UASystems eZELOS Twin-Hybrid Air Taxi
eZELOS Twin-Hybrid Air Taxi
Swiss Aéropôle, Payerne, Switzerland
Founded in 1995, UASystems is a Switzerland based company manufacturing unmanned multicopter drones, mission controllers, ultralight engines, mechanical subsystems, piloted, optionally piloted rotorcraft and more. They are currently working on their own full electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), hybrid-electric electric VTOL and internal combustion direct drive aircraft for advanced aerial mobility (AAM). The company's slogan is "Pursuit of the future".
The company has also made a redundant electric engine (to make electricity) which supplies power to two electric motors without any gears and are located on one shaft. In the unlikely event of a failure of one of the electric motors, the other motor will still work and the aircraft can still land safely. In the event of a complete power failure, the aircraft can also autorotate and land safely.
A future engine the company is developing a hybrid-electric free piston linear generator named the Beetron generator which can use natural gas, biogas, heating oil, gasoline, ethanol, hydrogen and solar synthesis gas to create electricity to power all electric motors and the aircraft's electrical systems. The engine is estimated to last for 20,000 hours. Their engine uses or has less parts, friction, weight, maintenance, fuel consumption, emissions and operational costs than traditional engines. The engine is used in conjunction with battery packs.
The eZELOS Twin-Hybrid Air Taxi is a futuristic piloted compound coaxial hybrid-electric helicopter and carries two passengers. The helicopter is powered by an internal combustion engine and also uses battery packs to power the rotorblades. Instead of using a transmission to turn the rotorblades, the rotorblades are turned by electric motors. The helicopter has a cruise speed 280 km/h (174 mph), a maximum speed of 320 km/h (199 mph), a maximum payload of 500+ kg (1,102 lb) and has a range of 500+ km (311 m). Once autonomous systems are in place, that production aircraft will carry three passengers with no need for a pilot.
Each main rotorblade has four blades and are in a coaxial configuration, meaning that one rotorblade is stacked on top of the other. The main rotorblades turn in opposite directions to counteract torque. There are two electric motors for each rotorblade for redundancy and if one or two electric motors fail, the other two will continue to power the rotorblades. It is also known that helicopters with coaxial rotorblades typically have a higher maximum payload, than helicopters in the same class, with only one main rotorblade. The helicopter also has two pusher electric ducted fans (EDF) located in the rear of the helicopter, on each side of the aircraft. Each ducted fan is powered by two electric motors for redundancy. If one electric motor fails, the other electric motor will continue to power the ducted fan. The company reports their aircraft is very stable even in strong winds.
The helicopter's windows provides good views for the pilot and passengers. At the lower front of the fuselage, there are stub wings with small winglets. Due to the helicopter having coaxial rotorblades, safety for passengers is increased greatly since there is no tailrotor on the helicopter. There is also a luggage compartment in the rear of the aircraft. The aircraft uses fixed-skid type landing gear.
The company expects the eZELOS Twin-Hybrid Air Taxi to be used for on-demand air taxi service, VIP air service, air ambulance service, security, police, coast guard, surveillance, offshore oil transportation, disaster relief and defense use. As of November 2022, the company is building a full scale technology demonstrator.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric helicopter air taxi
- Piloting: 1 pilot
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: 280 km/h (174 mph)
- Maximum speed: 320 km/h (199 mph)
- Range: 500+ km (311 m)
- Maximum payload: 500+ kg (1,102 lb)
- Rotorblades: 2 coaxial rotorblades (4 blades per rotorblade)
- Pusher propellers: 2 electric ducted fans (pusher ducted fans)
- Electric Motors: 6 electric motors. If one or two of the electric motors for the main rotorblades fail, the other electric motors are built for redundancy and will help the helicopter land safely.
- Power source: Hybrid-electric, piston engines and batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Standard helicopter windows
- Wings: At the lower front of the fuselage, there are stub wings with small winglets
- Tail boom type: The helicopter has no tail but there is a small downward facing vertical stabilizer protruding from the rear of the helicopter
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
- Safety features: In case of a power loss, the helicopter can land using autorotation. The company also has redundancy built into the aircraft providing an additional margin of safety.
- UASystems SA website
- Hans-Christian Stuber LinkedIn
- LinkedIn post: eZELOS TWIN-HYBRID, Hans-Christian Stuber LinkedIn, Oct. 20, 2022
- LinkedIn post: eZELOS TWIN-HYBRID Rotor blades arrived, Hans-Christian Stuber LinkedIn, Oct. 27, 2022
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