Powered Lift (Tilt Rotor) Aircraft Vs Conventional Rotor Craft And Airplanes In Commercial Operations

Introduction

A tiltrotor aircraft is a type of an airplane that gains its lift into the air through a propulsion system that is powered by either one or more rotors that are normally mounted within the rotating engines. The engines of the airplanes are in most cases fixed on the wings of the plane. In some cases, the drive shafts of the planes are used to transfer the power to the rotors that are normally fixed on the wing tips to enable the plane gain altitude. The shafts are used to help the planes gain a vertical lift as well as get enough speed that are enabled through the fixed-wing of the aircraft. During a vertical flight, the rotors of the plane are placed in a certain angle such that the plane of rotation can be achieved in a horizontal position. Once the helicopter begins to gain speed in the air, the rotors progressively get tilted in a forward horizontal position and te plane of rotation also changes in a vertical direction. This mode is used to help the plane get enough lift into the air with the help of the wing that provides a thrust like a propeller does. Tiltrotors are in most cases able to achieve much higher speeds than normal helicopters due to the fat that its rotors are easily configured to alter the speed patterns. On the other hand, helicopters do not have that functionality of changing and configuring the rotors, thereby making them less efficient as compared to the tiltrotors. There is a slight difference between the functionality of a tiltrotor and a tiltwing. The difference between the two is brought about due to the ability of the tiltrotors to pivot during motion as compared to a tiltwing where the entire wing tilts during motion.

The current helicopters and tiltrotors uses a new advanced technology that makes them to be more mature, reliable and safe to ride. Their ability to perform beyond within high standards are enabled through their ability to use one engine inoperative during flights. The operations of these aircrafts can as well be compared to the fixed-wing aircrafts used for carrying passengers.  The advantage that the rotor crafts enjoy is their ability to continue flying even in icing conditions. The other type of aircrafts are only limited to flying during certain weather conditions. When the weather conditions get bad, such flights are not able to be used. Apart from that, the rotorcrafts have an increased speed that enables them to move at a much higher speed as compared to the other types of airplanes. The current set of rotorcrafts can move with a speed of between one hundred and thirty to one hundred and fifty knots. Civil tiltrotors are however, designed to achieve much higher speeds of upto two hundred and seventy five knots. Due to their high speeds, the modern helicopters and the rotorcrafts are viewed as the set type of planes to be used for executive transport. The technology can also be used for the passenger aircrafts with the extensions made on the RIA to be much longer. It is believed that the airspace limitations are the only obstruction towards achieving maximum speeds and performance of the rotorcrafts. If some of those limitations can be modified then the performance achievements of the planes can be much higher.

MonoTilt Rotor

This type of an aircraft uses a propeller that has the ability to tilt within certain angles that enables the plane to get enough lift and propulsion into the air. During a vertical flight, the aircrafts proprotor gets tilted to a certain angle that enables it to get a downward thrust, thereby giving the plane the needed lift. By achieving this operation mode, the plane is able to operate efficiently as a helicopter. Once the aircraft gets on air and starts to gain speed, its proprotor gets tilted forward and the blades also get tilted in a position that is perpendicular to the ground. The tilting of the blades and the proprotor are used to help the plane gain its maximum speed on air.

There is a slight difference between a mono tiltrotor and a conventional tiltrotor brought about by their proprotor’s mounting positions. In a conventional tiltrotor, the proprotor is normally mounted on the wingtips while in a mono tiltrotors, the proprotor is mounted in the fuselage of the plane. Due to this difference in the structure of the two planes, the mono tiltrotors has the ability to achieve higher transport efficiency as compared to the normal helicopters and the conventional tiltrotors. There is so much that cab achieved with the mono tiltrotors. For instance, if the machines can get to the realization stage, then chances are that they could be designed to have half of their current weight and half the size of the current aircrafts. Additionally, the speeds of the aircrafts can be doubled so that they achieve maximum speeds that are twice as fast as the current helicopters.

When the mono tiltrotors are on air, they use control systems that are similar to those of a coaxical helicopter. For instance, the lift of the aircraft can be adjusting the upper proprotor upwards while at the same time decreasing the lower proprotor’s lift. The roll and pitch of the aircrafts are also provided by the rotor cyclic. Vertical motion of the aircraft is controlled using the conventional rotor blade known as the blade pitch.

Economic Evaluation

The markets for the commercial tiltrotors remain speculative considering the fact that the aircrafts and its required infrastructures do not exist. Using the tiltrotors for commercial purposes may be not be achievable in the short-term due to the heavy budgets that are required to purchase and maintain those aircrafts. Purchasing a tiltrotors per seat will cost more as compared to what one will be required to part with when buying the othertypes of aircrafts. Moreover, operating the tiltrotors is much more expensive than what is needed for the other types of vehicles. Therefore before the machine is considered for commercial purposes, a number of issues have to be taken into consideration.  One of the possible reasons as to why there has not been an infiltration of the tiltrotors in the airplane industry may be due to the congestion that is likely to be witnesses both on air and on the ground.  If the government can allow for the use of the tiltrotors then there can be so much competition across the nation. Additionally, there will be a lot of technical readiness for those who will be venture into the untapped potential of using the tiltrotors for commercial purposes.

