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  • Tiltrotor Wins Student Design Contest
    Posted by Graham Warwick 9:37 PM on Jul 22, 2011

    University of Maryland's Excalibur, a variable-diameter tiltrotor, has won AHS International's annual student design competion in a graduate category (they also did the coolest graphics).

    blog post photo
    Concept: University of Maryland

    Georgia Institute of Technology's Golder Retriever, a coaxial compund helicopter, won the undergraduate category in the Bell Helicopter-sponsored competition to design a multi-mission vertical-lift aircraft for search-and-rescue, combat insertion and resupply.
    blog post photo

    Concept: Georgia Institute of Technology

    Combined, the three missions required a high-performance aircraft, the SAR mission demanding a speed of around 200kt while the insertion mission drove payload and range and all three required a hot/high hover capability.

    This led the University of Maryland team to pick a variable-diameter tiltrotor (described here). Telescoping blades allow the proprotors to have a large diameter for high efficiency and low power in the hover, and a smaller diameter for lower tip speed and high propulsive efficiency in the cruise.

    blog post photo
    Concept: University of Maryland

    The Georgia Tech team focused on speed, selecting a coaxial rotor for its ability to fly fast while maintaining good hover efficiency (details here). Rotor-blade design, auxiliary propulsion and fuselage shaping were all driven by the desire to minimize drag and increase speed.

    Odyssey, a coaxial-rotor compound from another Goerigia Tech team was runner-up in the graduate category (details). And the
    runner-up in the undergraduate category, Pennsylvania State University's Phoenix, was also a coaxial-rotor compound (details)...I blame the success of Sikorsky's X2. Judged the best new entry, meanwhile, was a highly modified Black Hawk compound helicopter from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (details).
    blog post photo

    Concept: Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

    Tags: awt, rotorcraft

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