The tilt rotor aircraft can take off and land vertically like a helicopter and then tilt its rotors forward for fast forward flight.
The helicopter is one of the most versatile vehicles on earth. It is used for military applications, for transportation in and out of cities, for rescue and safety operations and for travel to undeveloped spots on the globe where neither roads nor runways exist.
It is the helicopter's ability to hover and to take-off and land vertically that makes the helicopter so useful. The helicopter has a major flaw, however, and that is that as it increases in forward speed its rotors move through the air more quickly as they circle toward the front of the aircraft and less quickly relative to the air as they circle to the rear. This causes the helicopter to become unstable at high speeds. There are a number of aircraft being developed that can perform like a helicopter in terms of take-off and landing, but which can travel at greater speeds. The tilt-rotor aircraft is one such aircraft. Because the rotors can tilt forward they become like propellers when the plane moves quickly forward and it can achieve airplane type speeds. Mechanical engineers are responsible for virtually all aspects of this project.