The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft which is flown by the Marines and Airforce has been plagued by engine problems, and has crashed and burned more times that the military would care to admit. However, its maker, Boeing, is pitching a new tiltrotor for an Army program that aims to replace almost all of the branch’s aircraft. Boeing is boldly making its pitch with a single aircraft design.
Tiltrotors are aircraft that take off vertically like helicopters, but have the speed of an airplane –due to their rotating engine nacelles. But these hybrid aircrafts are also vulnerable to dangerous aerodynamic phenomena and have been subject to many engine problems. However, a lot could change between now and 2025, when the first of the new rotorcraft is roughly scheduled to enter service with the Army.
Boeing’s concept for the new rotorcraft shows apparent improvements from the V-22, precisely better rotors and simpler wings. It also incorporates bigger rotors from the outset on the scout model, and twin rotors (two sets of blades on each nacelle) for the cargo version. The result of Boeing’s research and concepts could be a safer, better-performing tiltrotor, without the complications of the tumultuous V-22 Osprey.
Image: Air Force