Planes have been around for more than 100 years. The first modern helicopter first flew over 80 years ago. For the last 60 years engineers have tried to combine the advantages of both but currently only the V-22 Osprey is in production. Elytron will be the first to deliver aircrafts that can take off and land like a helicopter but fly with fixed wings at speeds
unattainable by helicopters all with greatly reduced complexity and cost compared to any existing tilt or rotary wing aircraft. After 10 years of research into convertiplane wing and lift design, a box wing design with central prop-rotors was chosen providing aerodynamically clean vectored thrust.

HISTORY

Verticopter 1 Verticopter 2 Elytron
Company Garrow Aircraft Garrow Aircraft Garrow Aircraft
Year 2008 2011 2013 - 2014
Computer Model Verticopter 1 Computer Model Verticopter 2 Computer Model Elytron Computer Model
UAV Model Verticopter 1 UAV Model Verticopter 2 UAV Model Elytron UAV Model
Full Scale Prototype No No Elytron Full Scale Prototype
X-PLane Yes Yes Yes
Aerodynamic Simulation Limited Limited Extensive
Issues Limited VTOL Performance Limited CTOL Performance None to date
For the past 60 years, engineers have tried to combine the advantages of airplanes and helicopters, but currently the Boeing V-22 Osprey is the sole realization to be in production. The Elytron family of aircraft is designed to provide the vertical take-off and landing capability of helicopters combined with the speed and efficiency advantages of fixed wing aircraft. Elytron’s solution provides greater safety, speed, and simplicity of operation over any existing class of vertical take-off aircraft which makes it ideally suited for various uses, such as emergency medical services,
search and rescue, air taxi, and oil exploration. The concept for the Elytron design has evolved over a 10-year period during which Elytron Aircraft LLC experimented with several quarter-scale convertiplanes, as well as full-size airframe modeling, extended flight simulations, and CFD simulations. The popular Verticopter flying-wing design with in-wing propulsion was the most successful of these prototypes but still had aerodynamic limitations. In 2012, Elytron Aircraft LLC invented a new and optimized wing configuration that addressed all of the earlier design shortcomings.

DESIGN

SAFEFASTSIMPLE

Hover titles or image for more information

TEAR DROP FUSELAGE

  • Lifting body SAFEFAST
  • Larger cabin space

SMALLER DIAMETER
PROPROTOR

  • Greater speed (Fastest tilt rotor 260 versus Elytron 360) FAST
  • More speed allows for greater range SAFE
  • Allows for conventional takeoff and landings (CTOL) with 0 degree tilt SAFE
  • Far less complex than rotor blade SAFESIMPLE
  • Less vibration than large diameter rotor SAFE

CENTRAL SMALL TILT WING

  • No retreating blade problem versus rotary wing FASTSIMPLE
  • Short rigid wing reduces complexity of cross shafting versus tilt rotors SAFE
  • Can act as air brake SAFE
  • Eliminates need for flaps SAFE
  • No need for run dry gearbox SIMPLE
  • Reduce power to 15% land conventionally SAFE
  • Fast conversion from 0 airspeed like Cl-84 SAFE
Elytron 4S Elytron Teardrop Fuselage Elytron Centrally Located Engine Elytron Split Louver and Notar VTOL Control Elytron Joined Wing Elytron Central Small Tilt Wing Elytron Proprotors Elytron Proprotors Elytron Proprotors Elytron Split Louver and Notar VTOL Control Elytron Split Louver and Notar VTOL Control Elytron Split Louver and Notar VTOL Control Elytron Central Small Tilt Wing Elytron Central Small Tilt Wing Elytron Joined Wing Elytron Centrally Located Engine Elytron Teardrop Fuselage Elytron Joined Wing
Complex rotor hub with swashplate/cyclic/collective
replaced with 6 separate linear actuators that are easy
to service increasing safety and reducing
maintenance costs SAFESIMPLE

SPLIT LOUVER AND NOTAR
VTOL CONTROL

  • Less complex cross shafting SAFE SIMPLE SAFESIMPLE
  • Less weight SAFE FAST SAFEFAST
  • No yaw effect on single engine failure SAFE SAFE

CENTRALLY LOCATED ENGINES

  • Wings enclose proprotors no possibility of main/tail rotor strike SAFE
  • No interference with thrust for more linear transitions unlike downward thrust along wing of XV-15 derived aircraft SAFE
  • Reduced wingspan needed for VTOL landing SAFE
  • Front wing acts as canard stalling before rear wing which prevents stalls SAFE
  • Rigidity allows wings to be lower profile and lighter FAST
  • Very good L/D allows for glide instead of autorotation SAFE
  • Low stall speed in CTOL flight SAFE
  • Front wing acts as hydrofoil when ditching SAFE
  • Oversize winglets provide large reduction in wingtip vortices FAST
  • Oversize winglets create larger effective aspect ratio reducing drag FAST
  • Immune to vortex ring state SAFE

