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Samarai Roadable VTOL Helicopter Concept

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Uploaded on Jan 24, 2010

This vehicle attempts to achieve full electric redundancy, including the event of a blade failure. It is named after the Samara (a single blade rotor - or Maple seed), attempting to integrated several of these counter weight balanced single rotors into a platform. Six blades is the minimum number of blades while being able to maintain control about all axes, with any single blade being able to fail.. It also tries to take advantage of highly responsive electric rpm change to eliminate cyclic and collective blade control. The animation shows some of the basic principles of this concept, as well as a low noise transition. This concept utilizes 400 ft/sec tip speeds, with high solidity blade/wing panels. The blade/wing panels are positioned so the structural loads are mutually sized for both rotor and wing panel bending moment issues. This vehicle would integrate new technologies, such as laser scanners for the front blades that can prevent blade strike by watching for any blade strike possibility, and take advantage of the ability to stop a single blade very quickly (on the order of 1 second) since the electric motor can also be used as a brake. While highly compact, we have already shown that the Oswald efficiency factor is greater than 1.7 through a vortex lattice analysis, due to the highly non-planar triple wing layout (so while the vehicle can fit in an 8 box with blades inward the effective span at cruise is 20. The discloading is only 6 lb/ft2 for this concept (assuming a 1320 lb weight for 2 passengers), so the power required is quite reasonable, while avoiding the slow cruise speed of rotorcraft through this stopped-rotor implementation. This concept is a hybrid solution, with a cruise engine (Rotax 914) in the back that also provides power to an alternator at hover, to minimize the batteries required. This vehicle has a sizable range, not like the fully electric tailsitter.

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