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First Hover Flight Test of X-50A Dragonfly

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the feeling-lucky dept.

Technology 301

kbielefe writes "On Wednesday, flight testing began on the X-50A dragonfly canard rotor wing unmanned aircraft. For those of you not familiar with the dragonfly, its rotors work like a helicopter for takeoff, hovering, and slow-speed manouvering, and then lock into place like a fixed-wing aircraft for cruising. The X-50A's reaction drive makes it "much lighter, simpler and more affordable to operate and support than traditional rotorcraft." And the technology is scalable to larger, manned vehicles. Truly a revolutionary aircraft, with a multitude of potential military and commercial applications." There are some more photos and artwork.

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GNAA: Gay Nigger Flight Test of Penises (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645610)

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Skynet (-1, Offtopic)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645611)

It's time to clone lots of Linda Hamilton's.

That was fast (5, Funny)

teklob (650327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645615)

The poll predicted flying cars within our lifetime.
That sure was fast...

Today's Japanese lesson [Supplementary Article] (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645626)

Kitou [regex.info] = Glans (of the penis)

The word "Kitou" is composed of two Kanji, or pictograph, characters. Each character represents one noun. The first kanji means "turtle" and the second means "head". Put them together and you get "turtle head", a rather visual description of the tip of a penis peeking out of the foreskin.

Sacred Jihad (-1, Troll)

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Deathtrap? (3, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645632)

So far, our attempts at bridging the gaps between helicopters and fixed wing aircraft have met with disaster. Take the Osprey, for example. I don't know who it was but he said that it took the worst features of both types of aircraft and mashed them together with poor engineering. Hopefully this new aircraft does not suffer the fate of the Osprey... and her pilots.

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645665)

certainly seems safer than the Harrier's technology - I can recall at least six separate Harrier accidents within the last few years, and I'm not even trying that hard. I'm sure a google would turn up more.

But yeah, let's try having the pilot not be IN the plane when it's first learning to fly, eh?

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

thebigmacd (545973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645679)

And HOW many Harriers are there compared to Ospreys?

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645712)

Honestly? I couldn't tell you. I don't think I've even heard of the Osprey prior to this, but then, I'm not much of an aviation buff. Should the name be ringing a bell for a 19-year-old college sophomore?

(hey, if I don't ask, how can I get answers? :)

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645773)

Depends. I went to college in Tucson, Arizona, which is where all the Ospreys crashed.

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645801)

When abouts did all this happen?

Re:Deathtrap? (3, Interesting)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645796)

Here's a hint:

There are (thousands?) of Harriers in service, and surprizingly few incidents compared to the number in use (and how they are used - eg in an actual conflict).

They built 10 Osprey V-22 aircraft for testing. In April of 2000, one V-22 crashed during a test flight and killed 19 marines. That alone is nearly two people dead for every craft ever built. (Note: Check date, might be wrong!)

Which do you suppose is the safer technology?
=Smidge=

Re:Deathtrap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645806)

possibly. a couple of years ago they made the news a few times for crashing. i remember one incident where the Marines were testing it with a fully loaded crew compartment and they ended up killing all ~19 people on board. It kind of made me wonder why they didn't test using a passenger compartment filled with properly weighted crash-test dummies.

Ok, I hear the crash-test dummy/Marine comparison coming, but at least a Marine can shoot a rifle pretty well.

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645853)

could just be that i'm misremembering - heck, i have trouble remembering what i had for dinner last night, let alone a news story from a couple years back... :-\

Re:Deathtrap? (4, Insightful)

sllim (95682) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645868)

Can I assume you are a 19 year old AMERICAN college Sophmore?

Yeah, actually I do think you should at least have heard of this.

The Osprey is supposed to be a replacement for the very aged Chinook helicopters.
If ever the military had a vehicle that outlived its usefulness it was the Chinook.
My father was in 'Nam and he tells me that he couldn't get out of those things fast enough. They were flying bullseyes as far as he was concerned.

