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Eagle Eye UAV

The Bell Eagle Eye has the appearance of a conventional aircraft with tilt rotors at the end of each wing that allow it to maneuver up or down and hover. Bell Helicopter Textron Incorporation (BHTI) became involved with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program by taking the wind tunnel V-22 model, using off the shelf helicopter parts, i.e., engine, drive shafts, gear boxes, etc. and built the Eagle Eye tilt rotor UAV.

The Eagle Eye has a wing span of 15.2 ft, is 17.9 ft in length, is 5.7 ft high, and weighs around 2,000 pounds (depending on payload). The first flight test (hover only) were conducted at BHTI facility in Dallas, Texas during the winter/spring of 1992.

After successful hover flight tests, the government and contractor teams moved to Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG) for flight test during the third quarter of 1993. The flight tests were very successful and the Eagle Eye flew in helicopter mode, converted through the transition mode to aircraft mode. 35 flights were conducted with a total flight time of 15 hours. Average flight hour per sortie was .43 hrs/flt. Maximum airspeed attained was 159 knots at an operating altitude of 1,550 feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL).

The government had no further Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) requirements and concluded all VTOL demonstration/development contract actions. BHTI continued to develop the Eagle Eye with in house R&D dollars.

In the spring of 1998 the government once again wanted a demonstration of VTOL air vehicle capabilities and contracted BHTI to demonstrate the flying qualities and performance characteristics of the Eagle Eye. This became a two Phase program. Phase I was a land based flight demonstration and Phase II will be sea based flight demonstration. Phase I was accomplished in April 1998. The aircraft has flown more than 43 times, exceeding 55.5 flight hours and achieving airspeed of more than 200 knots, with an altitude of 14,600 feet during the demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground.

Phase II of the program is scheduled for the last quarter of FY99 and will be conducted aboard a small Naval combatant.


ManufacturerBell Helicopter - Textron, Texas
AV Type Tilt Rotor
Length 17.9/5.46 (ft/m)
Height 5.7/1.73 (ft/m)
Wingspan 15.2/4.63 (ft/m)
Rotospan (diam) 9.5/2.90 (ft/m)
Take-Off Gross Weight 2250/1020 (lbs/kg)
Empty Weight 1300/590 (lbs/kg)
Fuel Weight 750/340 (lbs/kg)
Payload Weight 200/90 (lbs/kg)
Speed (kts) Max 200+, Cruise 0-200
Altitude 20,000/6,100 (ft/m)
Endurance 8 hours
Radius of Operation 110/200 LOS (nm/km)
Engine Allison 250-C20 GT 420 shp
Fuel Heavy.JP
Landing Gear Wheeled/Retractable
Flight Control Automated/Dual Redundant
Availability Development
Take Off/Landing VTOL/STOL
AV Data Link(s) S-Band/UHF (TCDL future)
Payload FLIR - EO/IR - SAR

This matrix outlines performance demonstrated during the VTOL UAV landbased demonstration at Yuma Proving Grounds. This demonstration called for up to 50 flight hours in a 90 day period.





xx xx xx


Last Flt

Air Vehicle VTOL xx xx xx
xx xx


43 1
xx xx

Total Flight Time (hrs)

55.5 2.3
xx xx

Longest Sortie (hrs)

2.3 2.3
Radius of Action2 110 nm

Max Range (nm)

20.6 20.6
xx xx

Max Rng Ltd by

datalink datalink
xx xx

External Pilot
Datalink range (nm)

20.6 approx 1.0
xx xx

Internal Pilot
Datalink range (nm)

20.6 20.6
xx xx

Datalink range (nm)

20.6 20.6
Time to Station3 < 1 hr

Time to 20 nm loiter point (min)

approx 9 minutes approx 9  minutes
Time on Station4 3 hr

Time @ 20nm loiter (hrs)

1.7 1.7
Airspeed 0 to 150 kts

Max Airspeed (kts)

190 kias* 180 kias
Maximum Operating Altitude at least 13,000 ft MSL

Max Altitude
(ft MSL)

14,005 Hp** 10,000 Hp
Shipboard Launch/ Recovery Area all air capable ships – 24’ Spot

Avg Distance from Intended Ldg Point (ft)

xx 2
Launch/ Recovery


up to at least 20 kts

Max Wind (kts)

