This prototype tilt rotor is too awesome for the present

Credit: AgustaWestland

This delicious prototype is Project Zero. It's a tilt rotor technology demonstrator from AgustaWestland, a European helicopter company. It's not a concept, it's been flying (in secret) since 2011. Powered entirely by electricity, it can take off like a helicopter, and then those rotors swivel 90 degrees inside their nacelles to turn Project Zero into an airplane, making it a speedy and efficient flier. So that's good, but it gets better.

Since Project Zero is electric, it's very quiet, and it doesn't need a transmission or hydraulic system. And since an electric generator is just an electric motor in reverse, you can park the aircraft outside on a windy day, and rotors spinning in the breeze will recharge the batteries for you. Agusta hasn't divulged any performance figures, but as far as range goes, it mentions that installing a diesel-powered range extending engine is a possibility. Oh, and if you just want to use Project Zero in helicopter mode, the wingtips are detachable.

Unfortunately, the only information we have about Project Zero is this single picture and brief press release from Agusta; we'd love to bring you more, but there just isn't any yet. When there is, you better believe we'll be all over it like moss on a rock. Or, you know, something more exciting than that.

AgustaWestland, via sUASNews

For the latest tech stories, follow DVICE on Twitter
at @dvice or find us on Facebook