While this addition is a clear PR stunt to promote Volocopter in the Paris urban area, we are positively excited to eventually discover what flying the Volocity will feel like!
The video illustrates a typical HMI struggle: to which switch can we allocate a secondary function?
In this case, the Bell AH-1W Super Cobra is equipped with prototype Hydra 70 2,75 inches rockets fitting an infrared seeker. Currently, most of the guided rocket are Laser-guided.
For this airborne test, the integration of the guided-rocket (with inrared seeker, not Laser) did not foresee the installation of a new switch-ON button, but rather allocated the function to an already existing search light command (see the video at 4:36). Therefore you cannot have both the guided rocket and the search light installed at the same time. It would be bad to forget it while you’re flying.
Dear pilot, if you want to light up your target, don’t blaze it!
Helicopters have always be designed and built for a mission. Bell Helicopters made it their motto (“One Bell. On a Mission”). The reason is obvious: their cost to buy and maintain have always limited purchases for recreational use. However, new designs such as the Ehang 184 or the Volocopter start changing the market into a more affordable pricing.
The most important change, though, might be one of the least noticed these days: Airbus Helicopters is being rebranded and will be called Airbus, just Airbus. Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, is famous and acknowledged as the first civilian helicopter manufacturer in the world, designing and manufacturing reliable aircraft. Why, then, take the risk of losing the benefit of the history?
With the gigantic new market of autonomous drones, the technologies are becoming mature for new aircraft.
Airbus is taking the path of new airborne vehicles with rotary wings, and helicopters as we know them will only be a small part of it. It is all a matter of definition: while a helicopter has one main rotor and a tail rotor, or several main rotors, the use of push propellers or tilt rotors draws the designs closer to the limits of the definition. Furthermore, the use of fixed pitch propellers, in order to produce lift instead of propulsive thrust, confuses the difference between airplanes and helicopters.
The diversity of missions that can be fulfilled by aircraft is overwhelming. Many companies around the entire world come with new ideas and answer problems that are not even existing yet: E-Volo, Zee.Aero, Joby Aviation, Ehang, Airbus Vahana, City Airbus…
All these new design will make the word “helicopter” obsolete. While the current “Sikorsky” configuration (main rotor and a tail rotor) will still be the best design for many missions, alternative solutions will emerge. Separable fuselage to load the cargo, modular engine pods, optionally piloted vehicles, variable number of engines, all these designs will only be limited by the imagination of engineers, for a safer, cleaner, and efficient future.
July 07th, 2015. Airbus Helicopters presents its brand new prototype of a modified H135, featuring extremely low noise in flight. A reduction of no less than 10 EPNdB (perceived noise), corresponding to a reduction by 90 percent of the noise of a standard H135 helicopter. (More information on icao.int, wikipedia.org/EPNdB, or wikipedia.org/Loudness. To refresh your logarithmic knowledge on the dB, check this.)
The aircraft displays an unusual shape to those familiar with the product family: T-tail horizontal stabilizer, new rotor blades…
Airbus Helicopters certified its EC145 T2 recently. The new aircraft is based on the famous EC145 aka BK117 C2.
Both designations EC145 T2 and BK117 D2 refer to the same aircraft.
Enhancements incorporated in the T2 version of the 4-metric-ton category EC145 include new Arriel 2E engines and the company’s signature Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, along with upgraded main and new tail rotor gear boxes, and an advanced cockpit that uses Airbus Helicopter’s innovative Helionix digital avionics suite with 4-axis autopilot.
More photos available at airbushelicopters.com
Every year and a few steps away from the lake of Constance, southern Germany, the airport of Friedrichshafen hosts the AERO trade fair, gathering many manufacturers from the light general aviation.
Ultra Lights and gliders, small and light aircraft, gyrocopters and helicopters, navigation systems and digital maps, everybody had something to keep himself busy.
Of course, I headed for the helicopters. The exhibition is mostly European. Robinson was not present, as well as bigger manufacturers like AgustaWestland or Airbus Helicopters.
e-volo is a young German company aiming for an electric “multicopter”. The Volocopter is a dream to every young engineer: the elegant concept featuring 18 electric motors (55 to 90 kW) proved its feasibility with an indoor unmanned flight last year (November 2013), and outdoor “real” flights are expected with excitement.
The aircraft will be certified as Ultra Light with a gross weight of 450 kg and 2 persons side by side.
Cruise speed would be at least 100 km/h, longer than 1 hour and higher than 6500 ft.
The two-seater is worldwide famous, but not yet big enough to seriously compete against the almighty Robinson. The Cabri is now fitted with a cargo hoist up to 220 kg and models produced after S/N 008 can be easily retrofitted.