The Osprey has the range and speed of a propeller aircraft but the VTOL capability, and the hover ability of a helicpoter.
This is acomplished by putting extremely large propeller (turboprop) engines on the end of the wings. The largest damn propellers you are ever going to see. The ends of the wings actually rotate 90 degrees to facilitate take off and landings.

When they first started testing this thing they found a lot of flaws. Some where engineering problems, but there is one nasty one they have been working on.

The engines can create an unusual vortex that has never really been seen before. When this vortex happens they loose lift and control of the aircraft and it crashes.

Is it a bad aircraft that we need to give up on?

I don't really know.

John Glenn seems to think the Shuttle's are flying death traps and we were better off putting capsules on top of rockets.

The Hubble was a real mess when it was first put in orbit as well. There was an enormous public outcry after the press labeled it 'a failure'.
Hmmmm some failure.

The B-1 bomber also suffered a number of crashes in testing.

Aviation is HARD and DANGEROUS. Someone else already said it for me, it is about time we took the 'pilot' out of test pilot. I can only imagine what the difference in public perception would be if the Osprey had gone through an unmanned testing phase.

The Osprey does hold tremendous promise though. If we can iron out the problems in it, it really would be a new category of aircraft. Something that can economicaly provide city to city air service, something that can bridge the gap between helicopter and airplane.

While I am not yet convinced that they can get a grip on the vortex problem, I am very far away from saying they need to give up.

Re:Deathtrap? (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645877)

This is acomplished by putting extremely large propeller (turboprop) engines on the end of the wings. The largest damn propellers you are ever going to see. The ends of the wings actually rotate 90 degrees to facilitate take off and landings.

OHHHHH...yeah, I remember some of it now. Guess I'm more of a visual thinker than I thought :-\

Re:Deathtrap? (4, Informative)

bellers (254327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645683)

Incidentally, the Osprey program this week just surpassed 1000 flight hours for the program. It's racked up lots more flight time since the grounding and reengineering interval from 18 months ago.


Did you know that in the 50's the Army almost decided not to use helicopters at all after about a hundred soldiers were killed during trials of the Piasecki helicopters? There were people in the Army who were screaming that it was criminal to keep putting men into helicopters.


While I think that the Osprey getting grounded for a year and a half while they fixed the safety-critical problems was appropriate and justified, I'm glad that it's back in the air, and I think that it can really change the face of airmobile combat.

Re:Deathtrap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645790)

I hate to break it to you, but there may have been a lot truth in what they had to say. The performance of combat helicopters has been thoroughly disappointing in Iraq, and Iraq is one of the few times they've been heavily leaned on for actual combat. Losing your crew/passengers and your whizbang chopper to $50 AK 47s is not encouraging, or at least it ought to be.

Re:Deathtrap? (5, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646004)

I guess you never heard of Viatnam where helicopters saved so many lives that they literally can't be counted. Just because a handfull of helo's have been taken down by barages of light arms fire doesn't mean the tech should be abandoned. Heck fewer people probably died from crashes then from a single convoy trying to escape by road vs similar circumstances.

Joint Strike Fighter (1, Insightful)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645818)

The most brain-damaged aircraft I've ever seen.

Sure, it may make some sense to get the Navy and the Air Force to jointly develop a plane, although some compromises would have to be made and problems are sure to develop.

But to add as a requirement VTOL for the Marines? Oh my God! This is just so stupid! And the way that they're doing it only makes matters worse! Lockheed-Martin won the contract with what can only be described as a truly regretable approach to vertical takeoff that involves generating enormous amounts of mechanical stress. The Boeing design was much simpler, although apparently more prone to exhaust finding its way into the engine (which is bad, but is a flaw shared to some degree by LM's version as well.)

That said, air superiority in the future isn't something I'm terribly concerned about. Look at what we do with the air superiority we have now... bomb this shit out of people who can't defend themselves.

Go Congress!

Re:Joint Strike Fighter (2, Insightful)

Hallowed (229057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645968)

"Look at what we do with the air superiority we have now... bomb this shit out of people who can't defend themselves."

