|Manufacturer||Carter Aviation Technologies|
|First flight||January 5, 2011|
The Carter PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) is a two-bladed, compound autogyro developed by Carter Aviation Technologies to demonstrate slowed rotor technology. The design has an unpowered rotor mounted on top of the fuselage, wings like a conventional fixed-wing aircraft mounted underneath, and a controllable pitch pusher propeller at the rear of the fuselage. Heavy weights (75 pounds each) are placed in the rotor tips to enhance rotational energy and to reduce flapping.
When the CarterCopter crashed in 2005, the cost of repair was deemed higher than the cost of making a new aircraft with the added benefit of incorporating lessons learned from the first aircraft. Design of the PAV was begun during 2005. Several changes and development problems occurred along the way; twin boom was deemed unnecessary, so a single boom was constructed, and flaws in rotor blades and hub were revealed during testing and then corrected.
On November 16, 2009 the AAI Corporation (a division of Textron) signed a 40-year exclusive license agreement with the company concerning all unmanned aircraft systems, one of which is intended to deliver 3000 pounds of cargo similar to the unmanned Kaman K-MAX, but over a future range of 1300 nautical miles compared to the demonstrated 150 nautical miles (280 km) or more of the K-MAX. The agreement commits CarterCopters to developing the technology to maturity, in exchange for exclusive rights to develop UAVs for the next 40 years. The first product in the AAI agreement is an autonomous slowed rotor/compound (SR/C) aircraft to be based on the Carter Personal Air Vehicle.
The PAV was Taxi run in Autumn 2010 at Olney Airport after FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate on July 27, 2010, and performed traffic pattern movement on December 2, 2010, piloted by Larry Neal at the controls and co-pilot Robert Luna. Larry Neal was also one of the pilots of the CarterCopter at Olney in 2005.
Carter stated that the PAV performed its first zero-roll jump take-off on January 18, 2011, to a height of 120 feet. Eight jump take-offs were performed. There are some electrical issues with the aircraft, and it is not in volume production.
The PAV flew traffic patterns with wings at Olney in January 2012, and has since flown winged test flights. It flies a few hours at a time, but its flight certificate restricts it to within 5 miles of Olney.
As of June 2012, development of the PAV is a year behind schedule due to various technical problems, and a delay of a further year was caused by rotor RPM software control issues. Carter received funding from the Wichita Falls Economic Development Corporation in 2010 to complete the PAV. Carter views the lack of a PAV flight simulator as a mistake, and attempts to build one. The previous CarterCopter was designed using a flight simulator.
According to Carter, the PAV reached Mu-1 on November 7, 2013. It also achieved a speed of 174 kn (322 km/h; 200 mph), and the rotor was slowed down to 113 rpm. The PAV flew its first public show flight outside Olney when it flew to Wichita Falls later that month. Carter says the PAV has achieved a speed of 204 mph at an altitude of 16,000 feet, and reached a Mu of 1.13, and Carter has applied to the FAA to change the PAVs certificate from research and development to demonstration.
Computer aided design and X-plane flight simulation were used during development. Unlike the twin-boom CarterCopter, the PAV has a single tailboom. A tilting mast allows the rotor to be tilted 15 degrees forward and 30 degrees aft to allow different centres of gravity and wing angle-of-attacks.
Helicopter rotors are designed to operate in a narrow range of rpm. Most aircraft have two energy parameters (speed and altitude) which the pilot can trade between, but Carter technology attempts to use rotor rotation as a third energy parameter.
The purpose of the Slowed Rotor/Compound aircraft is to enhance the flight envelope compared to fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and traditional autogyros, by minimizing the dangerous areas of the stall speed diagram/Height-velocity diagram as well as moving the speed limit up.
It uses Vernier type controls, and most controls are now automated. Materials used include glass fiber, aluminum, carbon, titanium, and steel. The tip weights had been made of tungsten, while the current (2013) are made of steel.
Suppliers for the aircraft include Blue Mountain Avionics for avionics and air-to-ground video and telemetry, and Sky Ox Oxygen Systems as the PAV is not pressurized. 60 channels of information convey sensor measurements from the aircraft to a ground computer, and 4 video cameras tape the flights. The engine is equipped with a performance enhancement system by Nitrous Express.
The PAV has flight characteristics similar to other Carter aircraft. When stationary on the ground, the engine powers up the flat pitch rotor to 370 RPM, and the engine is then disengaged from the rotor to provide full power to the propeller.
|Jump takeoff of Pitcairn PA-36|
The rotor now has substantial rotational energy due to the tip weights, and the rotor blades are pitched to push air down and lift the aircraft in a jump takeoff. While altitude is reached, the aircraft transitions into forward flight using the pusher propeller, and the rotor shifts to autorotation (windmilling) with air flowing up through the rotor. As speed increases, the air flow increases rotor RPM like other autogyros. Once sufficient airspeed is reached (around 70-85 mph) for the small wings to provide lift, rotor blades are feathered to reduce rotor speed to 100 RPM and minimize drag, and lift is provided mostly by the wings when speed reaches 150 mph. Rotor lift is reduced to 10%, and flight efficiency is somewhat below that of a commercial jet.
- Crew: 2
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Length: ()
- Rotor diameter: 45 ft (*Wingspan: 45 ft ( m)
- Height: ()
- Empty weight: 2000 lb ()
- Loaded weight: 3800 lb ()
- Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming IO-540 K1G5 6 cylinder piston engine, 250-350 hp (224 kW) at 2660 rpm at sea level
- Propellers: 1 propeller, 1 per engine
- Stall speed: 0 knots ()
- L/D of 15
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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|Carter PAV Videos:|
|PAV first flight[dead link]|
|PAV jump take-off[dead link]|
|Official video of flight tests, no wings|
|Official video of flight tests, with wings|
|PAV jump take-off, with wings|
|Carter PAV Photos:|
|PAV on display at Oshkosh 2010|
|PAV with wings[dead link]|
|PAV "hop"[dead link]|
|PAV cockpit[dead link]|