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CycloTech UAV Demonstrator (concept design)

 

UAV Demonstrator (concept design)
CycloTech GmbH
Linz, Austria
www.cyclotech.at

CycloTech GmbH was founded in 2004 in Austria (originally as IAT 21) and has been to date, actively pursuing research and development, manufacturing and testing their CycloRotor technology. The company's core business is the development and optimization of CycloRotors for the propulsion of hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger and air cargo aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). According to one website, the company has as least six patents as of October 2023. While the company has already has had investments from Breeze Invest, the company is seeking more financial investors. The company is the leading developer of cyclogyro technology. (Image credit: CycloTech)

CycloRotor
The CycloRotor is a series of propeller blades mounted on both ends to rotating disks, forming what could be called a bladed cylinder. The unique ability of the blades is they are similar to how most helicopter rotorblades work, each propeller can continuously change its angle or pitch. The blades will tilt gradually into the wind and as they reach a certain point in their rotation, they will gradually tilt back to flat as they pass the peak point. The core of the drive concept was established by Ernst Schneider and the Voith GmbH technology group nearly 100 years ago, and patented as the Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP).

When CycloRotors are placed perpendicularly and vertically to the fuselage of an aircraft, the CycloRotors enable high-precision flight in all directions (or superior maneuverability) as well as mid-air braking even in gusty wind conditions. This means the aircraft has has 360° thrust vectoring capability. The means the aircraft now has the ability to instantaneously and precisely move the aircraft in any direction. This ability allows for an easy and smooth transition from VTOL to forward flight. It is possible to keep the aircraft fuselage at any angle, independent from the flight direction. This is called decoupling of the flight path and the vehicle attitude. The propulsion system is ideal for safe operation in crowed airspace and confined areas. This is all accomplished without tilting or banking the aircraft. When there are six CycloRotors on an aircraft, they provide a high level of redundancy, allowing to pilot to fly and land safely, even if one or two CycloRotors fail to work.

Benefits of CycloRotors

  • The aircraft has 360° thrust vectoring capability. The means the aircraft has the ability to instantaneously and precisely move the aircraft in any direction.
  • Superior maneuverability in any wind condition including gusty wind conditions
  • Easy transition from VTOL to forward flight and back
  • It is possible to keep the aircraft fuselage at any angle, independent from the flight direction.
  • Allows the aircraft to have a small footprint
  • The VTOL aircraft can fly in confined areas
  • Provides a comfortable ride for the pilot and passengers because the CycloRotors can maneuver the fuselage in any position while in flight
  • CycloRotors are very reliable and have a long service life
  • CycloRotor technology reduces the cost of the aircraft and maintenance costs

UAV Demonstrator uncrewed multiple power source VTOL concept design aircraft
The UAV Demonstrator is an uncrewed multiple power source VTOL concept design aircraft. The aircraft was expected to fly in 2022 but the company never revealed if the concept design aircraft was ever made. The aircraft would have been flown remotely if it was ever manufactured into a working technology demonstrator.

It was reported that the aircraft would be able to carry cargo but it is unknown how the cargo is attached to the fuselage. The aircraft has four CycloRotors on each corner of the aircraft, used four electric motors and can use multiple power sources for the aircraft. The fuselage has a rectangular design and is made from carbon fiber composite for a high strength to low weight ratio. For safety, if one CycloRotor fails, the other three can safely land the aircraft.

It was reported that if the technology demonstrator concept design was ever made into a production aircraft, the company stated the aircraft would be useful for inspection flights, search and rescue, and border patrol flights.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Multiple power source UAV technology demonstrator (concept design)
  • Capacity: No passengers
  • Cargo capability: Yes
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: 4 Cyclogyro rotors
  • Electric Motors: 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Gasoline powered VTOL, hybrid-electric or all-electric power source
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Landing gear: Unknown
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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