JOINED WING

The Elytron design combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called "proprotors", mounted on a single tilt-wing in central position, and two pairs of fixed wings. The fixed wings are split into a forward pair and an aft pair that are joined by winglets, which make use of the joined-wing concept. By splitting the wings apart, the design eliminates any interference with the thrust of the proprotors. The main wings have a high aspect ratio, are braced and can be built very light which reduces drag. Since the front and rear wings are joined together by winglets, they enclose the proprotors eliminating the risk of rotor strikes. The plane has superior glide ratios and low stall speeds because of this low wing loading design, and also displays excellent Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) capabilities.

Because the proprotors are tilted forward during normal flight, the Elytron design does not suffer the performance penalty that helicopters do with the retreating blade. Therefore, Elytron aircraft will be capable of achieving air speeds two to three times those of equivalently powered helicopters. The airframe has also been optimized for low drag at the higher airspeeds made possible by its tilt wing. Fixed wings planes are also far more fuel efficient than rotary wing aircraft, reducing operational costs and increasing range. The combination of the speed of a fixed wing plane and the vertical take-off of a helicopter will allow for applications such as air taxi from city center to city center.
The Elytron mechanism for controlling the plane during vertical flight will have far fewer parts than helicopter swash plates. The helicopter's complex rotor hub with the cyclic, collective mechanism is replaced with a single continuous wing that rotates 100 degrees and embeds four control surfaces that are controlled with regular linear actuators. The power train has two 90-degree gear boxes and a reduction drive. Elytron’s design has no complex hub but instead distributes the parts across the tilt wing making them lighter and easier to inspect and maintain. All of the tilt wing actuators have redundant control. In the case of engine failure, the airframe's superior glide ratio will eliminate the need for autorotation, which is a requirement in any helicopter. The plane will also offer a “zero-zero” ballistic parachute as an additional emergency safety feature.

Using a small budget and fast prototyping techniques with carbon composites, Elytron has built a 2-seater demonstrator aircraft which serves as a technology showcase. The next step for Elytron is to start commercial applications which include a 7-seater class of aircraft able to support applications, such as emergency medical services. Elytron's patented designs will incorporate a host of additional safety features, such as run dry gear boxes, full time health and usage monitoring, FADEC engine control, and envelope protection
Elytron Design Versus helicopter and tilt rotors
Disadvantages Advantages Safe Fast Simple
Smaller diameter proprotor
  • High disk loading so inefficient hover
  • Lower HOGE than helicopters
  • Requires heavier, larger engines
Greater speed (Fastest tilt rotor 260 versus Elytron 360)
More speed allows for greater range
Allows for conventional takeoff and landings (CTOL) with 0 degree tilt
Far less complex than rotor blade
Less vibration than large diameter rotor
Central small tilt wing
  • Additional drag
  • Proprotors closer to cabin requiring more insulation from noise and additional weight
No retreating blade problem versus rotary wing
Shorter rigid wing reduces complexity of cross shafting versus tilt rotors
Can act as air brake
Eliminates need for flaps
No need for run dry gearbox
Reduce power to 15% land conventionally
Fast conversion from 0 airspeed like Cl-84
Joined wing
  • Greater whetted area increases drag and weight so wings need to be thinner
Wings enclose proprotors eliminating possibility of main/tail rotor strike
No interference with thrust for more linear transitions unlike downward thrust along wing of XV-15 derived aircraft
Reduced wingspan needed for VTOL landing
Front wing acts as canard stalling before rear wing which prevents stalls
Rigidity allows wings to be lower profile and lighter
Very good L/D allows for glide instead of autorotation
Low stall speed in CTOL flight
Front wing acts as hydrofoil when ditching
Oversize winglets
Provide large reduction in wingtip vortices
Create larger effective aspect ratio reducing drag
Immune to vortex ring state
Split louver and NOTAR VTOL control
  • Less control in pitch versus cyclic requires NOTAR for greater control authority
Complex rotor hub with swashplate/cyclic/collective replaced with 6 separate linear actuators that are easy to service increasing safety and reducing maintenance costs
Counter rotating proprotors
  • Single 90 degree transmission failure could cause snap rolls requiring computer controlled clutch adding weight
No anti-torque rotor
Can land in complex environments without risk of strike
Centrally located engines
  • Requires 2 90 degree transmissions on center wing
  • Requires onboard fire suppression
  • Greater cabin noise
  • Same number of 90 degree turns as helicopters and XV-15 derived designs
Less complex cross shafting
Less weight
No yaw effect on single engine failure
Proprotor RPM control lift in VTOL
  • Not as responsive as collective
Reduced fuel consumption via optimized blade speed
Allows for smaller diameter proprotors
Variable pitch proprotor
  • Increased complexity and weight
Reduced fuel consumption via constant speed proprotor
50% carbon composite by weight
  • Less long term reliability data
Lighter than alternatives such as composite over aluminum
Tear drop fuselage
  • Adds overall length to fuselage
Lifting body
Larger cabin space

