• Boeing VTOL air vehicle prototype makes first flight - Boeing VTOL air

    From Larry Dighera@21:1/5 to All on Fri Apr 12 10:49:48 2019

    Boeing VTOL air vehicle prototype makes first flight

    Ben Coxworth

    January 23rd, 2019

    The PAV utilizes four sets of rotors for vertical takeoffs and
    landings, along with a rear propeller for forward flight(Credit:

    Given how many groups are now developing electric vertical takeoff and
    landing (eVTOL) aircraft https://newatlas.com/vertical-aerospace-evtol-air-taxi/56285/ , it
    shouldn't come as a surprise that aerospace giant Boeing has been
    working on some of its own. This Tuesday, one of the prototypes made
    its first flight.

    Known for now simply as the passenger air vehicle (PAV) https://newatlas.com/boeing-aurora-autonomous-flight/51655/ , the
    aircraft is part of the company's Boeing NeXt urban air mobility
    project. It's designed to fly autonomously, performing helicopter-like
    vertical takeoffs and landings, but switching over to faster and more
    efficient fixed-wing flight while en route.

    It measures 30 feet long by 28 feet wide (9.1 by 8.5 m), and has a
    claimed battery range of up to 50 miles (80.5 km). Among other things,
    Boeing NeXt is also developing an electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) https://newatlas.com/boeing-evtol-cargo-air-vehicle/52915/ , which can
    carry a payload of up to 500 lb (227 kg) it made its first indoor
    test flight last year, with its outdoor testing scheduled to begin
    sometime this year.

    This week's PAV flight was a test of the aircraft's autonomous
    functions and ground control systems, in which it successfully took
    off, hovered in place, and then landed. It was not carrying any
    passengers at the time. Subsequent flights are planned to evaluate its fixed-wing flight capabilities, along with its ability to smoothly
    transition between vertical and forward flight.

    Source: Boeing https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2019-01-23-Boeing-Autonomous-Passenger-Air-Vehicle-Completes-First-Flight#Closed


    Rolls-Royce looks to smash speed record with the world's fastest
    electric airplane

    David Szondy

    January 2nd, 2019

    The electric aircraft will fly at over 300 mph (480 km/h)(Credit:

    A partnership led by Rolls-Royce is building an all-electric aircraft
    that may smash into the record books with a top speed of over 300 mph
    (480 km/h) beating the previous record of 210 mph (338 km/h) set in
    2017 by Siemens. Scheduled to fly in 2020, the zero-emission electric
    speedster is being developed as part of the Accelerating the
    Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) and is billed as a leader of the
    "third wave" of aviation.

    The world's most energy-dense flying battery pack
    ACCEL will utilize three 750R lightweight e-motors
    The powertrain is the key to achieving 90 percent energy efficiency
    and zero-emission flight
    Sensors collect in-flight information
    Gloucestershire airport outside of Cheltenham, England may seem like
    just another provincial airfield, but it's the base for an attempt by engineers, designers, and data specialists from Roll-Royce, electric
    motor and controller manufacturer YASA and the aviation start-up
    Electroflight to create a single-seater prop-plane that will take
    electric aircraft to a whole new level.

    Partly funded by the British government, ACCEL draws on Formula E
    expertise in an effort to build an electric aircraft that tops out at
    over 300 mph to set a new e-plane record, and potentially one day even
    exceed the 1931 Schneider Trophy record set by a Supermarine S.6B that
    used a Rolls-Royce "R" engine to reach 343 mph (552 km/h) in 1931.

    The world's most energy-dense flying battery pack
    To achieve this, the Rolls-Royce team is working on a battery pack of
    6,000 cells that the company claims is the most energy-dense to ever
    be installed in an aircraft. When up and running, the powertrain will
    run at 750 V and the aircraft will boast a maximum power of 750 kW
    that's enough to power 250 homes. This will be cooled by an Active
    Thermal Management System Cooling radiator and carry enough charge to
    fly from London to Paris nonstop.

