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A Small LightningStrike

A Small LightningStrike

  • 01 Jul 2016 03:20 PM
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As described in the last issue of Vertiflite (“Lightning Strikes Aurora”), after four-and-a-half years of development, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Aurora Flight Sciences an $89.4M contract to develop, build and flight test its VTOL X-Plane. Aurora’s LightningStrike uses a distributed hybrid-electric propulsion system: a Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft (the same T406 engine as used in the V-22 Osprey) drives three Honeywell 1 MW (1,340 hp) generators through a gearbox (more than 10 kA — enough to power a home subdivision); the generators in turn power 24 electric motors, driving constant speed, variable pitch fans (18 on the wing and six on the canards). Both the wing and canard tilt for vertical takeoff and landing.

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Lightning Strikes Aurora

Lightning Strikes Aurora

  • 01 May 2016 02:59 PM
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The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced on March 3 [2016] that it had selected Aurora Flight Sciences to continue on in the DARPA VTOL X-Plane program. The company was awarded an $89.4M contract for Phases 2 (development) and 3 (flight test) for its LightningStrike hybrid-electric concept.

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Commentary: The Tesla of Vertical Flight?

Commentary: The Tesla of Vertical Flight?

  • 01 May 2016 02:44 PM
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The past two months have been a turning point in electric-powered transportation.

On March 31, Tesla Motors unveiled the all-electric Tesla Model 3 five-seat compact sedan, starting at a base price of $35,000. Tesla, which shipped 50,000 cars worldwide in 2015, expects to sell more than 80,000 in 2016, but the first Model 3 cars aren’t expected to arrive until the end of 2017.

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The e-volo VC200 Volocopter

The e-volo VC200 Volocopter

  • 01 May 2016 02:18 PM
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Karlsruhe, Germany-based e-volo GmbH conducted the first flight of its VC200 Volocopter on March 30 at nearby Bruchsal Airfield. After receiving its “Permit to Fly” as an ultralight aircraft in February, e-volo called its VC200 “the world’s first certified Multicopter.”

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Second Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop Is a Great Success

Second Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop Is a Great Success

  • 01 Nov 2015 09:55 AM
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What if you could cut your daily commute time from 35 minutes to 12 minutes? How much of a bigger home would you buy if you could commute 100 miles to work and still get there in less than 35 minutes? What if this type of capability was cost-competitive to driving, taking the train or bus?

These questions have compelled a group of scientists, engineers and visionaries in industry, government and academia to meet once a year to tackle the technical, regulatory and perception challenges of democratized vertical flight.

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Elytron – Bringing Back the Convertiplane

Elytron – Bringing Back the Convertiplane

  • 01 May 2015 01:56 PM
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Hayward, California is the San Francisco Bay area headquarters of Elytron Aircraft LLC, owned by Oliver Garrow and Gregory Bruell, who both have backgrounds in computer software design and engineering. Previously, Garrow Aircraft invented the innovative and unique Verticopter concept developing the design over a period of 10 years until the construction of the prototype. Garrow Aircraft created Elytron in 2013 for research into combining the advantages of fixed and rotary wing flight.

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The Joby S2 VTOL Concept

The Joby S2 VTOL Concept

  • 01 Nov 2014 02:14 PM
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Despite more than 70 years of vertical flight development, there are only three operational types of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft today: helicopters, the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor and the AV-8B Harrier jump jet. It could be argued that VTOL aircraft went through its period of rapid experimentation, and like commercial transports, settled on the configuration that offered the best approach.

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AHS International Leads Transformative Vertical Flight Initiative

AHS International Leads Transformative Vertical Flight Initiative

  • 01 Nov 2014 01:22 PM
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AHS International held a groundbreaking event on August 27-29. The “Transformative Vertical Flight Concepts Joint Workshop on Enabling New Flight Concepts through Novel Propulsion and Energy Architectures” was held in Arlington, Virginia at the offices of CENTRA Technology, Inc. and with the support of the F.N. Piasecki Foundation. The workshop was co-sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

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Commentary: Innovation Outpaces Regulation

Commentary: Innovation Outpaces Regulation

  • 01 Sep 2014 01:05 PM
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The past decade or so has seen an incredible infusion of innovative technologies into the vertical flight industry, but regulatory guidance has not kept pace. Between tiltrotors, iPads, drones, innovative new approaches to vertical flight, and conventional helicopter enhancements, regulatory agencies such as the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have not developed timely, consistent guidance that can facilitate the safe implementation of new technologies for vertical flight in today’s demanding marketplace.

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Project Zero

Project Zero

  • 01 May 2013 09:07 AM
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AgustaWestland stunned the world on March 4, 2013 when it announced at Heli-Expo that it had secretly flown an unconventional technology demonstrator aircraft, codenamed “Project Zero,” that looks unlike any aircraft before. The long list of disruptive innovations demonstrated and pioneered by Project Zero were just as stunning as the aircraft itself.

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