back to article SpaceShipOne firm to build DARPA's Heliplane

The US military's ongoing bid to revive grand old vertical lift concepts of the 1950s under the name "Heliplane" has gained a new lease of life. The financially-distressed main contractor is to be replaced by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), and the airframe will now be made by renowned high-tech company …


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  1. Elmer Phud

    spare parts

    I was sure I'd seen the rear end of the thing before somewhere -- just looked on the bookshelf and there is it -- on the back of Thunderbird 2.

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    dDutch Open Universities .... Underground Views

    "The involvement of Scaled would seem to promise at least one surefire benefit: The relatively dull biz-jet based concept art for the Heliplane (as shown above) should soon be replaced by something a bit snazzier. ®"

    As sure as Hells Fire Angels, Assures NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActivity. An AnglodDutch Entanglement in Virtual Levels of Great Games PlayAI.

    And Any AIdDelay AIdDs Free Rein AIdDevelopment and Future Research in the Virtual Realm. IT is not a Journey you would want to Miss, hence Tempting Instruction for SurReal Distraction. :-) with ITs Tempered Mentors ..... which is never forgotten when remembered I Tease Tempered Mentors. :-) to Always Choose 42 Lose and Succumb to the Temptations of a Saint Anthony ...... Which would a Fine and Perfect State of Virtually Perfect Good Grace 42 Tempt even Perfect Grace.

    Registered AIRMail Message to Tony Blair because he recognises the Impact of Global Worming? A Freudian Slip here, at 03:18 / 14:20 .....

  3. Spikey

    Carter Copter

    Attended a conference at Sun-n-Fun last year. Reviewed the concepts involved for the jump-takeoff carter-copter.

    This technology actually works! The are able to tip the mast forward, and slow the blades to reduce drag for high-speed flight. That, and they can control the pitch of the blades for jump takeoffs and near-vertical landings.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stone me

    Sometimes amanfrommars makes sense.

    He has excelled himself today.


  5. ian

    GIT - a propitious name

    They might have sent the thing to Texas' Sam Houston Institute of Technology.

    But what is the deeper meaning of America's move to failed technology from Blighty? As I recall, this design was from the start of Britain's decline as a world-beating engineering power- does this mean that America is entering a similar death-spiral?

  6. Mike Powers
    Dead Vulture

    Not a new idea

    Lockheed did it back in the Sixties with the AH-56; Piasecki is doing it now with the X-49, and Sikorsky with the X2. "compound helicopters" have been a good idea for a long time.

    The problem is that the USAF got all butthurt about them; "they're aircraft!", cried the blue-suiters, but since they're expected to do helo duties the USAF didn't actually WANT to operate them. (Similar to UAVs now.)

  7. easyk

    @ ian

    " As I recall, this design was from the start of Britain's decline as a world-beating engineering power- does this mean that America is entering a similar death-spiral?"

    As A US Engineer... yup.

  8. StopthePropaganda
    Thumb Up

    one small detail incorrect

    this concept, which is pretty much the aforementioned Cartercopter concept in military form, does *not* have tip jets. The rotor is prespun by driveshaft. After it's up to operating RPM it's up to the patented braking magic to get the rotor travelling at lower speeds, as well as tricks to avoid nasty blade oscillation. This is a "simple" concept, that hasn't worked in the past because of a whole lot of "little" details that the Carter crew have found some rather elegant solutions for.

    The Sikorsky single-rotor craft failed because they could not address blade oscillation problems. Dual rotor craft are much more complex with all sorts of nasty control linkages that fail easily. This might actually be the first shot at making this type of aircraft efficient, reliable and safe.

    hell, Carter is talking about making a turbodiesel powered model. That's right, biofuel time. So now it's cool, quieter and *green*

    Mine's the one that smells like onion rings and french fries.

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