Oliver VTOL Announces Hexplane Heavy Lift Concept

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Based on Company’s Innovative Six-Engine “Hexplane” Technology Concept Could Be the Heavy Lift VTOL Solution Armed Forces Are Seeking

Oliver VTOL LLC, today announced a “Hexplane Heavy Lift (HHL)” concept that has the potential to meet the military’s need for a new, large vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) transport aircraft.

Based on the company’s innovative six-engine “Hexplane” technology, the Oliver VTOL HHL concept could be a strong contender to meet the requirements of the military’s Joint Vertical Aircraft Task Force (JVATF). The Joint Heavy Lift (JHL), Army Heavy Lift (AHL) and the Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) requirements have continually changed since the Quad Tilt Rotor (QTR) was proposed in 1999, mainly due to the growth in the military’s planned Future Combat System (FCS) payloads. It is estimated that the JHL aircraft would cost as much or more than $200 million each.

Oliver VTOL’s Hexplane HHL concept was filed in a U. S. Patent office application on September 12, 2011. The aircraft has three wings and six rotating propulsion units with a payload capability similar to the cargo capacity of a Lockheed C-130J-30.

Based on early analyses and flight simulations, the Hexplane HHL would fly above 25,000 feet at cruise speeds greater than 450 mph with ranges exceeding 1,500 miles. The Hexplane HHL landing requirements are significantly smaller than current QTR JHL concepts, a key factor in the ability of a heavy lift VTOL to operate from naval ships and confined landing zones.

“Regardless of the payload capacity, the Hexplane JHL and other Hexplane heavy lift variants will fly faster, further and safer to more places than any current heavy lift VTOL concept on the market today,” said Richard Oliver, founder and chief executive officer of Oliver VTOL. “We believe the Hexplane Heavy Lift (HHL) is a very attractive solution for the military’s ongoing efforts to secure several different next-generation heavy lift aircraft.”

The HHL concept follows on the heels of Oliver VTOL’s announcement last month of the Hexplane. Like the Hexplane, the HHL version can continue to perform full gross weight vertical operations if a propeller, engine or a gearbox fails - the first VTOL designed with these capabilities.

A planned Hexplane technology demonstrator is expected to have a ceiling greater than 35,000 feet and carry a load of 1,000 pounds, 1,000 statute miles at 400 miles per hour. This is a capability that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has challenged the aviation industry to accomplish.

The U.S. Patent office published Richard Oliver’s patent application for the Hexplane on July 14, 2011. The company expects to receive a patent for the aircraft in the next 12 to 18 months. The Hexplane's capabilities have been validated in a report issued by DAR Corporation, Lawrence, Kan. The scientific advisors for the report were: Dr. Willem Anemaat, president of DAR Corporation; University Of Kansas Professor Emeritus Dr. Jan Roskam, founder of DAR; and Penn State Boeing Professor Emeritus, Dr. Barnes W. McCormick.

Oliver VTOL officials believe the Hexplane technology could be used in both manned and unmanned flight operations for the military. The aircraft could be used as an air ambulance because its speed and range would allow the transport of patients faster and further to access more trauma centers than currently possible, particularly from remote locations. Other applications include offshore oil platform support, search and rescue, and business aviation.

For more information on Oliver VTOL and the Hexplane, please contact info(at)olivervtol(dot)com.

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William Marks
W. B. Marks Partners LLC
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