Hmmmm, seems to me that is the point of calling it air superiority!

I agree on the JSF tho, it is a swiss-army plane, like a swiss-army knife, and it will be expected to do multiple jobs, by replacing dedicated platforms that were designed specifically for certain combat roles. Despite it's versatility, I really doubt it will be as good at any single job as the planes it is replacing were. I imagine it will be a good replacement for the Harriers (seeing as how they are pretty much first-generation VTOL planes) but there is no way it is going to replace a A-10 for the close air support role.

Re:Joint Strike Fighter (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646020)

I don't think anything will ever replace the titanium bathtub for close air support. Those things are amazing. They can take a beating, kill a tank, yet can fly slow enough to kill infantry with the vulcan cannon.

Re:Joint Strike Fighter (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646006)

You do realize that there are 3 models of the JSF that will be produced right? While alot of the aircraft will be similar, the F-35 isn't one plane for 3 roles.

The USAF version is different than the USN version which is different from the V/STOL version.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/a ir craft/x-35-tech.htm
"The exhaust from the engine flows through the 3 Bearing Swivel Nozzle (3BSN). The 3BSN nozzle, developed by Rolls-Royce, was patterned along the lines of the exhaust system on the Yakovlev Yak-141 STOVL prototype that flew at the 1992 Farnborough air show."

Re:Joint Strike Fighter (2, Informative)

Laur (673497) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646025)

You do know that there are three different versions of the JSF don't you, a conventinal one for the AF, a carrier version for the Navy and the Marine STOVL version. They will share many common parts, making them cheaper than three separate planes, but will still be very individualistic.

I have no idea what you think is so bad about the lift fan design, what "enourmous mechanical stresses" are you talking about which aren't present in a traditional STOVL aircraft? Harriers and the Boeing JSF entry both create lift with exhust nozzles from the engine. This design is on the ragged edge of stability, it barely creates enough lift to lift the aircraft and has the inherrent danger that if the engine inhales its own exhaust it can stall, which is a very bad thing when you're trying to take off or land! The lift fan is a revolutionary design which creates a cushion of cooler air below the aircraft, eliminating the intake threat and has an excess of lift capacity. The initial test was amazing, the plane literally shot up 20 feet! The design has won numerous awards as well, you are the first I have heard to disparage it.

Can you say Osprey (1)

Biff98 (633281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645633)

Hrmmm -- maybe they actually figured it out this time. They certainly have less weight worries than with the Osprey...

I used to live on the east coast and remember hearing about all of the ill-fated Osprey test flights.

Re:Can you say Osprey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645685)

I got the same impression at first, but if you check out the full description and the pictures, it's really nothing like the Osprey.

Re:Can you say Osprey (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645697)

I live on the east coast too, and I dreaded all those osprey crashes, too.

Nothing like a brown-grey bird of prey slamming into you freshly cleaned window at 60 mph because a kitten ran across the floor to make you spill all that 150degree McDonald's coffee on yourself.

Realistic commercial uses? (1)

MikeDawg (721537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645634)

If/When this aircraft gets to the final stages of development, when it is actually ready for the "military/commercial" market; I can't imagine it's pricetag being real affordable to the commercial market. I can't really think of many applications where this aircraft would be so much more viable as an option as opposed to what a helicopter can be for commercial uses. Why would any company buy one of these unmanned vehicles that makes it so much more practical than a manned helicopter?

On the other hand, I can see quite extensive military uses for this aircraft, and I could see it as being a very important part of the military.

Re:Realistic commercial uses? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645666)

YUO ARE OFF TEH SPOKE!!!!112

Re:Realistic commercial uses? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645682)

This message was brought to you by an AC that deserves to be banned. Thank you and please do not bite yourself.

Re:Realistic commercial uses? (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645674)

On the other hand, I can see quite extensive military uses for this aircraft, and I could see it as being a very important part of the military.

