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  • VIDEO: Mono Tiltrotor as Cargo UAS
    Posted by Graham Warwick 10:12 PM on Mar 12, 2009

    The US Office of Naval Research's February request for information on cargo unmanned aircraft has drawn a response from Baldwin Technology, which has been working on the unusual Mono Tiltrotor (MTR) concept with funding from the US Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. Basically Baldwin has taken its idea for a subscale MTR demonstrator and adapted it to the Cargo UAS mission, as shown in this 8-minute video:

    Video: Baldwin Technology

    Having completed work under its AATD contract, Baldwin is hoping to continue refining the design with funding from ONR. The MTR started out as a concept for an unmanned heavylift rotorcraft capable of carrying a 20-ton payload 1,000nm unrefueled. The company calculates the MTR would be half the size and a third the weight of a conventional heavylift helicopter, with one third the fuel burn.

    The scaled-down MTR-SD was conceived to demonstrate the key features of the design: aerodynamically deployed wing, pitch-axis suspended load, and tilting coaxial rotor. It was sized around an earlier ONR vision of a VTOL cargo UAV - 9,400lb gross weight, 3,000lb payload, 200kt cruise speed, and capable of being folded up for transport inside a container. ONR's latest spec calls for less payload (1,600lb), but more speed (250kt). 

    Even if it gets an ONR contract, Baldwin still has a long way to go to make the MTR a reality. Under its AATD contract, the company flew a small radio-controlled helicopter to demonstrate the articulating wing, suspended load and tilting rotor. But Army safety rules prevented Baldwin from achieving its goal of combining all three features in a larger RC model, as detailed in a previous Ares post and seen in this earlier video.

    Video: Baldwin Technology

    Tags: ar99, tiltrotor, UAV, ONR

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