New images of the weird, futuristic “Project Zero” All-Electric Tilt Rotor unmanned aircraft released

Mar 21 2013 - 5 Comments

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).

AW1038 - Project Zero_3

Image credit: AgustaWestland

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  • This looks like the future of small aircraft… But why did they put a pilot in it ?

    • kev

      they haven’t… for now!

    • They didn’t. Although it looks like there is space for a cockpit this is, in fact, a UAV

      • I guess that some may not be comfortable with an airplane that does not look like their idea of an airplane… But considering how radical this concept is, the designers might as well have gone all the way and eschewed the fake cockpit !

  • rotorhead1871

    should be a UAV…….