Oliver VTOL Announces "Hexplane FVL" Concept

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New Design Addresses Need To Replace Aging BlackHawk Fleets In Military Forces

Oliver VTOL LLC today announced the “Hexplane FVLTM” concept, a high speed and long range multi-engine airplane with excellent vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) performance, that has the potential to meet the U. S. Army’s need for a next generation “Future Vertical Lift” (FVL) aircraft that will replace its aging Blackhawk and Apache fleets and provide the scalable VTOL technology for both smaller and larger VTOL requirements the Army is seeking.

The Hexplane FVL is based on Oliver VTOL’s patent pending HexplaneSM technology which has been independently analyzed and validated by aeronautical experts as having the long sought qualities of helicopter-like hover combined with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.

According to public statements, Army officials expect the service life of the current UH-60 BlackHawk fleet to end in 2030. Studies are already well underway to evaluate all options for a next generation FVL aircraft that has “significantly increased speed, range, survivability and a much reduced logistical footprint” as compared to helicopters.

“Compared to the UH-60, the Hexplane FVL can carry the same payload and perform the same missions as the Blackhawk helicopter, but offers cruise speeds greater than 350 knots and a significantly increased cruise range greater than 1,200 statute miles,” said Richard Oliver, founder and CEO of Oliver VTOL. “The Hexplane FVL can survive the complete failure of a propulsion unit, including the failure of a gearbox or propeller, continue the mission and perform a full gross weight VTOL operation, even at the military’s requirement of 6K/95o conditions, something no other VTOL aircraft can claim.”

The Hexplane FVL is expected to significantly challenge all current U. S. Army Joint Multi-Role (JMR) concepts proposed by other aircraft companies to replace the legacy helicopter fleet. The Hexplane FVL concept has greater than 6 feet of standing headroom in a cabin for up to 11 fully equipped combat soldiers.

The Hexplane FVL is shorter than the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, it is designed to replace. It significantly exceeds the Blackhawk’s hover ceiling; a safety factor that recent experience has shown is needed in mountainous regions like those in Afghanistan.
Oliver VTOL is currently pursuing joining the Army’s JMR program as the fifth concept to be studied. This program has provided funds to each of four aircraft companies which are proposing their FVL concepts.

The U. S. Patent Office published Richard Oliver’s patent application for the Hexplane technology on July 14, 2011. 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 is based in Atlanta. For more information on the Hexplane FVL and Oliver VTOL, please visit: http://www.olivervtol.com.

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William Marks
W. B. Marks Partners LLC
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