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Gadget Freak Jr.: Manned Electric Helicopter

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TJ McDermott
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Blogger
Not exactly safe
TJ McDermott   11/4/2011 9:14:22 AM
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But who cares?  This is almost Rube Goldberg in its genius by using an exercise ball for a landing cushion.

Excuse me, I'll be right back.  Have to pop out and buy a bunch of quad-copters...

William K.
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Platinum
Manned electric helicopter
William K.   11/5/2011 7:02:35 PM
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This is indeed interesting! A few more details would help, but what is there seems almost like enough for others to duplcate the thing. I can see that stability would require close control of motor speeds, and I do wonder just a bit about how to turn and steer the thing. It sort of looks a bit like the helicopter windmill written up a few weeks ago, which could be flown up to where the airflow was much higher, at which point it would serve as a generating windmill. So we do have a really interesting concept here.

AJ2X
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Silver
Interesting...
AJ2X   11/7/2011 10:37:17 AM
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It's a pretty impressive achievement, but maybe not a game-changer.  Hovering and station-keeping is good, but I'd want to see some evidence of direction control, turning, and straight-line movement.  Can it rotate on its own vertical axis (a useful feature of ordinary helicopters)?  The noise of 16 uncorrelated propellors is an interesting sound.

And those guys better stick to engineering -- the video production  was pretty hilarious, particularly the uber-dramatic style of the opening, and the choice of music.

sensor pro
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Gold
Re: Interesting...
sensor pro   11/7/2011 3:43:59 PM
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Great report and such an interesting subject. Very interesting design. I know there are some drones with electrical motors used in Israel, but clearly not the size and design like that with multi motors. I agree that we need to see some controlled motion, rotation and direction controll.

 

Enjoyed the music too.

William K.
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Platinum
Manned electric helicopter
William K.   11/7/2011 9:42:43 PM
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Thiis has a very interesting video, although I would rather  have not had so much bandwidth taken up by the dramatic sound track. Those are quite small motors, it appears. It was not clear what the mechanism is for controlling the flight direction, that would be interesting to see. 

It looks a bit like a project that others could duplicate, which could be the start of something big. Really big indeed.

Are you able to provide additional information about the voltages and power levels, and anything else?

Alexander Wolfe
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Blogger
Re: Manned electric helicopter
Alexander Wolfe   11/17/2011 9:56:51 AM
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Bill- For additional information, check out the e-volo website, here, which also has contact information for the company in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
1932 Helicron
Rob Spiegel   11/21/2011 2:11:18 PM
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This is a nifty vehicle, but it's clear why it didn't take off (pun intended). No reverse alone presents a big problem. I would imagine wind is a tad rough on passengers. I wonder how its energy consumption compares to the internal combustion engine. My guess is the helicron uses more energy per mile at an equivalent speed. It looks fairly inefficient. But maybe not.

pnadams
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Iron
Failure modes
pnadams   3/1/2012 10:05:22 AM
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The comment about "can still safely land even if up to four of its sixteen motors should fail" is nonsense. If you look at the design studies the four arms are meant to be folding, so the most likely failures will be in the communication link or power link at the joint (or the joint itself). Failure of four motors on one arm would be catastrophic (and rapidly so).

Also in the design studies is a three arm 12 rotor design. This probably the preferred design, one would assume the fewer rotors would have longer span and therefore more aerodynamic efficiency.

It's a fun idea though, I can see myself dodging traffic in three dimensions on my morning commute :-).


William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Manned electric helicopter
William K.   3/5/2012 9:18:05 PM
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A failure spread around the pilot would still allow landing. All in one arm could wind up being hard to mannage, although still possible. 

It does seem that a device like this would be within the capabilities of many builders, even though no information about the motors or props is provided. The concept is quite interesting, and I can see a possibility of using an onboard engine driven generator to provide a much longer flight time, or a hybrid version for when it needs to be quite part of the time.But I do need to find out about those motors and props.

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