12/16G32 2-5 /VAR
Shipboard Launch/ Recovery Capability Automatic with manual backup and waveoff capability; touch and go   n/a n/a
xx xx

Auto T/O & Ldgs

0/0 0/0
xx xx

Manual T/O & Ldgs

43/43 1/1
xx xx

Touch & Go’s

1 0
xx xx

Waveoffs Int/Unint

0/1 0/0
Environmental Protection full EMI protection


No EMI Noted No EMI Noted
xx Protected from and resistant to degrading effects of sand, dust, and salt-laden air; operate in light icing

Sand/Dust degradations

None Noted None Noted
AV Operational Temperature - 20 deg F to 120 deg F (start, T/O)

Max/Min OAT(deg F)

93/49 84/77
xx --note these numbers are at the field--

Max/Min Press in Hg






xx xx xx


Last Flt

Recover at TOGW Yes

Recover at TOGW
max TO/LDG wt (lbs)

1954 /

1954 /

9.8 ft during launch/recovery;

TO/LDG accuracy (ft)

5 / 10


Spatial Location Accuracy 82 ft in-flight

NAV accuracy (ft)


not calc’d
xx xx

TGT accuracy



Navigation Capability autonomous navigation; automatic execution of lost link and emergency recovery procedures; automatic loiter on command; transmit magnetic heading information and self-location xx xx xx
xx xx


waypoint select and designate waypoint select and designate
xx xx

Automatic lost link

3 links plus return home 3 links plus return home
xx xx

Automatic loiter

0 kias inertial velocity demoed not demoed
Payload Capacity at least 200 lb; 2.5 kW power for payload; internal/external payload area of at least 2 cubic feet; day/night passive imagery sensor

Max Payload carried:

Weight (lbs)

209 (includes TM gear) 200 (includes TM gear + FSI 3000 FLIR/TV)
Navigation Lights comply with FAA regulations; capable of activation/
deactivation from GCS at maximum range

Ext Lights control
From GCS

Strobe only Strobe only
Mission Reliability5 at least 75% xx xx


xx xx

Avg Flt Hrs/Sortie



xx xx

Takeoff Times:
Planned vs. Actual



xx xx

Sortie Completion %







xx xx

Maint Actions/Flt Hr

Maint Hrs/Flt Hr



xx xx

Down Gripes

9 0
xx xx

In-flight Aborts

9 0
xx xx

Data Set Completion
% Plan vs. Actual

approx 95% 100%
(1) All performance objectives are specified under standard day conditions unless otherwise noted
(2) Air vehicle performance objective using line-of-sight datalink. Datalink range does not need to support demonstration of this objective.

(3) With 200 lb modular mission payload, flying in 25 kt headwind.
(4) With 200 lb modular mission payload.
(5) Mission Reliability is defined as the capability to complete a mission without a critical failure that would prevent the continuance of the mission. A successful mission includes mission planning, AV launch, AV proceeding to and loitering at the target area while performing planned or immediate tasks while simultaneously relaying MMP information to the supported commander, and AV recovery. Inclement weather, last minute changes in airspace coordination, and airspace interlopers will not count against mission success.

* Air data system preliminary cal indicates approximately 200 knots calibrated airspeed.

* Air data system preliminary cal indicates approximately 15,000 feet calibrated pressure altitude.

Air View

Rotor View
TRUSairmount_small.JPG (1270 bytes) TRUSrotor_small.JPG (1787 bytes)
Flight at Yuma Proving Grounds (YPG)    Preflight
Ground Views
TRUSground_small.JPG (1715 bytes) TRUSground1_small.JPG (1861 bytes) TRUSground3_small.JPG (1807 bytes)
Right View Front View Left View
TRUSgroundmount_small.JPG (1446 bytes) TRUSgroundmount2_small.JPG (1221 bytes) TRUSground2_small.JPG (1670 bytes)
Right View


Rear View


Left View


setup_small.JPG (1806 bytes) Communications
setup1_small.JPG (2175 bytes)
Antenna Antenna
setup2_small.JPG (2224 bytes) booth_small.JPG (1656 bytes) booth1_small.JPG (2043 bytes)
Comms Navigiation Center Navigation Center

Sources and Methods

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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Saturday, November 27, 1999 4:15:23 AM