SPECS

4 Seat 10 Seat
Performance
Max cruise 340 kn 391 mph 360 kn 414 mph
Range 888 nm 1,022 mi 1,295 nm 1,490 mi
Ceiling 9,144 m 30,000 ft 9,144 m 30,000 ft
Stall 55 kn 63 mph 65 kn 75 mph
Seating 4 10 + 1 pilot
Operating cost per hour $650 $2000
Weights
Fuel 510 kg 1,122 lbs (170 gal) 1,500 kg 3,300 lbs (500 gal)
Passengers 400 kg 880 lbs 1,100 kg 2,420 lbs
Empty 916 kg 2,020 lbs 3,400 kg 7,482 lbs
MTOW sea level 1,824 kg 4,022 lb 6,000 kg 13,202 lbs
Dimensions
Wingspan 9.7 m 32 ft 13 m 43 ft
Length 8.5 m 28 ft 14.3 m 47 ft
Cabin
     Height 1.52 m 5 ft 1.75 m 5 ft 9 in
     Width 1.27 m 4 ft 2 in 1.85 m 6 ft 1 in
     Length 2.44 m 8 ft 4.45 m 14 ft 7 in
Engine
Single Honeywell HTS900-2 1,000 SHP Dual 4,000 HP Turboshaft
Elytron Air Taxi Elytron Oil & Gas (click to enlarge)

COMPANY

Gregory Bruell

Gregory Bruell - CEO & Co-Founder at Elytron Aircraft

Greg Bruell spent 26 years in the software industry as a programmer, technical leader and executive. He has always had a passion for VTOL and realized that the time was ripe to build a convertiplane. After building a quad-copter with his son he also had the epiphany that the state of the hardware and software industry today has advanced to the point that fly-by-wire control can be done economically enabling flexibility in convertiplane design in a way never before possible. No stranger to the startup process, having participated in several venture capital backed companies, he researched the state of the VTOL industry, teaming with Oliver to build a plane.
read more
Oliver Garrow

Oliver Garrow - CTO & Co-Founder at Elytron Aircraft

Oliver Garrow has spent the last decade addressing the challenge of conceiving the optimum convertiplane, and, since the first napkins drawings in 2002, has invented, engineered and patented 4 flying proof-of-concepts, called Verticopter #1,2,3,4, each new generation improving on the previous one.
By using real-world flying test beds with electric UAVs and accurate computer simulations, this relentless effort has led to the conception of the optimum aircraft configuration, now re-branded Elytron, which is now suitable for commercial developments.
Oliver has an extensive experience in electrical engineering, semiconductors, software engineering, embedded systems and aircraft systems design. Not yet a real-world pilot, he has however "logged" hundreds of hours of simulator flight and testing time.
Oliver hold multiple degrees in engineering, such as a BSEE and a MSCS in electronics, software, computer sciences, electromechanics and control automation, from 2 leading European universities.
read more
In 2013, Garrow Aircraft formed Team Elytron by enrolling help from top aerospace professionals and turned its R&D on the patented STOVL Verticopter® work into a commercial aircraft family called Elytron.
The designers of Elytron have proved their concept through extended flight testing of scaled UAVs, launched from runways
at Moffett Field, CA. This testing included all CTOL, STOVL and VTOL envelops, as well as full-size airframe modeling and CFD simulations.
Team Elytron has conducted over 10 years of research in the challenging field of efficient convertiplane flight, has simulated various airframe configurations through detailed

PRESS

VIDEOS
Prototype 8 Flight 2013 Elytron VTOL control 2s robust linear actuation


HI RESOLUTION IMAGES


Elytron 2S: The out-of-the-box tiltrotor concept

By David Szondy
Gizmag - July 23, 2014

Some people are never satisfied. You give them a plane, and they say it can’t hover. You give them a helicopter, and they say it can’t fly very high or fast. Looking to combine the advantages of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, Elytron Aircraft LLC of Mountain View, California is developing the Elytron 2S, a small tiltrotor aircraft that uses a box wing configuration and is aimed at the civilian market.

