Leonardo Next-Generation Civil Tiltrotor
|Next-Generation Civil Tiltrotor|
|First flight||planned 2023|
|Program cost||$328 million|
The Leonardo Next-Generation Civil Tiltrotor (NextGenCTR or NGCTR) is a tiltrotor aircraft demonstrator developed by Italian Leonardo S.p.A. within the EU Clean Sky 2 program, along with the Airbus RACER compound helicopter.
AgustaWestland studies began in 2000 and in 2014 the European Union CleanSky 2 initiative contributed $328 million, including 60% for partners, then targeting a 2020 first flight. By 2017, the first flight target was shifted to 2023.
The NGCTR wings are designed and produced by a consortium, that was selected in September 2017 and led by the Italian Aerospace Research Centre, including the University of Naples. Leonardo defined the structural requirements in 2018, with a preliminary design review released on 26 November and a critical design review in 2019, ahead of wing assembly in 2020 and first flight in 2023.
In early 2019, Leonardo selected the General Electric CT7 to power the aircraft. The preliminary design review began in December 2018, to end by the first quarter of 2019, while the critical design review is planned for 2020. Prototype construction is planned for 2021–22.
Aimed at the deepwater drilling energy market, the preliminary design concept was a pressurized aircraft with an 11 t (24,000 lb) MTOW seating 19–22 passengers, a 330 kn (610 km/h) top speed, a range of 500 nmi (930 km) and a ceiling of 25,000 ft (7,600 m). The initial requirements targeted direct operating costs that would be 30% below a conventional helicopter and recurring cost 50% below. The CleanSky 2 objectives for 2020 compared to 2000 were a 17% drag reduction, a 7% to 20% noise reduction, and a 250 nmi (460 km) radius flown in 1h 45min, hover included.
The 12m (39 ft) span wings will be made out of epoxy carbon fiber, giving it wingspan similar to the AW609, with the chord doubled to 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in). It will employ two control surfaces per wing: flaperons for lift and control, and another lowered during vertical take offs.
The main aerodynamic design of the NGCTR fuselage and empennage is derived from the AgustaWestland ERICA prototype, which has been optimised by a Consortium led by the University of Padova, who also was responsible of the design optimisation of engine intake and exhaust systems.
Data from Flightglobal
- Capacity: 18-25 passengers
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric CT7 turboshaft engines, 1,490 kW (2,000 hp) each
- Mark Huber (October 5, 2014). "AgustaWestland Pushes Ahead with Larger Tiltrotor". AIN online.
- Tony Osborne (Mar 3, 2017). "Leonardo's Next-Gen Tiltrotor Targeting 2023 First Flight". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
- Dominic Perry (21 Nov 2018). "Italy combines capabilities for future tiltrotor". Flight Global.
- Dominic Perry (8 Feb 2019). "Leonardo picks GE CT7 engines for next-gen tiltrotor". Flight Global.
- Tony Osborne (Feb 22, 2019). "Leonardo On Target for Tiltrotor Tech Demonstrator Flight". Aviation Week & Space Technology.
- "Clean Sky 2 Fast Rotorcraft IADP Next Generation Civil TiltRotor" (PDF). AgustaWestland. 16 September 2014.
- Dominic Perry (28 Feb 2019). "Leonardo Helicopters advances on next-gen tiltrotor". Flightglobal.