Bell Eagle Eye
|Capacity||200 lb (91 kg) payload|
|Length||18 ft 3 in (5.56 m)|
|Wingspan||24 ft 2 in (7.37 m)|
|Rotor diameter||10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)|
|Main rotor area||157 ft² (14.6 m²)|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Power plant||1 × Pratt & Whitney PW200/55 Marine Turboprop, 641 shp (478 kW)|
|Maximum speed||225 mph (360 km/h)||200 knots.|
|Service ceiling||20,000 ft (6,096 m)|
|Unmanned aerial vehicle|
The Eagle Eye program began in 1993 with the TR911X ⅞th scale prototype. The composite airframe was originally designed and built for Bell by Scaled Composites. The two demonstrator aircraft were powered by a Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine engine mounted in the center fuselage, with a transmission system driving a tilting rotor at the end of each wing.
The aircraft had its maiden flight on March 6, 1998, and then entered a flight test program. Phase 1, or 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 U.S. 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 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 US Navy and Marine Corps has 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.
- Bell Helicopter's Pocket Guide to Eagle Eye
- Coast Guard Deepwater info
- Federation of American Scientists entry.
- This article contains material that originally came from the web article Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Greg Goebel, which exists in the Public Domain.
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