Austrian company to test vane-propelled air taxiOctober 22, 2020
The Austrian company Cyclotech plans to begin testing an 80-kilogram prototype of an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft with an unusual engine before the end of the year. Its peculiarity is that, instead of rotors, it has Voith-Schneider thrusters, which provide increased mobility and controllability.
The ship’s propeller was invented back in 1926 by the Austrian Ernest Schneider, and soon the Voith company built the first experimental ship using the circular motion of movable blades. This design provides water transport with excellent maneuvering qualities.
Schneider’s compatriots from Cyclotech, who developed Cyclogyro, use the same principle. The device acts in much the same way as a helicopter propeller, constantly changing the angle of the blades. In the case of the Cyclogyro, a mechanical clutch – connecting rods connected to a central hub – is capable of tilting and changing the angle of the blades as they rotate around the cylinder, adjusting to changes in the wind, writes New Atlas.
The ability to quickly redirect thrust makes this system extremely responsive compared to other devices on the eVTOL market. And, unlike traditional propeller designs, every Cyclogyro force can be directed in any direction along the axis of rotation – forward, backward, up, down, and in any intermediate state – almost instantly.
Cyclotech’s current prototype is a carbon fiber cylinder 420 mm long and 350 mm in diameter with five carbon blades rotating at 3100 rpm and developing a maximum thrust of 247 N. Approximately the same technical characteristics will be found in the 80 kg electric drone, which the company intends to demonstrate in end of this year.
And in the long-term plans of Cyclotech – the development of a four-seat air taxi with a 1660 kW engine and a battery pack weighing 760 kg, which will allow you to fly up to 85 km or for 40 minutes at a cruising speed of 150 km / h. There is also interest in the development of smaller cargo drones with increased mobility.
Recently, the Chinese company Autoflight introduced a new model of a large electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) drone capable of carrying up to 100 kg of cargo. It is designed in accordance with the aerodynamic “canard” configuration, that is, the horizontal tail is located in front of the main wing.
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