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Army pushes for higher speeds in future tiltrotor aircraft

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Steven Jones
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HAMPTON, Va. -- The U.S. Army is developing a new wind-tunnel testbed that will help future tiltrotor aircraft attain higher speeds, improved stability and enhanced safety.

At a massive wind tunnel at NASA Langley Research Center, Army researchers are readying a unique tiltrotor model to support analysis and design of advanced tiltrotor aircraft, a possible key to achieving Army modernization goals for Future Vertical Lift.

Using foundational aerodynamics research and computational models, Army engineers will shape Future Vertical Lift with analysis of new tiltrotor designs.

Their goal: to increase reach, enhance protection and lethality, and deliver agility and mission flexibility.

The apparatus is a scaled-down tiltrotor engine assembly and partial wing loaded with sensors and designed to be attached to wall of the wind tunnel.

"TRAST is focused on accelerating knowledge products that will provide critical information for the Army Modernization Priorities within the Future Vertical Lift program regarding tiltrotor technology for whirl-flutter suppression to enable higher speed forward flight," said Elias Rigas, the lab's Vehicle Applied Research Division chief.

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