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Aeronautical Engineering/Aeroplane + Helicopter Integrated Electro Mechanical Machine


QUESTION: Dear Paul‎‎

Is it possible to design and manufacture / construct a Integrated
ircraft which can work both as a Aeroplane as well as a Helicopter ?. The machine will have wings as well as rotors. The Pilot will be able to fly either as a Aeroplane as well as a Helicopter.

i.e. The Operations features of both the machines viz AAeroplane and Helicopter will be integrated in a single machine.

1. If possible will it be  complex machine to deign & manufacture ?.
2. Will there will be benefit if both the operation features ar integrate in a single machine ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Yes, it is the V-22 Osprey. It does all that you ask. It is complex, but has the advantages of an aircraft and helicopter. It is made by Bell Boeing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you.

1. Will Commercial Air carriers like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air India, Singapore Airlines etc will employ these Aircraft + Helicopter Dual Model i.e. Integrated Single Machine for Passengers travelling Overseas as well as Domestic / Local  ?.

In case not, Where these Aircraft Model will be Useful for Flight Operations ?.

2. The Aircraft Pilot in this model can start the Aircraft i.e. during flight takeoff can work only with one operations mode viz Airplane OR Helicopter. If Airplane Mode is selected, Wings will be adapted or if Helicopter mode is selected Rotors will be adapted for flight operations.

During Landing the Airplane or Helicopter will use the standard mode as
per the selected Model during takeoff.

Is this correct ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Prashant - The primary role of a V-22 type aircraft is for military operations or search and rescue because of its unique landing capability and relatively high flight speed. As for commercial applications, I have no special knowledge of future events. But I see a few difficulties. First, current passengers are used to gliding into a smooth landing. Asking them to accept transition from forward flight to hover to descent might be asking too much. Military people can be easily trained for this, but not the general public. It might be traumatic. Second, if you are going to a commercial airport why not use the runway. That saves on fuel and is a relatively simple operation. Why complicate things ?

I don't quite understand your second question. The usual mission of the V-22 is to take off in helicopter mode, transition to aircraft mode (forward flight), arrive at scene and reverse the operation and land vertically. A typical mission requires all flight modes.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thank you.

As you mentioned "The usual mission of the V-22 is to take off in helicopter mode, transition to aircraft mode (forward flight), arrive at scene and reverse the operation and land vertically".

If the Other Aircraft mode is selected i.e. "Airplane" during flight takeoff operations then as usual the commercial aircraft runs on the runaway to take off then could it be useful ?. Can it be designed to start
also in "Airplane" as well as "Helicopter" mode ?.

Once the flight has taken off, during flight operations the Aircraft should also have the capability to Stop in the air (The Helicopter allow this functionality unlike Airplane) for few minutes to hours.

While descending/landing it will descend as usual as a Commercial Aircraft.

If you select the Helicopter Mode during flight takeoff it should work as usual as it was working before as you mentioned.

So this aircraft can be useful for both Military as well as Commercial
Airplanes. Isn't it ?.

The cost of manufacturing those Dual Mode Designed aircraft/s will be expensive ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Prashant - The V-22 has STOL capability (Short Takeoff and Landing) as well as VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing). I assume the STOL operation is done with the wing partially tilted because in the cruise configuration it looks like the rotors would hit the ground. So yes, there may be some nich commercial market where conventional landing and takeoff is not possible. STOL is probably less fuel demanding than VTOL. The challenge for commercial use would be to find markets or routes that are so remote that only STOL or VTOL operation would work, yet busy enough to justify the cost of service. As to manufacturing cost, I have no idea other than the fact that the aircraft is complicated by the tilt requirement and advanced control system. It is also heavier than conventional aircraft with the same payload, so fuel costs will be high. Fuel cost is a big factor in current aircraft operations. I also wonder if the aircraft could meet commercial safety requirements.


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Paul Soderman


Aeronautics, Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Aeroacoustics, Noise Control, Muffler Design, Wind Tunnel Research.... I know nothing about India - do not ask about schools, jobs, application requirements, career choices, etc. for India. Please, no text message verbiage; I prefer full words in full sentences. Thanks.


38 years as research engineer at NASA


B.S. and M.S. Aeronautical Engineering - U. of Washington, Graduate work Standford U.

Awards and Honors
AIAA Associate Fellow (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

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