EADS Innovation Works (now Airbus Innovation)
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (now Airbus)
European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), now Airbus, and its EADS Innovation Works, now Airbus Innovation, at the time was based in Germany, now France, revealed a hybrid-electric helicopter mock-up on June 8, 2010 at the ILA Berlin Airshow (Germany). (Pictures: Copyright Airbus.)
The eCO2avia hybrid-electric diesel engine powered helicopter sub-scale mock-up intended for passenger service. For propulsion, the helicopter has five rotorblades for its main rotor, a shrouded fenestron-type tail rotor, two light weight efficient diesel-electric engines, two high performance batteries and accompanied electronics to control the energy flow for the best efficiency while in flight.
The main rotorblade is powered by an electric motor and the rotorblades tilt to make the helicopter as aerodynamically efficient as possible. The rear shrouded fenestron-type tail rotor is powered by an electric ring motor. The company stated the pilots can control the tail rotor independently as needed because there is no mechanical linkage between the tail rotor and main rotorblades.
The company stated they would use Opposed Piston, Opposed Cylinder (OPOC) diesel engines built by EcoMotors International (USA) which would improve the fuel economy by 30% when compared to helicopters with two turbine engines. EADS Innovation Works expected that exhaust emissions would be reduced by over half, when compared to a Eurocopter EC-135 (now Airbus Helicopters H135).
As the eCO2avia is a mock-up, specifications such as how many passengers the helicopter holds, cruise speed, range, cruise altitude were not specified by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company Innovation Works (now Airbus Innovation). At the time of the announcement about the eCO2avia helicopter, the company hinted that the hybrid-electric helicopter could be scaled to various sized helicopters.
One article noted in 2010, the company would even consider using three diesel engines to provide a higher degree of safety and better performance from the helicopter. In addition, the company stated that multiple types of combustion engines could be used in this hybrid-electric rotorcraft.
An important point for this helicopter is that take offs and landings could be accomplished using power from the batteries only, to reduce the noise for the general public at heliports. However, all diesel engines would be idling in case more power would be needed. In case of a total loss of power, the helicopter can autorotate and land to safety. A working prototype by Airbus Innovation was never made.
Cruise speed: This depends upon the size of the helicopter and number of engines
Range: This depends upon the size of the helicopter and number of engines
Flight time: This depends upon the size of the helicopter and number of engines
Rotorblades: 1 main rotorblade (with five rotorblades)
Tail rotor: 1 shrouded fenestron-type rotor
Electric motors: 2 electric motors
Power source: 2 diesel electric engines and 2 batteries (there was talk of a 3 engines and 2 batteries)
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right and top visibility for excellent and spectacular views
Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
Safety features: The aircraft has 2 diesel engines and in case one engine fails, the other engine can provide enough electricity for the helicopter to land safely. There are also batteries on board allowing the helicopter to make an emergency landing if both engines fail. Having 2 engines and 2 batteries increase the level of safety of the passengers in the helicopter. In case of a total loss of power, the helicopter can autorotate and land to safety.
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