There is great potential for those who might be thinking in terms of investing in the tiltrotors for commercial purposes. One possible advantage they might enjoy is the flexibility of picking passengers from their door steps and dropping them at their various destinations that cannot be accessed by other aircrafts. The consumers will therefore not go throughinconveniences of having to go through the airports, and the time wasted commuting from the airports to their respective destinations.  Additionally, when the aircrafts will be adopted for commercial purposes, they will help reduce the amount of congestion that is normally witnessed within the airports. The aircrafts will play a vital role towards ensuring that the passengers commuting capacity is enhanced while at the same time minimizing airport congestions. The only adjustment that will need to be made is that there should be short term haul of the traffic to allow for the tiltrotorsto operate within short miles of up to five hundred miles. Such adjustments will ensure that the runways are only left for the larger aircrafts. It is not yet known whether the mentioned benefits will be sufficient enough to allow for the tiltrotors operating effectively.

There is limited data regarding door-to-door travel of passengers and also the perceptions of the passengers regarding the costs of ground access and the value for their time. Based on the limited data, it becomes very difficult to make a projection on the exact demand of commuter airlines. Secondly, the commuter airlines in America right now might not be willing to invest in the tilt rotors. Most of those companies are affiliated to the major airline carriers, and making such a switch to tiltrotors might take a very long time. Moreover, the companies have the fear of making a switch currently since there are no regulations and policies from the government. Another factor making it difficult to adopt the new system is the unpredictability of the of the traffic diversion. The only place that that tiltrotors business can take off for a start is to establish operations between urban areas. In the event that the business is adopted by investors in the near future, they must ensure that they come up with reliable and safe aircrafts. Moreover, they must have structures on the ground that will enable the development of the necessary infrastructure as well as airline operators that are willing to be part of the business.

The market and economics of the tilt rotors may make assumptions that the necessary infrastructures and the institutional hurdles that are in place could easily be overcome. The institutional hurdles are some of the factors that can make it difficult for the business to prosper due to the complexities involved. If the use of tiltrotors as commercial flights could be adopted today in America, chances are high that such business would do so well considering the market gap that exists currently. One of theprimary targets would be the urban centers simply because they form alarge part of the travelingpopulation on a daily basis. However, before such a business venture is adopted into the markets, there will be a need to have a deep analysis of the market demand for the use of such aircrafts. Additionally, there will have to be a research done on how much the aircrafts will ease the congestions on the roads. In terms of economic benefits that the country will gain from such a business will also have to be addressed. If the passengers decide to drop the use of personal cars to use the aircrafts, it means that the purchase of fuel gas will also drop significantly. A drop in the purchase of fuel gas may affect the economic performance of the country negatively.  Finally, the introduction of the tiltrotors may reduce the delays witnessed in the air traffic.However, it is not yet known how much of that reduction will occur as a result of using such aircrafts.

One aspect that has to be understood is that the use of the tilt rotors will not create any difference in terms of the airspeed and the costs incurred by the passengers who use the other airplanes. Additionally, the comforts that the passengers enjoy while using the other airplanes may more or less remain the same when using the tiltrotors. The only major purpose of introducing the aircrafts will be to ease the congestion witnessed in the major urban airports as well as the traffic congestionin the urban areas.  The business of using tilt rotors for commercial purposes might however, fail to succeed in the event that the aviation systems decide to introduce larger aircrafts. Such move will serve to decongest some of the busiest airports.

Building and operation costs

Building an aircrafts is one of the most expensive ventures any business personality will want to try. The costs of building the aircrafts will in most cases depend on a number of factors such as the technology used as well as the payload capacity. Most of the tilt rotors are designed in a way that they can carry between eight to seventy five passengers. The only aircrafts that might be cheap to build and maintain are those that are used by the military. The specifications of the military aircrafts differ with those of the passenger aircrafts. The materials that are used to construct such machines are also different in nature. Another factor that might cause a difference is the procurement rules that are used by the military. When compared to the turboprop, the tilt rotors are considered to be between forty to forty five much more expensive.

Replacing Commuter Airplanes

Just like it had already been mentioned before, most of the aircrafts that are used currently experience a lot of delays wherethere is bad weather. The case worsens especially when the short runways cannot also be used to salvage the situation. The current technology used by most airports may allow then to either use single or double runways in the event that there are poor atmospheric conditions. For instance, most pilots’ visions get impaired during occasions when there are low clouds that limit visibility.

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