Maybe that is why DARPA is helping to develop it ;-)

Misleading title (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645636)

As a first time visitor to this site, I was expecting "News for Nerds", not "News for Air-Force test Pilots".
Won't be coming back here anymore...

Could be good for general aviation... (1)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645642)

They don't need as much speed as was quoted in the article. (500 kts) It would be intresting as a cheap, sub 200K range private general aviation plane. I'm surprised Boeing is taking a risk though with such a strange new craft, especially with their current financial troubles.

Re:Could be good for general aviation... (1, Informative)

bellers (254327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645716)

This vehicle isnt designed for the civil market. at all. The FCC would never approve this vehicle in its current form. It has no pilot, no redundancy, and no business case for civil aviation. It is a technology demonstrator for a warcraft, developed in response to DARPA and DoD requests.

Re:Could be good for general aviation... (3, Interesting)

transient (232842) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645879)

The FCC would never approve this vehicle

Then it's a good thing the FCC has nothing to do with airworthiness certificates. ;-)

Re:Could be good for general aviation... (1)

bradtes (95841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645903)

The FCC would never approve this vehicle in its current form.

I agree. The Federal Communications Commission would never grant approval to this vehicle. Perhaps you meant the FAA.

But, yes. I agree that the vehicle, in its current form, isn't overly suitable for civillain use.

--

Re:Could be good for general aviation... (2, Insightful)

pbug (728232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645780)

>>I'm surprised Boeing is taking a risk though with such a strange new craft
Well when you have you have a 24 million dollar contract to develop a plane for the US Governemnt you can take that risk to develop two concept planes for them.

Knowing where it comes from ... (-1, Flamebait)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645644)

" Its greater speed, range and flight-mode flexibility will make it suitable for a wider range of missions."

We all know how and why are they spending millions and millions ... i just hope that beyond that ugly military objetive that DARPA and other works for, we can do something more interesting with the technology that they create. (Like happend to the Internet).
Let 'em create Shit for use in war, and then take it and use it for something more usefull, constructive and ethic.

Re:Knowing where it comes from ... (1)

Frennzy (730093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645980)

Um...has there been a creative use for the internet yet? I mean, other than directing swarms of knee-jerk reactionaries at any website that offends/decries/upsets/annoys/otherwise-is-found-o bjectionable to people? Oh...wait..pr0n. Nevermind. That is all.

no faith whatsoever (0, Offtopic)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645650)

<arrogance>

I thought once a person or entity had a record or issue with court they were barred from receiving government contracts... That's funny.

By BARRIE McKENNA
Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - Page B10

WASHINGTON -- Tarnished by scandal and dwindling aircraft market share, Boeing Co. has accepted the resignation of long-time chairman and chief executive officer Phil Condit as part of a dramatic front-office management shakeup.

The abrupt departure yesterday of Mr. Condit, 62, comes amid allegations that the world's largest aircraft maker may have illegally exploited U.S. government connections to gain sealed bidding information from rival Airbus Industrie during a competition for a key Air Force order.

source [globeandmail.com]

Guess someone had a nice check this year.

</arrogance>

Re:no faith whatsoever (1)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645678)

you think they got this contract after the second of december and already had the first flight tests? hmmm now that would be something

Re:no faith whatsoever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645720)

regardless of when they got the contract, it should be voided considering they *DRUM ROLL PLEASE* broke the law.

Re:no faith whatsoever (1)

Emugamer (143719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645930)

and how would anything get done if we did that? not saying that I condone boing for what they did but DUH! you think Mcdonald Douglas didn't ever do anything like this?

spoke too soon (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645703)

oops should have looked faster

Pentagon halts $18bn Boeing deal
( 2003-12-03 10:06) (Agencies)

The Pentagon has postponed action on $18 billion in contracts for 100 Boeing 767 tankers until the deal is investigated after Boeing fired two officials for ethical violations, U.S. Defense Department officials said Tuesday.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told leaders of the Senate Armed Service Committee in a letter dated December 1 that he was ordering a "pause in the execution'' of the Air Force contracts to lease and buy the mid-air refueling tankers, a major setback in Boeing's two-year effort to sell the planes.

