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An airplane-helicopter hybrid is in the works: a military revolution?

An American company is working on a prototype aircraft-helicopter. An idea that pleases the Ministry of Defense a lot.

Both the airplane and the helicopter are two technologies that humans have mastered very well. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s hard to say that one is better than the other as they complement each other. The plane for example, has a top speed much higher than helicopters, but on the contrary it cannot hover or take off vertically. The take-off and landing runwayThis is the biggest flaw in airplanes, compared to helicopters, which can land almost anywhere.

The ultimate dream for many armies would therefore be to be in possession of a hybrid, both helicopter and airplane. A flying vehicle capable of taking off vertically like a helicopter, but which, once in flight, would be able to reach the speed of a jet. An unrealistic dream according to many, but one that a young American company intends to put into shape. The society Bell Aircraft hopes indeed to succeed in designing such a machine, which would revolutionize the air forces of all countries of the globe.

Rotors that pose a problem

But the development of such a prototype takes a lot of time, and for good reason, the big technical problem behind this desire to hybridize, it is the rotors. The latter are indeed essential for taking off (or landing) vertically, but they have a major drawback once in flight: their speed is very limited.

Bell Aircraft explains that its prototype has rotors and blades that can be folded up, in order to reduce the air intake as much as possible and to refine the aerodynamic profile. In order to give it maximum speed, this prototype also has a jet engine, which allows it to reach speeds close to 740 km / h. If today the company can only show 3D demonstrations, the technology seems to be there, and it will take a few more years for it to develop and populate the air.

From a non-military point of view, such a device could be very useful, in particular for rescue in areas that are difficult to access, such as the jungle or the high mountains. Support would then be much faster thanks to this increase in flight speed, without losing the strengths of a helicopter.

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