The revolutionary AgustaWestland “Project Zero” all-electric tilt rotor technology demonstrator, designed, built and tested in twelve months, was officially unveiled on Mar. 4, 2013, just prior to the Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, USA.
The result of close collaborations with Finmeccanica companies – Selex ES, Ansaldo Breda, and Ansaldo Energia – and partner companies from Italy, UK, U.S. and Japan, the aircraft embeds some unuque features: aesthetically pleasing styling and aerodynamically unique tiltrotor configuration; carbon graphite exterior surfaces; High-Integrity Flight Control Computer and Actuator Control Unit; custom produced electric motor inverter and motor control algorithm; axial flux permanent magnet electric motors.
Furthermore, the aircraft uses no hydraulics: the retractable landing gear, nacelle tilting mechanism, and elevons are controlled by high bandwidth electromechanical actuators (EMA).
Image credit: AgustaWestland