Photos © Piasecki
The PiAC's X-49A Vectored Thrust Ducted Propeller (VTDP) Compound Helicopter program is an U.S. Army Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program to flight demonstrate potential improvements in speed, range, survivability and reliability, addressing the Army's Future Force requirements for greater rotorcraft operational reach and sustainability.
The VTDP technology replaces the conventional tail rotor and provides anti-torque and yaw control with the additional ability to provide forward thrust and trim control. In combination with a lifting wing, this technology unloads the rotor, allowing the helicopter to fly 50% faster, twice as far, is more manoeuvrable and reduces vibration and fatigue loads, improving reliability and reducing life cycle costs.
First flight of the X-49A Demonstrator occurred on 29 June 2007 and the Phase 1 flight test envelope expansion program has been completed at the Flight Test Centre, Wilmington, Delaware. All initial Phase I contract milestones have been accomplished and the results have met or exceeded all program objectives.
The X-49A design, development and flight test program is a primary example of PiAC's engineering, manufacturing, and systems test capabilities. This program, initiated as an SBIR Phase I effort has resulted in the current Army Sponsored Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program.
Successful execution of this program has demonstrated PiAC's core capabilities to rapidly design, fabricate, assemble' and accomplish the systems qualification tests necessary to achieve the test program objectives within very limited budgets.