Sunday, October 31, 2010

Disc-rotor Compound Helo - Concept

October sure went by fast.

I follow a couple of tech and military blogs quite often. Recently I've read that the USAF had an eye on a new medium/light lifter to replace the ageing C-130 Herc. But they haven't quite figured out what they want. A few days later I read on another tech blog about DARPA's experimental Discrotor Compound Helicopter Program. This is actually old news of course - the brains at DARPA had announced this back in 2008 and now they're more or less ready to go into the prototype phase.

Now, seeing as how VTOL is one of those options the USAF are looking at for the C-130 replacement...and how the Discrotor may come into play, I decided to visually duct tape the ideas together to see how ugly it looks :D

Now there may be questions as to why not a tilt-rotor like the Osprey. I think the Osprey is a great machine. Personally, I feel the biggest shortcoming of the tilt-rotor is that when its landing, the 2 (or 4) massive engines are in the way - you can't mount guns on the side and shoot through them if you're being engaged in a hot landing zone from your 3 and 9. You can't mount a gun on top either - coz you don't want to shoot out the rotors too. The only other logical place is underneath where they did eventually fit a mounted gun, but being underneath, it can't really be used once the bird is on the ground dismounting troops. So a Disc-rotor makes more sense - even though its ugly as hell.

Now bear in mind I don't have the operational or budgetary constraints of real world engineers and researchers - its just my pen, my sketchbook and my imagination. I have no real responsibility so I don't have to make sense and the above paragraph wasn't a critique but more of an observation.

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