Bell Eagle Eye
|U.S. Coast Guard Vertical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle|
|Role||tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle|
|First flight||March 6, 1998|
|Status||Cancelled by USCG|
The Bell Eagle Eye, Model 918, is a United States tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle that was offered as one of the competitors in the U.S. Navy's VT-UAV (Vertical Takeoff - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) program.
The Eagle Eye program began in 1993 with the TR911X 7/8th scale prototype. The composite airframe was originally designed and built for Bell by the California research company Scaled Composites. The two demonstrator aircraft were powered by an Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine mounted in the center fuselage, with a transmission system driving a tilting rotor at the end of each wing.1
The aircraft had its maiden flight on March 6, 1998,2 and then entered a flight test program. Phase 1 (land-based operations testing) was completed in April 1998. Phase 2 (sea-based testing) started shortly after that. The first prototype was destroyed in an accident, but the second successfully completed the test program.
Bell had promoted the Eagle Eye for a decade without finding a buyer, but in the summer of 2002, the United States Coast Guard ordered the UAV as part of the service's broad Deepwater re-equipment effort. The Coast Guard machine will be slightly scaled up from the company demonstrator and will be designated as Bell HV-911. It will have a maximum speed of 200 kts (370 km/h) and an endurance of 5.5 hours with a 200 pound (90 kilogram) payload. The USCG has since put the funds marked for development and procurement of the vehicle on hold.4
The US Navy and Marine Corps have also expressed some interest, and there have been inquiries from various foreign governments. In the summer of 2004, Bell established a relationship with Sagem in France and Rheinmetall Defense Electronics in Germany to sell variants of the Eagle Eye to European governments. Bell proposes to provide raw airframes, the European partners will provide payloads and other gear as specified by customers, and Bell will then perform system integration.
- Crew: 0
- Length: 18 ft 3 in (5.56 m)
- Wingspan: 24 ft 2 in (7.37 m)
- Main rotor diameter: 2× 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Main rotor area: 157 ft2 (14.6 m2)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft, 641 hp (478 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 225 mph (360 km/h)
- Endurance: 6 hours
- Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,096 m)
- 200 lb (91 kg) payload
- V-22 Osprey, another aircraft with the same wing/propeller design.
- This article contains material that originally came from the web article Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Greg Goebel, which exists in the Public Domain.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bell Eagle Eye.|
- Bell Helicopter's Pocket Guide to Eagle Eye
- Coast Guard Deepwater info
- Federation of American Scientists entry.