SAGITA Helicopters is a Belgian company created in 2008, working on a new helicopter design based on a Ljungström turbine. The bulky hull covers a centrifugal turbine, that powers both of the rotor plates. The 2 pairs of blades are contra-rotating coaxial rotors. According to the brochure, the transmission system requires no lubrication or cooling!
The air intake is located at the rear of the fuselage and the exhaust is a thin gap between the hemispheres of the rotor head.
Despite succesful flight tests of a 1/5 scale model and wind tunnel experiments, the full scale prototype is expected to make its maiden flight only next year.
DYNALI Helicopter Company
DYNALI is another Belgian helicopter manufacturer. The first model, the H2, was under powered and got replaced by the H2S, powered by a Subaru engine. The H3 was on display.
The H3 is available as a kit for 100 000 EUR or ready to fly for 110 000 EUR. The H2S is more performing and comes with a slightly higher price of 125 000 EUR ready for flight.
With a gross weight of 450 kg, the H3 qualifies as a Class 6 ULM in France.
ITALIAN ROTORS Industries
Unfortunately, the staff was not available to talk about the aircraft. Nevertheless, the brochure is very detailed and plenty of information.
The two-seater is powered either with a Thunderbird 130 shp or with a Lycoming O-320 B2C (four cylinders and 160 shp) and qualifies as a French ULM with a gross weight of 450 kg.
Yet another Italian helicopter manufacturer! Unfortunately, they were already packing and there was nobody to discuss with.
Konner is an Italian helicopter manufacturer producing its own Diesel turbo engines. The TK250 produces 250 shp at 2300 rpm.
The warm welcome with big slices of prosciutto was noteworthy.
The aircraft seems to come in any colour you could imagine, inside as well as outside. It can be powered with aviation fuel (kerozene, JP-4…) as well as diesel. Example was taken from a customer in Micronesia using the helicopter as help for fishing. The aircraft is provided with the same fuel as the ship: diesel.
This German company started the development of the HPC450, a small helicopter. The model has never flown yet, but the display looked promising and we could expect a maiden flight soon.
Beside the manufacturers, another company displayed its airborne sensors. The Bo105 fuselage might have been there for demonstration purpose only; I wouldn’t know where the pilot would seat otherwise 🙂
Will it ever be displayed in flight?
Despite the offical AgustaWestland’s statement that the tilt rotor prototype flew several times within the last 2 years, many aeronautics enthusiasts expect the Italian manufacturer to release pictures of the demonstrator in flight.
Eurocopter X3 broke a world speed record with 255 kt in level flight (@10,000 ft), 5 kt more than the Sikorsky X2.
For the second time in its existence, this very same fuselage was made famous: the first event happened 22 years ago, when the Dauphin DGV became a world fastest helicopter with 372 km/h.
2013, June 7th D-Day
Catch it if you can: teaser
Catch it if you can: Eurocopter people sharing their experience
When the X3 met the TGV, French high speed train
Should we call it X3e, like all the current new models at Eurocopter? Or X3i? Or X3+? Or X3²?
Yesterday, Eurocopter presented a new concept, a helicopter where the pilot is only an option. The EC145 c/n 9001 is the usual research aircraft of the company, known recently for the “Blue Pulse” program, intended to reduce the rotor noise.
However, not only the new drone was presented. A small surprise was displayed at the end of the movie. You thought the X3 was there only by chance? Of course not!
The Istres Air Base is the most suitable flight testing area in France. All previous test flights of X3 were made there and even the main runway was adapted to land the American space shuttles.
A closer look onto the prototype makes it clear: the rotor head and the top of the airframe have been modified.
Yes, the aircraft is being prepared for very high speeds. Eurocopter’s X3 is becoming a fierce competitor to Sikorsky’s X2. Mr Bertling is preparing to leave his seat as a CEO to Mr Faury next week and this challenge is indeed a great gift: the company displays its innovative skills.
Do you remember the DGV, Dauphin Grande Vitesse, which became once the fastest helicopter with 372 km/h in 1991? The aircraft never forgot its appetite for the records. In fact, some parts of the Dauphin DGV were removed and the helicopter was modified to build the X3.
Now, for the pleasure of your eyes, enjoy these pictures from the movie.
Agusta-Westland: Project Zero
The technology demonstrator was designed and built in less than six months and has already secretly flown several times in 2011 and 2012, demonstrating AgustaWestland’s advanced rotorcraft technology.
The tilt rotor technology demonstrator is completely electric powered, designed to hover like a helicopter and convert to a fixed wing aircraft in forward flight thanks to its two integrated rotors which can be tilted through more than 90 degrees.
see also: http://www.flightglobal.com