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Hill Helicopters HX50

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Hill Helicopters HX50

Old 27th Sep 2020, 11:18
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe so, Evil, but the left seat would need an armrest on the left side for the collective, and that would make it a little difficult to heave the body over it for entry. And would still require the fittings for the cyclic on the left side. A long-armed cyclic stick will need some springs and counterbalances under that panel to work, be it FBW or manual.
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 16:27
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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All are saying "haighth"
What the hell?
IT IS AIGHTH.
So......... I wont be buying!
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 17:00
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Evil Twin View Post
Could be fly-by-wire Charles, the tech is mature enough.
in a “private” helicopter that promises incredible economics?
They are building avionics, a turbine and all the other “ground up” stuff from scratch.
Why not throw in FBW as well?
It becomes more of a designers wet dream by the minute.
Looking forward to it being solar powered and fashioned from a new element on the periodic table next.
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Old 27th Sep 2020, 20:15
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Evil Twin View Post
Could be fly-by-wire Charles, the tech is mature enough.
Cable linkages, you mean?
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 11:38
  #185 (permalink)  
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Details of the HX-50 engine...

In another step away from long-entrenched industry norms, British manufacturer Hill Helicopters is today announcing that the power for its new HX50 luxury personal helicopter will be their own Hill GT50 light turbine engine with a continuous power output of 400hp. This newly designed powerplant eliminates the need for a compressor turbine gearbox to save weight and complexity, while manufacturing methodologies have enabled a much shorter development lifecycle. An in-house FADEC brings further simplicity to the complete package.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Jason Hill, HeliHub.com particularly noted that the creation of its own powerplant has allowed Hill Helicopters to move away from the constraints of existing engine suppliers and designs, many of which trace their origins back to the 1950s or 1960s. The benefit of being able to match engine with airframe from the ground up means that the design will be optimised for the refinement demanded by the HX50 helicopter. The combination of time-tested, proven engine technologies and today’s turbine engine advancements makes the GT50 a compact, light, and innovative solution that defines the future of the light turbine helicopter.

“The GT50 has been designed and developed by a team of industry veterans using methods, tools, and techniques pioneered over decades,” says Jason Hill. “It is an intelligent ensemble of proven ideas and architecture, embodied into a new engine that fully exploits modern advancements, manufacturing methods, and supply chain opportunities to fulfill a specific market need.”

The Hill GT50 employs state-of-art component and gas-path design delivering unmatched efficiencies for an entry-level turbine. The performance and operating range for the compressor and turbines is coupled with an efficient and robust three-can combustor system, offering a low-risk development route, flameout redundancy, and fuel flexibility.

The historically expensive and heavy compressor turbine gearbox of current helicopter engines has been eliminated and replaced by a direct-drive starter-generator to dramatically reduce the cost and mechanical complexity of the engine. Extensive use of redundant electrical engine ancillaries further simplifies the engine package and a modular design makes for easy maintenance of the unit’s core components.

The engine is also fully electronically controlled and features the Hill FADEC System, providing trouble-free, rapid startup and shutdown, tight RPM management, and optimal engine monitoring and control.

Additionally, the Hill team took advantage of today’s economies of scale in manufacturing turbine components. On-demand advanced manufacturing processes and improved supply chains for the specialized materials used in turbine engines allowed for significant cost and time savings in developing, manufacturing, and delivering an affordable new engine.

“The availability of reliable, powerful, and affordable engines is what limits light helicopter design today,” Hill adds. “When considering the overall mix of requirements necessary to power a truly ground-breaking aircraft, we saw the opportunity to design a simple turbine engine with unmatched efficiency, power, and cost. In simple terms, by developing the advanced GT50 engine, Hill has completely unlocked the potential of the helicopter in terms of both performance and cost, providing the enchanting opportunity to relaunch general aviation.”

Hill GT50 Turbine Specifications:
  • Maximum Continuous Power: 400 hp
  • Take-off Power (5 mins): 440 hp (Up to 10,000 ft, ISA +15°C)
  • Emergency Power (30s): 500 hp
  • Fuel Consumption (MCP): 35 U.S. gallons per hour
  • Fuel Type: Jet A1 (Alternatives to be announced soon)
  • TBO: 5,000 hours or 20,000 cycles, on condition.
  • Control: Hill FADEC (Dual channel, with manual reversion)
  • Management: Fully integrated with Hill Digital Cockpit
  • Weight: 100 kg / 220 lbs
Hill GT50 Turbine Engine Features:
  • Two-spool turboshaft engine
  • Single stage centrifugal compressor with two-stage axial gas generator turbine
  • Single stage axial free power turbine
  • Direct-drive starter generator replaces the traditional expensive and heavy compressor turbine gearbox
  • Hill FADEC system
  • Inlet barrier filter and silencer as standard, minimizing compressor noise, maximizing protection, and extending the life of the engine components
  • Light, low-profile, compact design


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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 12:56
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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Finally, something of substance.

"replaced by a direct-drive starter-generator" - this is an excellent move considering recent developments in electric motors.

