This project has been prepared in the framework of a research and development roadmap defined by the European rotorcraft community that aims to develop a civil tilt-rotor aircraft.
It is expected that tilt-rotors will play an important role in future regional transport due to their particular characteristics, combining the advantages of a helicopter vertical and hover capabilities (with reduced requirement for ground infrastructure) with those of a fixed-wing aircraft cruise speed and range.
NICETRIP specifically addresses the acquisition of new knowledge on tilt-rotor through the development of appropriate technologies and the integration of these technologies with other technologies developed in preceding projects. Prototypes will be developed for extensive testing at reduced scale in wind tunnels, and at full scale on the ground. It is expected that the project will lead to the achievement of a major milestone in the tilt-rotor development process by demonstrating technological feasibility and by preparing the ground for further development on the way to a flying demonstrator.
The goal of the project is to significantly contribute to the development of a European tilt-rotor demonstrator by achieving the industrial objective of acquiring, validating and integrating tilt-rotor technology for the benefit of the European aerospace and associated supplier industries.
As an intermediate step before a demonstrator, the NICETRIP project objectives are:
- To validate the European civil tilt-rotor concept based on the ERICA architecture;
- To validate critical technologies and systems through the development, integration and testing of components of a tilt-rotor aircraft on full-scale dedicated rigs;
- To acquire new knowledge on tilt-rotor through the development and testing of several wind tunnel models, including a large-scale full-span powered model;
- To investigate and evaluate the introduction of tilt-rotors in the European Air Traffic Management System;
- To assess the sustainability of the tilt-rotor product with respect to social and environmental issues and to define the path towards a future tilt-rotor flying demonstrator.