2050. The Boeing Model 360 Advanced Technology Demonstrator Helicopter


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J S Wisniewski: 2050. The Boeing Model 360 Advanced Technology Demonstrator Helicopter. 1992.



The Model 360 all-composite demonstrator helicopter was developed by Boeing Helicopters over several years. It was company funded by Boeing to validate advanced technologies that could be applied to the company’s other rotorcraft programs. Major efforts have been directed at the integration of new technology in structures, aerodynamics, flight controls, avionics and cockpit design. High Strength, lightweight composite materials make up almost all of the aircraft’s primary and secondary structure. Four graphite covered rotor blades with tapered tips are attached to a composite rotor hub for increased speed with reduced noise and vibration. A retractable tricycle landing gear and buried aft fuselage engines also improved the aircraft’s performance. Pilot’s workload is reduced with a digital automatic flight control system and an integrated avionics system. It incorporates a glass enclosed Cockpit with six multi-function displays. The Model 360 Development Program included over 5000 hours of wind tunnel tests and an extensive simulator assessment of the helicopter’s handling and flying qualities. First flight of the Model 360 took place on June 10,1987, in suburban Philadelphia. The new helicopter has demonstrated airspeeds at 214 knots and a maximum design speed of 235 knots. The current helicopter world speed record is held -by a Westland Lynx at 214.4 knots. The aircraft is currently in overhaul at the Boeing Helicopters Flight Test Center near Wilmington, Delaware.


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