The X-50A Dragonfly Having Trouble in Development

Imagine an unmanned aerial vehicle UAV, which can take off vertically and hover and then stopped its rotor blades and then fly forward like an airplane? Indeed, the Boeing Co. has built such aircraft and this UAV is perfect for the new Net-centric Battlespace. It is capable of surveillance in real-time and can be operated off of the ship or without a runway. Its range is suitable to protect United States troops and soldiers in hostile territories and alert them of any potential threat approaching.

Unfortunately, such a revolutionary design in aerospace technology is not without its problems in and the prototype of the X-50A Dragonfly has crashed into was destroyed at the Yuma proving grounds for United States military. This is a special project with DARPA and if this aircraft ever makes it to the front lines it could prove to be a valuable asset indeed. Since all the prototypes have now been destroyed in crashes it is hard to say if the project can continue. However, all the data and research, which went into the project is invaluable. And may definitely come in quite useful for future projects.

The hardest part of such a design is the transition from hovering or vertical flight to forward flight. One thought, is to allow the transition period to include departure flight recovery during the complex maneuver. The X-50A is designed to fly at 120 miles per hour with the rotor blades spinning and then stop the rotor blades and ride out the transition into forward flight, allowing for very high speeds. The concept is good and the tests should continue however I believe we need a little redesigning and have posted my ideas at an online think tank site. Consider all this in 2006.

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