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Bell Eagle Eye

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
General characteristics
Crew none
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)
Endurance 6 hours
Unmanned aerial vehicle

The Bell Eagle Eye, Model 918, is a tiltrotor unmanned aerial vehicle that was offered as one of the competitors in the U.S. Navy's VT-UAV (Vertical Takeoff - UAV) program.


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.[1]

The aircraft had its maiden flight on March 6, 1998[2], 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.

These successes led to the entry into the Deepwater program in 2002 and construction of the full size vehicle, called the TR918, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada P200/55 turboshaft engine.

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.

HV-911 conversion mode 580x384.jpg
HV-911 two cutters 580x344.jpg

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.


fr:Eagle Eye