U.S. high-performance gyroplanes maker Skyworks in collaboration with Scaled Composites to build a high-speed rotorcraft demonstrator of future combat gyrodyne aircraft.
Skyworks signed a collaboration agreement with Scaled Composites to development new VertiJet gyrodyne aircraft to take part in the U.S. Army’s various Future Vertical Lift (FVL) competitions.
The new combat gyrodyne aircraft will be based on a concept developed under DARPA’s Heliplane program. Skyworks has been developing manned and unmanned vertical lift gyroplane technologies for more than two decades. The company’s website said these advanced sustained autorotative flight technologies enable aircraft to be both runway independent and economical, and yet remain unconstrained by the physics imposed speed, range, and payload limitations of a helicopter.
The new aircraft designed to fly at speeds up to 400 MPH and combine the key attributes of a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft: VTOL and hover capability of a helicopter combined with high speed and efficient cruise capability of a fixed-wing airplane.
According to the current information, the VertiJet will be runway-independent aircraft that can take off and land vertically and hover similar to a helicopter.
The new gyrodyne aircraft not constrained by the physics-imposed speed, range, and payload limitations of a helicopter. VertiJet will offer substantial performance advantages: higher speed (Efficient high speed cruise at speeds 2-3x of today’s helicopters), greater range, greater payloads, and higher payload efficiencies.
The VertiJet will feature twin-jet engines, a large rotor for take-off and landing, four weapon hardpoints underneath the fixed wings, and twin booms with a horizontal stabiliser.