AgustaWestland Project Zero

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Project Zero
AW Project Zero 2013.png
Role Experimental tiltrotor VTOL aircraft
National origin Italy
Manufacturer AgustaWestland
First flight June 2011
Status Under development/flight testing

The AgustaWestland Project Zero is a hybrid tiltrotor/fan-in-wing technology demonstrator aircraft, which was launched in December 2010.[1]

Design and development[edit]

The aircraft was developed as a skunkworks project with no more than two dozen full-time engineers from AgustaWestland and its 15 partner companies[2] including Selex ES.[3] Working with other companies in Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Japan, the team worked nearly 24 hours a day / seven days a week for six months to go from concept to first flight.[1] The companies involved included Stile Bertone for aerodynamic styling, Lola Composites for the CFRP exterior.

The program was announced to the public at the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo on 4 March 2013.[4] The aircraft was displayed at the Paris Air Show in June 2013.[5]

The Project Zero team was awarded AHS International's prestigious 2014 Grover E. Bell Award—named for Larry Bell's late brother—given to the individual or organization that has fostered and encouraged research and experimentation in helicopter development.[6]

Patents[edit]

A European Patent, EP2551190(A1), was filed on 29 July 2011 and granted 30 January 2013.[7] Patents (with James Wang as the inventor) were also granted in parallel in the United States, US2013026303 (A1);[7] Korea, KR20130014450 (A); Japan, JP2013032147 (A), and China, CN102897317 (A).[8]

Operational history[edit]

The unmanned demonstrator made its first tethered flight in June 2011 at AgustaWestland’s Cascina Costa facility in Italy. It was flown in secured areas several times in 2011 and 2012, including flights with and without the ducted shrouds around its tilting rotors and with a second set of more advanced rotor blades with a non-linear twist and custom airfoils. According to the company, the aircraft "employs no hydraulics, doesn’t burn fossil fuel and generates zero emissions."[9] The aircraft is all-electric with power coming from rechargeable batteries.[10]

See also[edit]

Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "AHS — Sample Vertiflite article: Project Zero". Vtol.org. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  2. ^ Vertiflite p 13
  3. ^ "Project Zero" All-Electric Tilt Rotor Technology Demonstrator International Collaboration
  4. ^ "Unveils "Project Zero" Tilt Rotor Technology Demonstrator". AgustaWestland. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Project Zero: Half plane, half helicopter" bbc.co.uk 20 June 2013
  6. ^ AHS International Announces 2014 Recipients of its Prestigious Awards, AHS International, 31 March 2014
  7. ^ a b "Espacenet — Original document". Worldwide.espacenet.com. Retrieved 2013-04-29. 
  8. ^ Vertiflite p12
  9. ^ Vertiflite May/June 2013 p10
  10. ^ "Paris: Project Zero tiltrotor makes Paris debut" Dominic Perry flightglobal.com 18 Jun 2013

External links[edit]