"Extensive use of redundant electrical engine ancillaries" implies to me that the fuel pump(s), hydraulic pump(s) are now all electric, much like the fuel delivery and power steering in modern cars. I guess that was inevitable.

If he's actually pulled this off then it may be worth paying closer attention to their announcements.

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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 13:16
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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Has an engine actually been built and achieved these specifications and thus might likely be certified as such, or are these simply on-paper design dreams with a working prototype not yet built?
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 13:58
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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Mischa Gelb ("Pilot Yellow" on Youtube) has entered into some sort of PR agreement with Hill. He's got a few videos up and today an interview with Hill himself on the engine (so much for the "exclusive interview" HeliHub!)


Hill has also been banging out some videos in the past couple of weeks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCko...nFWs5Ca0utRl2w
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 15:02
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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Why would you get an airpod wearing millennial to punt your aircraft on youtube? that was the most annoying part of the video.
There just seems to be a constant whiff of used car salesman in these marketing videos.

So they still have to mill the first part and then get round to testing if the theory holds up in practice, then convince a regulator and a buying public to put their faith in an engine with no history. Bold move.
Hopefully they aren't leaning on any patents.

I don't buy the "we couldn't find an engine which met our performance needs" story. Sure, from a cost and integration perspective it would have hurt a bit but let's not pretend that out of the wide range of engines available none would work.

In this instance, ground up, seems to mean using older tech (electrics aside) and borrowing from non-aviation industries.
Did he really say it has a single shaft? Didn't that go out in the 60's?

I can see the benefits of being able to purpose build the engine, especially if they can deliver on the specs, reliably.
It still seems they have bitten off a lot to chew.

Look forward to seeing the prototype in action.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 15:56
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Did he really say it has a single shaft?
Pretty sure the spec sheet says “ two spool”
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 16:35
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post
Why would you get an airpod wearing millennial to punt your aircraft on youtube? that was the most annoying part of the video.
There just seems to be a constant whiff of used car salesman in these marketing videos.
I'd be willing to bet a beer or two that Gelb, seeking another adventure, approached Hill and said something like "Hey, I very successfully flew an R66 around the world. How about I do the same as a publicity stunt for the HX50 when it's ready?" and Hill bought into it.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 16:57
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
I'd be willing to bet a beer or two that Gelb, seeking another adventure, approached Hill and said something like "Hey, I very successfully flew an R66 around the world. How about I do the same as a publicity stunt for the HX50 when it's ready?" and Hill bought into it.
From a previous story:
"Gelb is a co-owner of Canadian firm BC Helicopters, based in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Alongside serial venture capital entrepreneur Ruben Dias, whose FastTrack Ventures business is located in nearby Whistler, Gelb has created a separate company to handle the sales and marketing effort for Hill Helicopters."
Dias was Gelb's co-conspirator in the round-the-world flight; as far as I remember he was looking to invest in Hill, but it proved unnecessary for whatever reason. That sales and marketing company gets a commission on every sale of an HX50 they make.

And on the engine development - first engine to run on a test bench next year. Three engines to be ground tested ahead of the first flight in 2022.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 17:36
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ETOPS View Post
Pretty sure the spec sheet says “ two spool”
might have misheard him on the video.
he seemed pleased there was no shaft within a shaft and the related complexity.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 20:54
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, I think they mean two stage not two spool.
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Old 3rd Nov 2020, 21:11
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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No, it's two spool, but not concentric shafts, he says it in the video. Power turbine is a rear power take off, like the PT6 and Arriel. So two shafts arranged axially behind one another. They are just avoiding the complexities of concentric shafts.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 02:10
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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beautiful engine rendering exercise for sure

in the video
Q: do you have the expertise to design engines?
A: ... you know ...you go out and get the expertise you need ....

That is the cheap business manager rational, that you can buy your way into making extremely complex technology task.
I admire the positive thinking but it is lacking the credibility that he can catch up 70 years of knowhow (turbomeca and others)
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 05:44
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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Is the engine oil pressure pump an "ancillary"? If it's electrically driven you'd really hate to have your engine turn into burnt toast because a wire fell off or the service man got his wires crossed.
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 06:31
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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No, it's two spool, but not concentric shafts, he says it in the video. Power turbine is a rear power take off, like the PT6 and Arriel. So two shafts arranged axially behind one another. They are just avoiding the complexities of concentric shafts.
Cran yes that makes sense
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 06:37
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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Somebody mentioned an electric hydraulic pump?

I would prefer one driven off the main txmsn. Works better after an engine / electrics failure, you don't want to be like the old B47s where an engine failure also meant hydraulics off.

With the fore/aft collective, which way is power? Pulling back, sort of like pulling up, or pushing forward like a throttle in a jet? Some muscle retraining needed I reckon. The video refers to the target buyer as somebody with a lot of money but unlikely to fly more than 50 hours a year. Does anybody think that a private pilot in a performance machine like this, flying an hour a week, will not join the statistics in a shortish time?
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Old 4th Nov 2020, 06:59
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Does anybody think that a private pilot in a performance machine like this, flying an hour a week, will not join the statistics in a shortish time?
That philosophy has worked wonders for Robinson’s sales numbers
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