NASA Heavy Lift Rotorcraft Systems Investigation 2005-01-3149
The NASA Heavy Lift Rotorcraft Systems Investigation examined in depth several rotorcraft configurations for large civil transport, designed to meet the technology goals of the NASA Vehicle Systems Program. The investigation identified the Large Civil Tiltrotor as the configuration with the best potential to meet the technology goals. The design presented was economically competitive, with the potential for substantial impact on the air transportation system. The keys to achieving a competitive aircraft were low drag airframe and low disk loading rotors; structural weight reduction, for both airframe and rotors; drive system weight reduction; improved engine efficiency; low maintenance design; and manufacturing cost comparable to fixed-wing aircraft. Risk reduction plans were developed to provide the strategic direction to support a heavy-lift rotorcraft development. The following high risk areas were identified for heavy lift rotorcraft: high torque, light weight drive system; high performance, structurally efficient rotor/wing system; low noise aircraft; and super-integrated vehicle management system.