[chinadaily.com.cn]

Following the law to the last T, Boeing should not get any defense contract for some time, so if all holds true (which I doubt) this plane should never fly for the US military... Then again money talks

Re:spoke too soon (2, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645770)

Well, that 18,000,000,000 USD contract was a POS to begin with. It worked like this: The US leases 100 jets from Boeing, THe US pays to have them converted to tankers, The Us pays for all upkeep and replacement in the event of a crash/shootdown, the US pays to have them reconverted to normal aircraft and then Boeing gets the planes back.

It was about 25-50% more expensive then just buying the planes to begin with.

Need a new distro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645655)

Since Red Hat is going all commercial what would be a good distro to try out?

Re:Need a new distro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645662)

Try Nero ANUX [nero-online.org]

NASTY GOATSE LINK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645690)

Thanks for the pic of the girl with shit all over her face it was just what I needed to finish up beating off.

-1, TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645701)

Stop calling links to anything Linux related "Goatse Links", dumbfuck

Re:Need a new distro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645721)

How unoriginal.

Really, though, it's just pathetic how someone does something almost novel (I almost consider "classic" goatse.cx tasteful these days. Even seasonally themed in the spirit that Google has pioneered), and then the sheep come flocking in to hang on their coattails, hoping to be clever on the work of others.

Well it's seriously pathetic. Seriously. Shoot yourselves in the head because obviously you have nothing original or creative to add to the world, and instead must resort to lame hackneyed repetition and ripoffs.

HAHAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645738)

pwnd

Re:Need a new distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645804)

hey, don't get mad becuase you got OWNT by Last Measure. The laugh is on you.

Fucktard

Re:Need a new distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645829)

Fucktard was humorous around March of last year. Get with the times genius.

In any case, I honestly feel sad for morons such as yourself -- such bleating little sheep. Bahhh! Bahhhh! Bahhhhh!

Keep up the pathetic trolling, although in the end we're laughing at you, bitch.

Re:Need a new distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645892)

I'm just laughing my ass off on how someone actually replied, much less was stupid enough to click a link that says ANUX.

Laugh at me all you want, but be assured that your ass is the one getting embarrased here.

Fucktard.

Great technology (0, Insightful)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645658)

I love how the pictures just have to include one of these plans shooting a missle. [boeing.com] You'd think the atomic bomb would've taught us all a lesson.

Re:Great technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645664)

I know. We should just wipe out all our potential enemies before they get their wits together and try to fight us. DEATH TO ALL UN-AMERICANS!!!!

Re:Great technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645673)

ZIG HEIL!

Re:Great technology (2, Insightful)

still cynical (17020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645713)

I love how the pictures just have to include one of these plans shooting a missle. You'd think the atomic bomb would've taught us all a lesson.
That lesson being not to make sweeping judgements and generalizations based on publicity-driven artist's conceptions? Funny, I thought that (one of) the lesson(s) of the atomic bomb was that overwhelming force (when not guided by an idiot, not that I'm referring to a sitting politician or anything) can be used to end wars started by others.

Re:Great technology (4, Funny)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645805)

"I love how the pictures just have to include one of these plans shooting a missle. You'd think the atomic bomb would've taught us all a lesson."

Umm.... It's a military project. Maybe it's time we come to grips with the grim fact that military projects sometimes include missles.

TW

Re:Great technology (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645867)

Curse you and your ability to get to the point quickly and concisly! (see here [slashdot.org] and compare post times ;)

Re:Great technology (1)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645885)

Granted. I suppose I can just hope it ends up like the internet. No missles attached (so far) (:

Re:Great technology (2, Insightful)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645844)

That's a rather odd viewpoint to have - it sounds about the same as "I love how the recruitment posters just have to include one of these soldiers shooting a rifle" to me. The plane is being designed for MILITARY use. This means that people are going to be taking potshots at it whether its manned or not. That picture, in particular, depicts the manned version of the Dragonfly. Would you really want to send a soldier into hostile territory without some kind of defense? I don't think that's the kind of move the government wants to try. Nor would the government want to lose a multi-million dollar drone if it could avoid doing so by giving it something to hit back with, eh?