Airplanes and helicopters do well in their respective aeronautical niches. Airplanes can fly high, fast, far, and carry heavy loads, while helicopters can hover, fly backwards, land and take off vertically, and maneuver in very tight spaces. The tricky thing is when jobs arise where requirements overlap; like an airplane that can land vertically, or a helicopter than can fly at high altitude.

Though there have been some aggressive development projects in recent years, such as the Bell V-280, the AugustaWestland Project Zero and AW609, the only operational manned, prop-driven aircraft that manages this sort of hybrid flight is the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

In service with the US Marine Corps and the air forces of the US, Japan and Israel, the military tiltrotor spent many years in controversial development and, to this day, no civilian version has taken off. This is unfortunate because early visions of tiltrotor aircraft saw them employed as air taxis, short haul transports, and in other civilian applications.

The Elytron 2S is a new ... Read full article and comments



The biplane is back! Bizarre dual winged design combines plane and helicopter - and could mean personal aircraft that can land anywhere

By Mark Prigg
MailOnline - July 24, 2014


Craft has vertical take-off and landing capability of helicopters combined with the speed and efficiency advantages of fixed wing aircraft

Could allow airlines to fly directly into the heart of cities


It is the private plane that could land and take off from anywhere.
With its square wing, it may look uncannily like a biplane - but in fact this in a combined plane and tilt rotor helicopter.
Called the Elytron, it could change the way private planes operate - and even allow airlines to fly directly into the heart of cities.
'The Elytron family of aircraft is designed to provide the vertical take-off and landing capability of helicopters combined with the speed and efficiency advantages of fixed wing aircraft,' the firm says.
'Elytron’s solution provides greater safety, speed, and simplicity of operation over any existing class of vertical take-off aircraft which makes it ideally suited for various uses, such as emergency medical services, search and rescue, air taxi, and oil exploration.'

'The combination of the speed of a fixed wing plane and the vertical take-off of a helicopter will allow for applications such as air taxi from city center to city center.'

The Elytron design combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called 'proprotors', mounted on a single tilt-wing in central position, and two pairs of fixed wings.
The fixed wings are split into a forward pair and an aft pair that are joined by ... Read full article and comments



Elytron Aircraft, a Fixed-wing, Helicopter Crossover

By Marino Boric
EAA - August 2, 2014

Elytron Aircraft is showcasing an unusual proposal for a crossover of fixed-wing and rotorcraft aircraft during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014. The two-seat demonstrator, incorporating an all-carbon composite airframe, should be capable of STOL and VTOL operations—depending on loaded weight—and even hovering like a helicopter.

The Elytron design combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called “prop-rotors,” attached to a single tilt-wing mounted in a central-fuselage position, and two pairs of fixed wings. The fixed wings are split into a forward pair and an aft pair, and are joined by winglets, making use of the joined-wing concept. By splitting the wings apart, the design eliminates interference with the prop-rotors’ thrust.
According to the company, the airplane will have a high glide ratio and low stall speed, together with excellent short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. The prop-rotors and their wing can rotate 100 degrees and mounts four control surfaces. Elytron Aircraft says similar configurations will be capable of achieving airspeeds two to three times those of equivalently powered helicopters.

The demonstrator currently lacks a powerplant, but the company said it soon will be powered by a 450-hp turbocharged race engine, and flight testing will start in 2015.

Elytron Aircraft’s exhibit is in the Innovation Center. Learn more about the company at its website, Elytron.aero.
View article and comments



What slump? Oshkosh gathering shows GA on an upswing

CompositesWorld - August 4, 2014


EAA's AirVenture 2014 was a solid success, and offered lots of composite applications.


Another, rather unusual hybrid fixed-wing/rotorcraft was displayed by Elytron Aircraft (Mountain View, Calif.). The two-seat demonstrator, incorporating an all-carbon composite airframe, combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called “prop-rotors,” attached to a single tilt-wing mounted in a central-fuselage position, and two pairs of fixed wings. The fixed wings, joined
together by winglets, form a forward pair and an aft pair, and resemble a large box or frame around the fuselage.
The wing design eliminates interference with the prop-rotors’ thrust, says the company. Because the proprotors are tilted forward during normal flight, the Elytron design does not suffer the performance penalty that helicopters do with the retreating blade. Therefore, Elytron aircraft will be capable of achieving air speeds two to three times those of equivalently powered helicopters. Elytron said that flight testing will begin in 2015. View article and comments

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