    According to Rolls-Royce, the key to the design is to not just make a
    big enough battery, but also one that won't overheat, is light enough
    for flight, and can be installed in a stable airframe. The batteries
    feed into three 750R lightweight e-motors built by YASA. The three electrically-actuated blades of the single propeller operate at 2,400
    RPM for a more stable ride with an efficiency of up to 90 percent and
    zero emissions. Meanwhile, sensors will monitor 20,000 points in the
    powertrain to provide the engineers with plenty of data on

    "This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system
    and the most powerful battery ever built for flight," says Matheu
    Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce. "In the year ahead, we're
    going to demonstrate its abilities in demanding test environments
    before going for gold in 2020 from a landing strip on the Welsh

    Source: Rolls Royce: https://www.rolls-royce.com/media/our-stories/innovation/2018/introducing-accel.aspx


    Next-gen spoked magnet design spins up cheaper, lighter, more powerful
    electric motor
    Loz Blain
    Loz Blain

    May 21st, 2018
    Equipmake's spoke motor significantly boosts torque and sustained
    power output while being smaller, lighter and cheaper...
    Equipmake's spoke motor significantly boosts torque and sustained
    power output while being smaller, lighter and cheaper to manufacture
    than an equivalent standard IPM motor(Credit: Equipmake)

    British engineer Ian Foley has had considerable input into Formula One
    racing, designing active suspension systems for Lotus and a KERS
    system for the Williams team. But in recent years he's turned his hand
    to electric drivetrain technology, and he's taken his company
    Equipmake in a new direction as he looks to build something a little
    more relevant to the average Joe.

    Equipmake's spoke motor design exploded view
    Equipmake's spoke motor design exploded and labeled
    Equipmake's spoke motor: 50% the volume and 80% the weight of other
    motors with equivalent power...
    Blue lines represent direct cooling channels that can keep the spoke
    magnets well inside operating temperature...
    It comes in the form of an electric motor that has its magnets
    arranged like spokes around the central hub, and Foley claims it
    offers superior torque, power density and cooling capabilities in a
    package that's smaller and cheaper to manufacture than a standard
    motor. With electric drivetrains set to own the coming decades in both
    consumer and public transport, that kind of claim is a big deal.

    "Most of the radial flux permanent magnet motors that are out there in automotive have the magnets arranged in a very shallow V-shape in
    laminations around the hub," Foley tells us over the phone from his
    office in Norfolk, UK. "This was a design that Toyota ran with 20
    years ago with the Prius. Effectively, everybody's gone with similar
    versions of that design."

    The problem is cooling. With the magnets in this standard arrangement,
    it's hard to get coolant close enough to them to keep them in their
    operating zone under constant high-power operation.

    Hence, electric motors have two power figures: how much they can put
    out flat out (peak power) and how much they can sustain without
    eventually overheating and needing to shut down (continuous power).
    I've experienced this kind of shutdown on the road with certain
    electric motorcycles; when you ride them hard for an extended period,
    the engine management system quietly kicks in and limits your power
    output. It's more than a little annoying, particularly on a
    performance vehicle.

    You can offset this kind of thermal cut-off by using more expensive
    magnet materials neodymium itself demagnetizes quickly as the
    temperature rises, but you can specify your magnets to include
    additives that bump the thermal shutdown temperature higher, as long
    as you don't mind the additional cost of these fancy high-temp

    Magnets are arranges perpendicular to the hub surface, radiating
    outward like the spokes of a wheel
    "The spoke motor has magnets arranged at 90 degrees to the hub, like
    the spokes of a wheel," says Foley. "And there's laminations in
    between each of those spokes. This arrangement gets better use of the
    magnetic material; it means that for a certain torque we can use 25
    percent less magnet material, or use the same amount and get 25
    percent more torque.

    "It also means, because the magnet sits right on top of the hub, we
    can get water inside the hub and cool the magnet directly. So the
    spoke architecture gives us more torque to start with, but more
    importantly it lets us get water right underneath the magnet and get
    it much better cooled.

    "We don't need expensive high-temp magnets. We can use the cheapest, cooking-grade neodymium magnet because we can keep it cool enough and
    still maintain the performance."

    Equipmake's spoke motor design exploded and labeled
    For comparison's sake, let's take a look at the record-breaking
    Siemens electric aviation motor we covered back in 2015. These things
    were astoundingly light and powerful for the day, pumping out a
    massive 5 kilowatts per kilogram of weight. Equipmake claims its spoke
    motors can make as much as 9 kW/kg, in a package that's cheap and easy
    to manufacture.

    Spoke motors aren't new there have been many designs over the years.
    It's just that nobody's figured out how to build one cost-effectively,
    says Foley: "Fundamentally the spoke motor architecture is very well
    known. A number of large companies like GE have written papers on the
    benefits of the spoke motor. The reason the standard motor is widely
    adopted is because there's a well known route to low cost manufacture.