Re:Great technology (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645909)

Personally, I think the enemy would be laughing if they saw that thing coming with missiles. I mean...wouldn't you if you saw the Dodo from Grand Theft Auto 3 coming at you with missiles?

Re:Great technology (2, Funny)

ImTwoSlick (723185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645960)

I love how the pictures just have to include one of these plans shooting a missle. You'd think the atomic bomb would've taught us all a lesson.

Would you rather have them drop Britney Spears CDs on the enemy? ..... Naw... Too Cruel.

Damn those Aerospace Engineers (4, Interesting)

MikeDawg (721537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645667)

I'm must be technically challeneged when it comes to understanding aerospace terms. But can somone please explain to me why this thing doesn't need an anti-torque mechanism (tail rotor). The advanced terms Boeing uses on the website make no sense to me.

By using a unique reaction-drive rotor system, the CRW concept eliminates the need for a heavier and more complex mechanical drive train and transmission, as well as the need for an anti-torque system.

Does this actually mean something, or is it just a bunch of big words to confuse the general public?

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (5, Informative)

SupaMegaBuffalo (717226) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645692)

Does this actually mean something, or is it just a bunch of big words to confuse the general public?

A bit of both.
Conventional helicopters need a tailrotor because main rotor is spun by a mechanism that is fixed to the body of the aircraft which tends to spin the body around too. This thing seems to use a tip-jet mechanism to spin the main rotor, ie the tips of the blades contain little jet nozzles to spin it around and since it isn't mechanically fixed to the body it won't tend to spin the body around too.

Sorry if that didn't as much sense as i wanted it to, i haven't slept in 2 days.

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (1)

errittus (13200) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645740)

Doesn't make sense...Newtons law.. I've heard about helicopters that use the directed-vented exhaust from the tail section to compensate for counter-rotation. Maybe http://www.kulikovair.com/CTBLCSTestRig.jpg

--e

oh so simple (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645777)

calculate Thrust Coefficient from lift and drag coefficient :

dT = dL*cos(phi) - dD*sin(phi)

where (phi), is induced angle of Attack. also follow equation calculate Torque coefficient:

dQ = (dL*sin(phi) + dD*cos(phi))*r

and CT , CQ are :

CT = T / ((Vtip)^2*A*density)

CQ = Q / ((Vtip)^2 * A * R* density)

http://aero.sharif.edu/~moayyedi/HeliA ero.html

A baby could have figured that out... um yea

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (3, Informative)

Captain Nitpick (16515) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645959)

Doesn't make sense...Newtons law..

Ah, but that's exactly why it does make sense.

In a conventional helicopter, the rotor is spun by a driveshaft coming up into the center of the rotor. This creates a torque on the rotor, spinning it. By Newton's third law, there is an equal but opposite torque applied to the rest of the helicopter, causing it to rotate in the opposite direction. Thus, the tail rotor.

In the Dragonfly, hot gas is exhausted at the rotor tips, in a direction perpendicular to the rotor's axis. Since the gas is travelling down the rotor axis, a force must be applied to cause it to change direction, and Newton's third law again says that a complementary force will exist on the exhaust housing, and thus the rotor tip. This force produces the torque to spin the rotor.

Since no torque is applied to the rotor by the helicopter, no torque is applied to the helicopter by the rotor.

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (4, Informative)

bellers (254327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645700)

It means that the reaction gases generated by the turbine engine are routed out through the rotors and to the rotor tips, making them move.


It means that there's nothing inside the vehicle, cranking the rotor around, so the vehicle never tries to crank itself the other way.

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645729)

It reminds me of the rotating nozzle in my dishwasher :)

So, wait a second (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645932)

As I understand it, a helicopter's main rotor blades are angled so as to produce lift (i.e. you can't pull the helicopter up by just slicing through the air, you have to DO something with it). That part makes sense. It'd look like a ceiling fan.

