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The future of the helicopter is electric.

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The future of the helicopter is electric.

Old 6th Sep 2010, 14:03
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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With an electric set up as described you are basically trading a fuel tank for a battery. You can run the fuel tank to lower levels to save weight and allow the helicopter to do more work. A battery weighs the same if it is fully charged or empty so you would have the weight penalty of a full tank of fuel no matter where you go.

Max
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 15:36
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Lightbulb Just an Idea....


Hello everyone
Electric seems to be full of advantages.
But I propose yet another technology.

Magnetic Motor

This video is an example of a magnetic motor of the simplest there is.

But if you have time to see one or two more videos it's better to understand the technology.



Already there are more ideas on how to maximize this energy and believe me, there's more to come.

Engineers can do anything if they want. (If they are allowed!)

If you adjust that supply power to the helicopter. we do not need more fuel or batteries.

just an idea ...





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Old 6th Sep 2010, 17:23
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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There probably aren't any weight savings in the hybrid configuration.

But you would eliminate gearboxes and all the headaches that come with that. You would eliminate the whole anti-torque shaft, head and actuation. You could do startups in no time etc. And it would be much more reliable as electric motors pretty much never wear unless the bearing goes.

The fossil fuel debate is interesting. However, even though your electricity might be fossil fuel based (not always, but likely) it makes much more sense to ship all the fuel to a power station, than to truck it out to every nook and cranny of the world to fill it up into aircrafts. The infrastructure of electric delivery is already there, it's paid for and available pretty much everywhere. You can refuel anywhere. Obviously as electric cars are already becoming quite the reality, I'm sure there will be some kind of "refueling" standard in place for them. Perhaps aviation could use the same connectors and infrastructure?
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 19:41
  #44 (permalink)  

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The future of the helicopter is electric.
Didn't they say that about cars back in the 1900's?
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 20:02
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Didn't they say that about cars back in the 1900's?
It's taken a while, but for cars it's def happening now. You just have to see how much the Prius has sold worldwide. And how every manufacturer is scrambling to get electric or hybrid cars out on the market.

Aviation might take a bit longer, but I'm personally 100% certain it will happen in my lifetime.

And Tazzz, that seems like yet another version of the elusive perpetuum mobile. It hasn't worked in the last 500 years and will never work as long as Newton is in control.
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 20:26
  #46 (permalink)  

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You could do startups in no time etc.
But a turbine takes very little time to start in any case. A large percentage of start time for a twin engined EMS helicopter these days comes from waiting for the avionics to come on line, not its turbine engines.
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 20:35
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I reckon that most people reading this thread have already flown an electric helicopter. I actually owned my own a few years back! Okay, so it was a scale model co-axial helicopter with a little remote control but still it proves it is feasible.

I guess what is needed is a substantial amount of investment from our industry. However, considering a hell of a lot of helicopters are sold to service the oil industry to extract fossil fuels I'm doubtful that helicopter companies will be pouring money into R&D!

As an aside lets hope electric helicopters don't fly into walls like mine seemed to have a habit of doing!!

PT
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 21:42
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I'm pretty sure that making an electrically driven helicopter with a turbine would make a lot of sense, seeing as how it's a lot more reliable and definitely less finicky then a gearbox. Lithium based batteries that can get the APU online to get the main turbines online, that would power rotors via electrical power has sort of been done before, and proposed for vehicles like tanks, that also have a lot of weight spent on the drivetrain.
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 22:18
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not so sure that separating the tail rotor from the main rotor is such a good idea.
What if something happens to one of the engines?
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Old 6th Sep 2010, 22:55
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry Adam, but IMO this is nonsense.

All the energy in this system is initially coming from the APU to charge the battery, so you may as well drive the rotors from the APU and save the battery and electric motor weight.

But it is much worse than that. There are significant energy losses in the electric generator and then the electric motor, so the fuel efficiency overall is much worse than a plain ol' turbine.

When batteries are good enough for a one hour flight, and they are ground charged from a non polluting electric power source such as solar, hydro or nuclear, then it all becomes worthwhile.

As for the Prius - it's a gimmick. You will get better overall efficiency in the *real world* out of a small modern turbo-diesel.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 00:47
  #51 (permalink)  

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Didn't they say that about cars back in the 1900's?
It's taken a while, but for cars it's def happening now. You just have to see how much the Prius has sold worldwide. And how every manufacturer is scrambling to get electric or hybrid cars out on the market.

