Holloman Air Force Base received a new High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) item for testing this week from Bell Textron Inc., to begin testing its folding rotor, integrated propulsion and flight control technologies at representative flight speeds.
At the end of these sled test operations – a mix of demonstration and technology evaluation – Bell hopes collaboration with the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Holloman High Speed Test Track will validate the technologies for operation. The HVSTOL, a mix of helicopter hovering capabilities with the speed, range and survivability of jet aircraft, was already proven functional in demonstrations at Bell’s Flight Research Center.
At Holloman, the craft will face its next big test: a series of high-speed transition maneuvers that will mark a first for vertical lift aircraft.
“The HSVTOL test article delivery and start of sled testing operations serves as a major milestone in our mission to develop the next generation of high-speed vertical lift aircraft,” Jason Hurst, executive vice president of engineering for Bell, said. “Bell plans to showcase HSVTOL technology informed by more than 85 years of high-speed rotorcraft development and leverage lessons learned to produce a flying prototype with game-changing capabilities.”
Bell, a Textron Inc. company, has worked on VTOL configurations for more than 85 years, in collaboration with NASA, the U.S Army and U.S. Air Force.