Aircraft

Radical dual tilting blade helicopter design targets speeds of over 270mph

The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (435 km/h).
The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (435 km/h).
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The AVX is a multi-use coaxial helicopter
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The AVX is a multi-use coaxial helicopter
The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (435 km/h).
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The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (435 km/h).
AVX JMR in Attack configuration showing weapons cutaway.
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AVX JMR in Attack configuration showing weapons cutaway.
AVX Aircraft in Utility-Transport configuration showing floor plan for troop (14) seating.
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AVX Aircraft in Utility-Transport configuration showing floor plan for troop (14) seating.
AVX JMR in Attack configuration
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AVX JMR in Attack configuration
AVX Rotor System
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AVX Rotor System
AVX JMR Utility Transport showing cutaway for troop seating.
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AVX JMR Utility Transport showing cutaway for troop seating.
OH-58D Kiowa with AVX coaxial rotors in combination with ducted fan rotors after conversion
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OH-58D Kiowa with AVX coaxial rotors in combination with ducted fan rotors after conversion
AVX Aircraft Company OH-58D conversion process
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AVX Aircraft Company OH-58D conversion process

As one of the contenders in the race to win a $US100 billion contract from the US government for the next generation of attack helicopter in the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, AVX Aircraft Company has conceived a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph (435 km/h).

For some decades now, the US Army has been incrementally upgrading its aging fleet of helicopters, but that approach is becoming expensive and limits are being reached as to what can be added to legacy platforms. As part of the overall JMR-TD program, the US Army-led Future Vertical Lift (FVL) stage aims to replace the service’s aging helicopter fleet with the Black Hawk, Apache, and Chinook all in line to be supplanted.The AVX concept is one of those proposed to the US Army as a possible replacement.

You may remember the AVX flying car concept previously covered by Gizmag; this helicopter seems to have much in common with that design with its coaxial rotor system and ducted fan propulsion system. This latest version, however, appears to be substantially larger, stronger, and faster in every way.

AVX JMR Utility Transport showing cutaway for troop seating.
AVX JMR Utility Transport showing cutaway for troop seating.

With a projected weight of 27,000 lb (12,000 kg), a claimed lift capacity of 13,000 lb (5,900 kg), and a planned ability to carry 12 combat troops plus 4 crew members, this AVX concept is directly targeted as a wide-ranging replacement for many aging members of the army air wing.

Sporting a pair of stubby wings up front to provide a claimed 40 percent of overall lift at flight speed, the concept also has a rear access ramp to permit cargo loading and fast egress for troops or small vehicles. The AVX comes in an attack version with a belly turret and floor weapon doors as well.

The competitors against which the AVX concept is pitted include a combination of tilt rotor and coaxial rotor designs, with the likes of the Sikorsky S-97 Raider (a new concept based on the success of its previous X2 demonstrator), the Bell V-280 Valor, the Karem TR36TD, and the Boeing-Sikorsky SB-1 Defiant. Provided that the AVX concept can attain its impressive proposed specifications, along with its claimed high-capacity, speed, and versatility, it appears to be one very able candidate in this competition, even amongst this array of heavy-hitters.

Based in Fort Worth, Texas, AVX was created by a group of former Bell Helicopter engineers in 2005 with the goal of producing a low-cost, high-performance modification to the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters. Its design approach is aimed at swapping the main rotor with rigid coaxial blades, shortening the tail, removing the tail rotor, and adding twin ducted fans for higher performance, and longer range. This patented coaxial rotor, twin-ducted fan design concept forms the basis of the current JMR proposal.

The JMR-TD FVL program aims to provide flying technology demonstrations by 2017.

The short video below shows an animated version of the AVX concept in action.

Source: AVX Aircraft Company

AVX Answer to the Future of Vertical Lift

20 comments
Mark A
What if... we didn't need to kill people any more.
Ramon Verhoeven
Yeah , the militarily industrial complex would be out of power. Sadly dont see it happening. To many people profit from war and weapons.
Germano Pecoraro
It's easier than a tilt-rotor
JPAR
Well I guess it has civilian uses as well..... although guessing it's going to be a lot more expensive to operate than a small plane.
manxann
Sounds expensive! Check out YouTube, Fairey Rotodyne, circa 1960 Similar or better performance, not a computer in sight. Worked well, killed by Government and management disinterest!
jerryd
Looks excellent as far more simple, lighter, more eff but higher lift rotors is the key. instead of collective pitch and all it's parts, weight they just lean the rotors in the direction they want to go. It's how a 1 person electric commuter version for 30+ miles could work too. It'll also require a lot less maintaining, running and fuel costs The Fairey won't be anywhere near this ones abilities landing, hovering etc close to the ground. .
Alien
Why does in need four crew? Big airliners manage with only two. I realise that helicopters are more difficult to fly, but surely there can be only person one in control at a time. In an age when we're seeing drones and driver-less cars, so many crew seems too much - to a mere laymen like myself anyway. Or... with twelve military passengers, perhaps a couple are flight attendants!
David Koons
Whoa this is cool! Hard not to love technology presented by a narrator with a really deep voice.
Ron Johnson
"Big airliners manage with only two." All those stewardesses are part of the crew. "perhaps a couple are flight attendants!" Loadmaster and door gunner.
Ron Johnson
"What if... we didn't need to kill people any more. " Stop listening to John Lennon and pay attention to the real world: humans -- like their chimp and ape cousins -- regularly turn violent to get what they want, and nothing's going to change that.