The plane only has two blades in chopper-mode, from what I can tell. If you look at a ceiling fan with four blades or more, you'll notice an immediate problem with this: While each blade is tilted in the same clockwise/counterclockwise direction as the others, the opposing pairs' tilts oppose each other.

I know I'm not making a lot of sense here, but lemme try and pull this off with some amount of poise - how come the plane isn't continuously doing barrel rolls while flying? Can the rotor blades/wings be rotated independently of each other?

Re:So, wait a second (1)

KyolFrilander (730272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646019)

Yep. Which is what a collective (? IANAHP) control does on a normal chopper. Basically, when the plane converts to fast forward flight, the rotors lock perpendicular to the body of the plane, and the right hand "wing" adjusts it's angle of attack to be a lifting surface. But this is normal for a helicopter as well - the whole idea is to make one side lift more than the other (independant blade control), the rotor cone angles in the appropriate direction, Newton takes over. The fly in the ointment is precession (?) and that.. I don't get. Something to do with the action needing to start 90 degrees before the intended direction. I mean, yeah, the rotor is a huge gyroscope, but it's hard to picture.

This is significantly more complicated that variable pitch blades in normal fixed wing craft. So much so that I'm tempted to buy an RC heli _just_ to poke at the swashplate assembly.

The part I have a hard time wrapping my head around is the idea that, in FFF, one of the blades is cutting through the air backwards. I mean, I can imagine mechanical linkages that would flip the leading edge around and all, but that seems kinda hackneyed. And in FFF, is the rotorwing a control surface or just a lifting surface? Ow, ow, brane hurty.

(OTOH, I also have a problem with aerobatic symmetrical wings. Does bernoulli's law go out the window there?)

Re:Damn those Aerospace Engineers (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645719)

I think that it doesn't need a anti torque system because the rotor's driven by diverting the thrust to the blade tips, with the rotor being free wheeling... or that's what it sounds like.

They may also have it designed so that the same divertion system also provides an anti torque system, by dirececting the thrust to one side.

The "Dragonfly?" (1)

Bloody Twit (567103) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645684)

I'm awaiting the announcement of the copyright-infringement lawsuit that Hasbro will file any day now...

Re:The "Dragonfly?" (1)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645784)

...so, might Boeing's list of nicknames for future projects include "Fruit fly", "Cardinal", "Mayfly", or "Cockroach"?

Which of course (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645686)

Is not the same thing as Draganfly [reallycooltoys.com] Which has four rotors that do not rotate into the shape of a fixed wing aircraft. and no, sadly there's no X-50A Drive.

Alternatively, of course, the XGP [amazon.com] has Sub-Ether drive and some fancy grappler arms.

The slashdot link: (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645762)

If you're paranoid you might think this link is safer:
DraganFly III [slashdot.org] .

6th day come to mind ?? (2)

ThomasFlip (669988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645704)

Isn't this aircraft basically the same thing as in the movie "6th day" ?

Re:6th day come to mind ?? (1)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645772)

That's the first thing that came to my mind too. I think that the 6th day (like Minority Report) did a lot of "fishing" (if you will) for technologies which we might see in our lifetimes, cars that drive themselves, holographic girlfriends, that airplane, in addition to the story driven tech (cloning).

This technology has the potential to beat the pants off of the previous VTOL aircraft. I don't believe that it would replace the large fix-winged planes, due to the higher fuel consumption of vertical fight, but helicopters may become a thing of the past. It's good to see Boeing doing the hard research to get it going.

Hmmm. Deja vu... (0, Redundant)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645710)

Doesn't that looks like the helicopter Arnold is a pilot of in The 6th day [imdb.com] ??? Specifically, the rotor stops and locks into a fixed wing.

X-50 half helicopter half plane (2, Funny)

pbug (728232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645753)

It's intended to float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. I guess but what I enjoy about this new type of airship is the fact it is combining the best of different technologies. To create an interesting new. A supersonic helicopter anyone?

