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Composite-FX Reveals Electric XE-Volt Mosquito Helicopter
  • 02 Aug 2022 10:34 AM
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Composite-FX Reveals Electric XE-Volt Mosquito Helicopter

 

By Kenneth I. Swartz

 

Composite-FX (CFX) revealed a battery-electric version of its popular XE Mosquito helicopter at EAA AirVenture four days after it made its first flight at the company factory in Trenton, Florida, on July 21, 2022.

 

“We have been wanting to build an electric helicopter for years in order to see how our drive train would work with an electric motor,” said CFX general manager Norbert Richter. “One of the challenges with helicopters is having the right amount of torque at the right engine RPM and weight.”

 

Work on the project began in January 2022, and all the components were received by early July. Assembly took a couple of weeks and the aircraft made first hover at eight in the evening on July 21. It made five subsequent short flights before CFX loaded the aircraft on a trailer for the 1,400-mile (2353-km) road trip to Oshkosh.

 

Richter said the XE-Volt aircraft displayed at Oshkosh was the first step in the development of a hybrid-electric helicopter that could meet the requirements of its drone customers who are seeking greater endurance and less weight.

 

Composite FX first flew its electric XE-Volt on July 21, 2022 before trucking the proof of concept helicopter to Oshkosh for display

Composite FX first flew its electric XE-Volt on July 21, 2022 before trucking the proof of concept helicopter to Oshkosh for display

 

CFX currently produces four models of XE helicopters, with around 400 sold as kits to owner-pilots and about 50 sold as drones to commercial and unnamed government and military customers.

 

The portfolio includes the Part 103 ultralight class float-equipped XEL and heavier XE powered by a 64 hp (48 kW) Zanzottera MZ MZ 202 two-cylinder, in-line two stroke motor; the XE 290 powered by a 90 hp (67 kW) water cooled, oil injected, fuel injected, electronic programmable ignition CFX 800 engine; and the XET powered by a modified 95 hp (71 kW) T62-T2A Solar turbine engine.

 

The helicopter company was established in 2004 when Dwight Junkin teamed up with John Uptigrove of Alberta, Canada, to develop enclosed cockpit versions of Uptigrove’s open frame Mosquito (later Mosquito Air) ultralight helicopter.

 

 

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