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Boeing 360 — walkaround of the Osprey ancestor, Part I

14 September 2015

39° 59′ 32″ N / 75° 34′ 46″ W

Boeing 360 — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 on the grounds of the American Helicopter Museum — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

The Boeing 360 is a unique 1980s vintage helicopter which was built as a flying technology demonstrator/testbed. Obviously and heavily reliant upon the Boeing Vertol Chinook helicopter the 360 was in many ways more advanced.

Composite materials make up much of the 360’s construction:

  • Graphite and fiberglass rotor heads
  • Graphite fuselage frames as well as longerons
  • Fuselage exterior comprised of Nomex core surfaced with Kevlar mesh

Although the twin engines are mounted as are ones on the Chinook the exhausts are routed through the rear of the fuselage. The cockpit was a glass one with six multi-function displays. A significant departure from the Chinook design is the elimination of fuselage sponsons and a three piece landing gear system instead of a four piece system.

Boeing 360 — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 showing its streamlined shape as compared to its immediate ancestors, the Sea Knight and the Chinook — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360, note the smooth fuselage Kevlar mash skin and retractable landing gear  — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 engine exhausts within the rear fin of the fuselage — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

Boeing 360 copilot side — Joseph May: Travel for Aircraft

The 360 did its work well and its heritage can be seen today in the Bell Boeing Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and is exhibited on the grounds of the American Helicopter Museum. See the second half of this walkaround in the next post 🙂

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