    "There are some design challenges to implementing the spoke cost
    effectively. The existing designs worked, but they really weren't
    suitable for mass production, they were very expensive. We use a cheap aluminium hub, which is forged, so a very low cost method of
    manufacture. And the way we interlock the laminations, they hold the
    magnets in, and that's a whole design including the cooling system
    which we've patented.

    "All of the processes and materials we use are standard processes. So
    the fact that it's smaller and lighter means that it'll be cheaper.
    There's nothing in the design or manufacture that involves an
    expensive process that isn't being used for motor manufacture at the

    No expensive materials or complex manufacturing processes required
    "And we know from other work that we've done on other motors that a conventional motor of very similar performance in terms of peak and
    continuous power, we're about 50 percent of the volume and 80 percent
    of the mass. So, the fact that it's smaller and lighter means it'll be
    cheaper. I can't put a figure on how much cheaper it'll be in mass
    manufacture, but there's no expensive processes, and it's got less
    materially, so it's going to be cheaper."

    Equipmake's initial focus will be on the automotive sector because all
    those years Foley spent working with F1 teams have built him a
    significant network among people who build fast cars.

    Understandably then, two of the company's current projects are
    electric supercars. One's still under wraps, but the other is
    currently known as the Ariel Hipercar: an ultra-lightweight,
    1,180-horsepower (880-kW) monster that's set to go into production in
    2020. The Hipercar will use one of Equipmake's APM200 motors for each
    of its four wheels. It'll have a fairly small, high-density battery,
    sustained by a 120,000-rpm gas-driven turbine range extender for
    longer trips.

    Ariel's outrageous Hipercar will use four of Equipmake's APM200 spoke
    Another project plans to use Equipmake's lightweight, affordable
    electric powertrains to build a cost-effective electric bus platform.
    Foley estimates these buses will be cheaper than diesel vehicles over
    a five to 10-year period, depending on the market. Working prototypes
    are expected within months, with testing and development time
    scheduled for a 2020 production run.

    At the same time, Equipmake is responding to a number of enquiries
    from the aviation and marine industries, where arguably even more can
    be made of the spoke motor's sustained power capabilities.

    Check out a video explanation: https://youtu.be/HKUX8x1_BCE

    Source: Equipmake: http://equipmake.co.uk/ --------------------------------------------------------------------


    Opener launches BlackFly fixed-wing VTOL flying car that doesn't
    require a license
    David Szondy
    David Szondy

    July 13th, 2018
    BlckFly is a single-seater electric VTOL aircraft
    BlckFly is a single-seater electric VTOL aircraft(Credit: Opener)

    Canadian-based aviation firm Opener Inc. has unveiled its new BlackFly single-seater aircraft, which it bills as a Personal Aerial Vehicle
    (PAV) and the world's first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing
    Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. The fully-amphibious
    drop-shaped flyer with fore and aft wings sporting eight electric
    motors has a range of 25 mi (40 km) and a top speed of 62 mph (100

    According to Opener, the BlackFly is "designed and built for a new
    world of three-dimensional transportation." Due to its limited
    capabilities, the company says that it is easy to operate and can be
    flown in the United States from small grassy areas without formal
    training or FAA licensing.

    The BlackFly is the result of nine years of development with over
    1,000 test flights and boasts triple modular redundancy for greater
    safety, as well as an optional ballistic parachute. The company claims
    that it charges in under 30 minutes, has a low-noise signature, is
    geo-fence capable, and even has an Automatic Return-to-Home button.

    Opener says that though the present version is somewhat limited, it
    hopes that it will one day lead to rural/urban commuting networks
    powered by renewable energy sources.

    "Opener is re-energizing the art of flight with a safe and affordable
    flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday
    restrictions of ground transportation," says Marcus Leng, CEO. "We
    will offer competitive pricing in an endeavor to democratize
    three-dimensional personal transportation. Safety has been our primary
    driving goal in the development of this new technology. Opener will be introducing this innovation in a controlled and responsible manner.
    Even though not required by FAA regulations, BlackFly operators will
    be required to successfully complete the FAA Private Pilot written
    examination and also complete company-mandated vehicle familiarization
    and operator training."

    The BlackFly and other Opener vehicles will be on display at the 2018
    EAA AirVenture Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin from July 23 to July
    29, 2018.

    The video shows BlackFly taking to the skies:

    Source: Opener https://www.opener.aero/press/opener-unveils-first-canadian-qualified-ultralight-all-electric-personal-aerial-vehicle/

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