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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Boeing, Piasecki Eye 200-kt Apache, UAV

Boeing and Piasecki Aircraft are developing a $3 million plan to assess mating a version of Piasecki Aircraft's vectored-thrust, ducted propeller to its AH-64 Apache and possibly its A160T vertical takeoff and landing unmanned air vehicle. Boeing has been supporting Piasecki's development of the X-49A SpeedHawk, fitted with that ducted propeller, under a U.S. Army contract. That support has been in facilities, personnel, instrumentation, and independent analysis of SpeedHawk flight tests. The new funding proposal, which would require backing from a customer, is spurred on by recent statements from Army leaders on the need for 200-kt helicopters and drones. Boeing wants to be in position to propose aircraft to meet that need before Sikorsky Aircraft can do so with ones based on its X2 technology demonstrator. That demonstrator aims to prove a conventional helicopter can cruise comfortably at 250 kt. For related news
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