Aviation might take a bit longer, but I'm personally 100% certain it will happen in my lifetime.

As that 'taken a while' has been about about 100 years, I'll wager a fiver on that last sentence
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 01:14
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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All the energy in this system is initially coming from the APU to charge the battery, so you may as well drive the rotors from the APU and save the battery and electric motor weight.
The idea was to charge the battery from the ground and have to APU just keep it topped up. Only in a remote area where no electricity could be found, would the APU be running to charge the battery up.

Pretty much like the Chevy Volt that comes out now.

But it is much worse than that. There are significant energy losses in the electric generator and then the electric motor, so the fuel efficiency overall is much worse than a plain ol' turbine.
Yes, there are energy losses, but so are there in gearboxes. I have a hunch the APU and Gen will weigh less than a gearbox, but I could be wrong.

As for the Prius - it's a gimmick. You will get better overall efficiency in the *real world* out of a small modern turbo-diesel.
This is true. However, may I make a direct comparison to the field I work in - Cinematography.

All these new HD cameras and digital stills cameras have come along and pretty much put film still cameras out of business. Most of you probably have an old film camera laying around in your house, but you shoot on your digital cameras these days. Film cameras for the motion picture industry is still hanging on, but their days are numbered. Now, do any of these HD or still cameras resolve more pixels than film or actually look better? No they don't. In fact, the latest HD cameras have far less resolution than film has. I can easily extract 6K information from a 35mm film frame, whereas an HD camera barely manages 2K, and that's heavily compressed. Yet they've completely taken over. Why? Because it's good enough and convenient.

Now, would you rather not have a little bit less range in your helicopter, if you could virtually eliminate TBO's on drive components? If you could tenfold reliability? If you could fly for half the cost? I think most business and individuals would be happy to make that trade. And that's where I think electric cars, aircraft, whatever will live in the beginning. It's an interesting future, for sure.

Last edited by AdamFrisch; 8th Sep 2010 at 07:02.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 06:05
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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The future of the helicopter is electric.
Hmm ... I don't think so!
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 08:19
  #54 (permalink)  

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Now, would you rather not have a little bit less range in your helicopter, if you could virtually eliminate TBO's on drive components?
No!

Pilot:

"Sorry Boss, we can't get to the destination for your important business meeting....battery's run flat. That's it for today. I'll get you a taxi and I'll try to get the aircraft recharged overnight. I'll come back for you tomorrow and do the same again... Look on the bright side, we have more TBO on the drive components!"

Boss: "You're fired!"

Adam, helicopters need more range and endurance, not less!!
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 09:23
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Adam, helicopters need more range and endurance, not less!!
Got it in one!!
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 09:30
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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What about a hybrid? Electric-powered tail rotors, but the main rotors will continue to be driven by the turbine? No more complex drive shaft, more power to the main rotors, reduction in weight etc...
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 09:32
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Pilot:

"Sorry Boss, we can't get to the destination for your important business meeting....battery's run flat. That's it for today. I'll get you a taxi and I'll try to get the aircraft recharged overnight. I'll come back for you tomorrow and do the same again... Look on the bright side, we have more TBO on the drive components!"

Boss: "You're fired!"
Or alternatively...
"Sorry Boss, we can't get to the destination for your important business meeting... Aircraft in for maintenance again. That's it for this week or two.
I'll get you a taxi and I'll try to get another aircraft hired in. Then in another 50 hrs we do it all again".

Boss: : "We're stuffed"
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 10:55
  #58 (permalink)  

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That's it for this week or two. I'll get you a taxi and I'll try to get another aircraft hired in. Then in another 50 hrs we do it all again".
A week or two for a 50 hour? Find another aircraft type, or another maintenance organisation!
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 10:58
  #59 (permalink)  

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What about a hybrid?
Hybrid chickens = Good.

Hybrid helicopters = No thanks.
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Old 7th Sep 2010, 13:18
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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What about a hybrid? Electric-powered tail rotors, but the main rotors will continue to be driven by the turbine? No more complex drive shaft, more power to the main rotors, reduction in weight etc...
1) How is a high power generator, remote electric motor (heavy!), power regulation system (probably including huge buffer capacitors to deal with sudden load changes) less complex OR lighter than a driveshaft and a 90deg gearbox?

2) Why would such a system provide more power to the main rotor?
The electric tail rotor still needs the same power as a normal one. The method of getting it there would be way less efficient than with a simple driveshaft.
So, less power available to the MR, and more weight.
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