X-50 half helicopter half plane-Airwolf. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645799)

"A supersonic helicopter anyone?"

You mean like this one [80snostalgia.com] ? :)

Re:X-50 half helicopter half plane (2, Insightful)

Gunfighter (1944) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645821)

I doubt we'll see any supersonic helicopters any time soon. Harriers can't even go supersonic. It would be one hell of an engineering feet to build a rotary-to-fixed aircraft like the X-50 and work supersonic flight into it's capabilities.

Re:X-50 half helicopter half plane (1)

SWTP_OS9 (658064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645921)

Saw on Nova this summer that the Joint Attack Fighter in one version did do from zero to supersonic.

This thing reminded me of a old Tom Swift story.

Re:X-50 half helicopter half plane (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646037)

I don't think there's anything that makes a supersonic Harrier impossible; it just doesn't have the engine power for it.

Helicopters have a completely different problem, which is entirely due to their rotating lift surfaces. A fixed-wing aircraft has no fundamental block to going supersonic.

Plus, it's not like this craft needs great performance in VTOL mode. It would only be used for getting it off the ground and putting it back down.

NIGGERS & JEWS -- I HATE THEM ALL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645810)

fuck the police

Wait a second.... (1)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645840)

Didn't the Fantastic Four have a jet like this?

This rings a bell... (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645841)

...isn't this the same kind of technology the Marine Corps uses to kill off excess 1st Lieutenants?

Not as cool as this one (1, Interesting)

YoungBonzi (692874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645865)

Nuclear Flying Saucer [popularmechanics.com] .

flight testing in 2002 (1)

kaan (88626) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645889)

After completing load testing of the rotor, the CRW will be ready for first flight, which is expected to occur by the end of 2002.

Did I miss something? The linked page says the testing was supposed to happen in 2002, yet here we are a few weeks away from 2004. For such a cutting-edge creation, you think they might have updated their web page, perhaps somewhere in the 2003 time-frame...

How do they transition? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645891)

How do they transition from hover to fixed wing? Those rotors must get a lot of momentum, surely it takes time to slow them down and lock them into place, and then to spin them up for landing. I don't suppose they can just let the thing drop like a stone in the meanwhile?

canard? dragonfly? (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645914)

canard is French for duck.

the dragonfly duck? nice chimera...

A bit behind the times, really (1)

ehintz (10572) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645929)

The CarterCopter [cartercopters.com] has had proven VTOL flight with small canard-style wings for several years now, even a demonstration at Oshkosh. Boeing's a bit behind the ball on this one.

dragonfly (1)

anetic (679729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7645979)

For curiosity I did a google on the the dragonfly and found this link http://mil.eastday.com/epublish/gb/paper466/2/clas s046600005/hwz1116940.htm Is this a chinese translation of the boeing site or is it their version of the same invention ?

Cheesy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7645994)

Sure looks like some cheesy computer animation to me...

Wow...this many responses... (1)

Frennzy (730093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646010)

..and yet so few /.ers will ever pilot even a simple fixed wing aircraft.

Could this be a case of too many pilots, not enough flight attendants? Or could it simply be the fact that "revolutionary" flight mechanisms capture the fancy of the overworked and underpaid?

Science? Or sociology...you be the judge.

Time flys... (1)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646011)

After completing load testing of the rotor, the CRW will be ready for first flight, which is expected to occur by the end of 2002.

The second link points to the above qoute. Page is out of date by almost a year.

Hmmm... ...wish'em luck!

Prudent Precautions (1)

KrackHouse (628313) | more than 10 years ago | (#7646017)

Hows about a breathalizer attached to the ignition system. I think cave real estate is about to experience a renaissance.

Alright! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7646022)

I can't wait to see this badboy down some malnutritioned Iraqi civilians! Yeee-haw!

Ready to launch my new toys into the battlefield. Merry Christmas, Eye-Rack!
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