the Lockheed Skunk Works. Named ‘Project Zero’, this tilt-rotor was built in just 6 months (apparently back in 2011) with a variety of unmanned flights taking place in 2011 and 2012.

The rotors tilt to allow the aircraft to transition from vertical flight to forward flight using the wings and blended body for lift. The wing panels are also detachable for when operations are intended to be in vertical-only mode, thus increasing the lifting capabilities. I haven’t seen any indication yet that Project Zero has made transitional flights (vertical to horizontal), but it’s still very exciting to see a design like this being put into actual flying research. The future of advanced aerodynamic design along with electric propulsion (after a few more years of technological breakthrough) is gonna be very exciting! Hopefully more info and details on Project Zero will be made available soon.

Read more: Skunky And Fascinating AgustaWestland 'Project Zero' Electric VTOL Tilt Rotor – blog – AirPigz.

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