You are here:

Aerospace/Aviation/Aeroplane + Helicopter Integrated Electro Mechanical Machine


QUESTION: Dear Laura‎‎

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: Hello Prashant,
Thank you for writing. I believe that what you are describing already exists, in a certain form. It is the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. You can read more about it and see photos here:
It is a tilt-rotor aircraft that is able to take off like a helicopter, in small spaces, but then convert while airborne to an aircraft. It did have initial operational difficulties as pilots became accustomed to flying it, and it is certainly a unique aircraft. It sounds a lot like what you are describing in your question. It is currently operated by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force.
Laura Laster

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

QUESTION: Dear Laura

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: 1. No, these aircraft are so very specialized and expensive to operate that I do not foresee any large commercial airlines ever using the V-22 Osprey or similar aircraft.
2. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly how to answer your second question. I believe the V-22 can take off and land like either a helicopter or an airplane. It can be converted in flight from one mode to the other somehow by the pilot. But I'm not exactly sure how all this done or controlled as it is not in my area of expertise.

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

QUESTION: Dear Laura

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

You asked several more questions. I believe that yes, the V-22 Osprey can start operations in its airplane mode, and convert in-air to helicopter mode.
While this could be useful for both military and commercial, the price and complexity of operation is discouraging for commercial operators. One V-22 Osprey costs approximately 70 million dollars, and it can carry only 24 people. It has a relatively short range - only about 1,000 miles. A similar capacity airplane is the Embraer Brasilia, which can seat about 30 passengers, depending on the configuration, and has a similar range. However, each aircraft (used) costs only about 11-14 million dollars. That is a big difference in price. I do not believe any commercial operator would spend so much per aircraft with such a small capacity. A Beech 1900, with capacity for 19 passengers, cost approximately 5 million dollars per aircraft when purchased new about 10 years ago. So this is again a much less expensive aircraft with around the same range and capacity.
I hope this helps.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Laura Laster


I can help with questions about aviation disasters, aircraft operations especially general aviation and King Air information, aviation safety, and education questions on how to get into an aviation career. I can also answer general aviation questions as I am a commercial multi-engine pilot. I cannot answer questions about flight training or MBA schools in countries other than the USA or provide advice for non-US citizens interested in flight training. I cannot answer questions advising you what school to choose. I have no experience with aeronautical engineering so I cannot answer questions relating to engineering or schooling for aeronautical engineers. PLEASE don't ask me questions about any kind of engineering because it is outside my area of expertise, and I will NOT answer your question. I also cannot help you to choose a master's program for study as I do not have a master's degree in aviation. I cannot help with MBA advice.


I have been studying aviation disasters through doing my own research and a lot of reading since I was 13 or 14 years old. I am very interested in aviation safety and also am a commercial, multi-engine pilot. I am Director of Flight Operations at a private university working in the flight training department. I also have worked as an operations manager at a small charter airline and was involved in getting the airline certificated under Part 121 rules. I was formerly a flight operations division manager for a company operating a large fleet of King Air aircraft (60) and so I have some business aviation experience as well as having flight instructed for one year after college. My operations manager job frequently involved coordinating international projects for aerial survey clients and hiring qualified pilots to fly aerial survey missions.

Bachelor of Science, Aeronautical Science with Flight Management Concentration: LeTourneau University (2004) :: Dispatch Certificate: Sheffield School of Aeronautics (2010) :: Commercial Pilot: Single and Multi Engine Land, Instrument Rating :: Flight Instructor: Single, Multi and Instrument :: Ground Instructor: Basic and Advanced

©2016 All rights reserved.