Schumacher-Lehner PLC28 Chopper (concept design)
PLC28 Chopper (concept design)
Felix Schumacher and Lino Lehner
In 2014, Felix Schumacher and Lino Lehner of Germany, designed an electric multicopter aircraft (originally called a quadcopter) to have a very stable and safe aircraft to maintain powerlines. The aircraft can also be used for advanced air mobility (AAM) and air cargo. The designers foresaw this helicopter design to become a production model in 2028.
The PLC28 Chopper is a multicopter eVTOL passenger aircraft that holds one pilot and two passengers. The multicopter has eight propellers, with two each inside a ducted housing and these are located on top of the fuselage. The helicopter has a fly-by-wire system and has Global Positioning System (GPS) allowing the aircraft to have precision positioning by its crew. The eight propellers are powered by electric motors managed by a master controller which provides excellent stability in most weather conditions.
If you notice, the aircraft has advanced features such as a flat cabin floor, the bottom of the doors are at the same level of the cabin floor and the multicopter has two flat platforms next to both doors, outside the fuselage (and on both sides of the fuselage) which are the same level as the floor of the cabin. These ergonomic design features were made to help the crew maintain and repair the powerlines. In addition, these design features allow the pilot and technician to have eye contact the entire time they are on the job.
There is one pilot's seat in the center of the cockpit and there is a bench seat for two technicians to sit when in flight. There is plenty of room for tools inside the cabin. Outside the cabin, the work platform has pre-drilled holes that the technician can secure tools and material for the job. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear which also has steps to help people enter the aircraft. There are also two vertical stabilizers next to the fuselage near the rear of the aircraft.
While the aircraft has specifically been made to maintain and repair power lines, the aircraft can also be used for many other air missions including air cargo.
- Aircraft type: Electric multicopter
- Piloting: 1 pilot
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric motors: 8 electric batteries
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visbility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
- Vertical stabilizer: 2 vertical stabilizers next to the fuselage near the rear of the aircraft
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
- 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.
- Article: Powerline Chopper of the Future, Yanko Design, Mar. 25, 2014
- Article: Futuristic PLC28 Helicopter for Control and Maintenance of Power Lines in 2028, Tuvie, date unknown
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