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Old Mar 07, 2013, 08:16 PM
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AgustaWestland unveils world's first electric tilt rotor aircraft



http://www.gizmag.com/project-zero-e...ircraft/26561/
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 12:39 AM
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Great find!

Can't wait until some of that technology filters down to us. These 6 minute flights I get are too short.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 12:47 AM
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Be a Pace setting and create it.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 09:28 AM
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Like the thinking "out of the box" for recharging the batteries. A good application of reversing the motor's direction to act like a generator. Also interesting is "Will the V tail help in transitional flight?"
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 09:43 AM
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To my present understanding, a V-Tail has less drag making it more efficient. How much is debatable.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 10:14 AM
DIY Mania from Taiwan
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thanks for posting
it would be nice if vid available
regards
Sam
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 10:26 AM
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I did a search on YouTube, there is nothing available as of yet, but I am sure that will change in the coming days.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Very cool!

It was an obvious next step given that all of the enabling technologies are available. I think a battery powered aircraft of this sort is just a novelty though. It will never have enough duration to be practical in any sense. I do, however, think it is a stepping stone to something even better, hybrid power systems. They mention the idea of an onboard diesel generator, which strikes me as unlikely if they mean a piston engine type generator. I think the future is turbine based, more like the APU (Auxilary Power Unit) used to power airliners when they are on the ground. Such a unit could be relatively small and generate lots of electrical power.

The impetus for a hybrid power system in an aircraft is different than for a car. With a car it is about running the engine at a constant efficient throttle setting, and energy recovery on braking. Aircraft engines generally run at a steady and fairly high throttle setting for a long time so they already have that advantage. Energy recovery is called gliding, or more accurately, managing your flight path so you can turn altitude into distance.

No, the point of a hybrid aircraft is to simplify the transmission. If the engine is directly connected to the propeller then it doesn't get much simpler than a direct shaft, but many exotic configurations like tilt rotors have a much more complex problem involving lots of gearboxes and such. Electric power allows for small highly efficient motors to be placed at the point where the power is needed and the energy can be transmitted via flexible wires. I can imagine that these systems will evolve to very high voltages, like 1KV or more, in order to keep the efficiency up and the wire sizes down.

I would not count on a lot of crossover between models and full scale though. At the concept level, yes, and we will certainly be flying scale models, but at the level of the underlying technology we will diverge. They will be running AC motors with no magnets for maximum efficiency, and like I said, they will only use batteries to buffer the power from the APU, and to provide emergency reserve. Their motor controllers will be much more complex providing syncronized sine waves to the motors. All the flight control systems will be fly by wire, and multiple redundant.

And the avionics? Think virtual highways in the sky. It's all gonna be soo cool!
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 02:31 PM
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It will never have enough duration to be practical in any sense
This is true now ... but big companies are looking to the future when batteries will be available to do this .

The NASA proof of concept I did for them was kind of the same idea ... and NASA wants to have a bird developed and ready for the batteries once they get here ... kind of try to corner the market ... but looks like every other company is looking the same direction .

I think batteries will eventually get there ... at Bergen R/C we looked at some Hydrogen batteries that would do 6 hours of flight and not weigh any more than the lypos we fly now ... and they are getting them small enough to mount on R/C planes .... Trouble is .... the cost


Not only are the batteries not there .. neither are the electric motors quite there yet .Need more power and better efficiency


Wooow RD you typed a book while I was typing a sentence ... well put .


Think the Jetson cartoon series !!!
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Already in the making, a better battery that is: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/...el-cell-power/
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Old May 27, 2013, 01:32 PM
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James Wang and Baylands

I had the good fortune to meet James Wang (Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland) at Baylands yesterday (5/26/13). James is an accomplished RC polot and a friend for Bob Ormiston, another Baylands regular. We talked a bit about "Project Zero" the AgustaWestland twin tiltrotor design concept prototype and technology demonstrator. Bob flew his VTOL tail sitter and I flew the VTOL-Trainer in less than ideal gusty conditions. We even talked James into flying some Battlewings and he now has at least one kill to his credit.

When I first heard of Project Zero (months ago) I was a bit skeptical. I didn't realize what a big player AgustaWestland is in the world helecopter market. It looked a little to "showy" to be a practical design, but I guess I was wrong. It is making unmanned flights in hover mode, and smaller models have flow in all flight modes including forward flight. They are also working on a hybrid deisel concept because the current battery technology is not adequate by itself.

I still think that this particular form factor will not nut ultimately be one of the standard formats, but I also think that many of the underlying technologies will make VTOL aircraft more common, practical, and safe in the years ahead. It is, however, a very sexy design, and really captures the imagination, helping to bridge the gap between vidio game fantasy aircraft and the real world where the laws of physics apply. All electric hybrid power is in our future.

Here is a link to the August Westland web site:

http://www.agustawestland.com/news/a...y-demonstrator
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Old May 28, 2013, 12:20 AM
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Thanks for the info Ran D.

I'm curious where the CG is on this thing. Looks like most of the wing is in front of the rotors which I'm guessing puts the rotors behind the CG.
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Old May 28, 2013, 11:08 AM
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Thanks for the info Ran D.

I'm curious where the CG is on this thing. Looks like most of the wing is in front of the rotors which I'm guessing puts the rotors behind the CG.
I am told that the two rotors have full collective and cyclic pitch capability, which means it can tolerate a modest range of CG ahead or behind the rotor shafts, but I think it is safe to assume that the nominal CG location is close to the line connecting the two rotor shafts. It pretty much has to be.
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Old May 31, 2013, 03:42 AM
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I am told that the two rotors have full collective and cyclic pitch capability, which means it can tolerate a modest range of CG ahead or behind the rotor shafts, but I think it is safe to assume that the nominal CG location is close to the line connecting the two rotor shafts. It pretty much has to be.
At least it should be. Otherwise you loose control posibilities.
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Old Jan 14, 2014, 02:18 AM
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Here is the Paris Aviation Show video.

AgustaWestland Project Zero tiltrotor - Paris Air Show 2013 (3 min 45 sec)


They used 160kwr per kg batteries. The Tesla S sedan uses 245kwr per kg Panasonic lithium ion batteries. Lithium sulfur batteries will be 4 times the power density 5 years from now. Electric airplanes are very close to long range flight. There is already a German EV airplane that is capable of a 4 hour flight.
Thin-film solar collectors laminated to the wings would be a good advantage.
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