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XTI Aircraft has begun assembly of a scaled test version of its ducted lift-fan aircraft that it plans to fly within 11 months, company officials said this week.
Using a scaled version also would save money, he said. Testing of full aircraft systems would await completion of the first full-scale prototype, which LaBelle said would start as soon as additional investments were secured.
XTI began developing the TriFan inwith the aim of creating an aircraft with business jet-like speed and the takeoff and landing performance of a helicopter.
The company envisions a six-year certification program, with the second and third prototypes of the five-passenger, single-pilot TriFan entering flight test in three years. That change, combined with the elimination of structure and weight needed to support the other turboshafts and streamlining of the aircraft shape, reduced the TriFan from 8, pounds gross weight two 5, pounds without cutting the payload, said George Bye, chief engineer on the project.
He said the company plans to have the aircraft certificated under the newly rewritten U. Federal Aviation Regulations Part 23 for small, fixed-wing aircraft, with certification incorporating some elements of the powered-lift aircraft standards developed to cover the Leonardo AW civil tiltrotor.
Industry leaders long complained that the old standards hindered development and adoption of new designs and technologies. His redesign of the TriFan has the single HTS powering three generators, which will supply two redundant electric motors for each of the aircraft's three ducted lift fans.
The aircraft also would have solar cells atop its wings to recharge the batteries during daytime. Those costs would compare very favorably to the AW and current business jet and helicopters.
He projects a market for 1, of the aircraft over 16 to 18 years, with production averaging about 60 aircraft a year. The triple-redundant fly-by-wire is designed to carry a full payload of passengers nautical miles after a vertical takeoff and 1, nautical miles after a conventional takeoff from a runway, cruising at knots, company officials said.
The gross weight for vertical takeoff and landing would be 5, pounds and for short takeoff and landing, 6, pounds. The aircraft is designed to carry on 25 gallons of fuel and have a service ceiling of 29, feet, which LaBelle said it would reach in about 11 minutes.
The HTS, lift-fan motors and battery pack all would be designed to run an emergency modes in case one lift-fan failed, which LaBelle said would give the aircraft the ability to satisfy Category A one-engine-inoperative requirements at maximum takeoff power. In addition, the TriFan would be equipped with a ballistic parachute recovery system.
In addition to the business aviation segment, XTI officials said the TriFan also would be targeted for medevac, utility and other missions. Receive the latest rotorcraft news right to your inbox.THIS CONTENT REQUIRES SUBSCRIPTION ACCESS.
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The Part 23 Rewrite: A Disaster in the Making? the so-called “Part 23 rewrite” has grown from a simple tweaking of aircraft and equipment certification standards to a full-on international. Part 23 – Small Airplane Certification Process Study A life-cycle study which assesses the cumulative certification experience and makes recommendations for the next alternators), newer avionics (e.g., NextGen, navigation, information, or redundancy), and safety.
Founded in , the Aircraft Electronics Association represents nearly 1, member companies in more than 40 countries, including government-certified international repair stations specializing in maintenance, repair and installation of avionics and electronic systems in general aviation aircraft.
Speaking of customers, “From Fact to Fiction” will address the seven generations of new avionics products that have emerged in the past four years as a result of . Understanding Part 23 Rewrite Understanding Part 23 Rewrite On March 9, , the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking entitled “Revision of Airworthiness Standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter Category Airplanes” (Part 23 NPRM).