Carter PAV Is Getting Plenty Of Attention At EAA AirVenture




Carter PAV Is Getting Plenty Of Attention At EAA AirVenture

By Daniel Guevarra



July 29, 2009, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Carter Aviation Technologies of Wichita Falls, TX has on display at the EAA AirVenture a four place second generation aircraft that is getting plenty of attention from the crowds that have gathered for the air show.  

Company officials report the four place prototype takes of and lands vertically, can reach speeds of 140 miles per hour and has a rang of 600 miles at 7,500 feet.

Their new Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Prototype. The new PAV prototype is the second-generation aircraft to demonstrate Carter's revolutionary, Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) Aircraft technology. Carter's original prototype, the CCTD, flew for seven years during which time it was the test platform for developing their revolutionary technology - a combination of rotorcraft and fixed-wing aerodynamics. The PAV has some significant changes when compared to Carter's original prototype.


In outward appearance the most significant change is a new tail configuration. The twin, tail booms have been replaced by a single, tail boom with a horizontal stabilizer and three vertical stabilizers. The center stabilizer is in the propeller slipstream for optimum control. The single tail boom also provides protection for the propeller from ground strikes.

Another innovation is a tilting mast. The mast is 54 inches in height and has the capability to tilt forward 15 degrees or aft 30 degrees moving the rotor center of lift fore and aft to keep the aircraft level to the ground at slows speeds allowing for much improved visibility in the cockpit during take-offs and landings. At higher speeds the mast keeps the aircraft pitch and wing angle of attack at optimum until the rotor is unloaded.

The previous 34-foot wingspan has been increased to 45 feet in the new aircraft. The added sailplane like wingspan increases the aircraft's lift to drag ratio (L/D) to over 12 - better than many fixed wing aircraft.  


The 45-foot diameter rotor will have the ability to store over 1000 hp for a short time to provide exceptional jump takeoff capabilities even at gross weight and high-density altitudes.

Performance, reliability, and safety have been key factors in Carter's new design. The latest computer programs have been used to help shape the aircraft for minimal drag, determine loads and refine components for the most efficient structure. A personalized, X-Plane flight simulator has been used to check and optimize flight handling qualities. In addition, a rigorous testing phase has been performed during construction with parts and systems being tested beyond what is required by the FAA for air-worthiness.

The final PAV design 4-place has a very large window area in the canopy. The rear seats are tiered so that passengers have a clear view through the front of the aircraft. The full canopy tilts forward allowing easy access to the cockpit and cargo area for loading. The rear seats and cargo area are situated under the rotor mast so that whether the aircraft is traveling empty or with a full load it will have little effect on the aircraft's CG.

The capability of the new PAV is remarkable. The empty weight of the aircraft is around 2,000 lbs with a useful load of 1,000 lbs with 500 lbs of fuel. The rotor system will allow jump take-offs to more than 75 feet clearing 50-foot obstacles on take-off. Equipped with a Lycoming, twin turbo-charged TIO-540 the performance numbers is impressive.

At an altitude of 12,500 feet and max power, the aircraft has a projected speed of 223 mph, a range of 768 miles, and an average of 8.8 mpg. The max speed of 242 mph is projected at 20,000 ft with a range of 830 miles and 9.5 mpg. At 30,000 feet and 59% power the speed is 220 mph with a range of 1270 miles and 14.6 mpg. In addition, integration of Lycoming's new IE2engine, when it is available, will provide an advanced electronic engine control system and multi-fuel versatility.

Combining Blue Mountain's developments for controls and purpose built components, including extension of their autopilot, with Carter's existing flight system will make the new PAV extremely pilot friendly. Most controls are computerized and automatic including collective. Data readings for rotor RPM, mast tilt and rotor angle of attack will be combined to notify the pilot when systems are ready for take-off and what vertical clearance is achievable. All the pilot will do is push a button when he is ready to depart. The aircraft does the rest including changing the pitch on the propeller and the rotor blade for forward flight and cruise. These systems are also automated for landing, making the PAV one of easiest and safest aircraft to fly.

VTOL capability obsoletes crosswind landings and Carter's patented landing gear system provides an additional level of safety. Off-airport operation will be the norm for the PAV where terrain may not be level or smooth. The Carter gear absorbs up to 5gs on impact and can roll over objects or ruts up to 6" high during taxi. This capability will be especially important in an emergency situation where landing might be in a field.

In discussing the PAV, Carter President, Jay Carter, Jr., commented, "In testing the CCTD we collected a huge amount of flight data that has translated into a much more capable aircraft. Refinements have been made to automate systems that were manual on the CCTD. We have tried to integrate as many upgrades and safety systems as we can. Ultimately, our goal is to make this aircraft as easy to fly as it is to drive an automobile.

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