Elytron Aircraft to Display Proof-of-Concept Demonstrator at HAI Heli-Expo 2015
February 27, 2015 (Hayward, CA) - Elytron Aircraft, LLC will be displaying the completed airframe of its 2-seat technology demonstrator, at a static booth at HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida on March 3-5, 2015 (booths # 10 and, across the aisle, # 3375).
Since displaying the 28' wingspan aircraft at the Experimental Aviation Association Oshkosh 2014 event last August, the following items have been completed:
With these systems in place, the final empty weight is close to the 1,100 pound design goal. The 2-seat maiden flight is scheduled for mid-2015, with a full transition in and out of VTOL by the end of the year.
Elytron will also reveal its new design for a 4-seat executive transport and air taxi aircraft. This design is based on a 1,075 sHP turboprop engine and will be capable of cruise speeds up to 316 mph. Elytron's 10-seat design has been reconfigured for oil & gas offshore transport service, and can now carry 10 passengers out to a deep water platform at cruise speeds of 414 mph, which is more than twice as efficient as existing helicopter based solutions. The 10-seat aircraft will have a dual turboshaft configuration for a total of 4,000 sHP and a range of 1,295 nautical miles. Elytron is also evaluating the feasibility of using existing airframes to build initial prototypes for the 10-seat aircraft as a means of accelerating development, and extending its design concept to include unmanned platforms (drones).
Elytron was founded in 2013 to provide a faster, safer, and a longer range alternative to helicopters for the oil & gas, emergency medical services and air taxi markets.
The concept for the design has evolved over a 10-year R&D period during which experiments were conducted with 1/4th scale convertiplanes models, as well as full-size airframe modeling, extended flight, 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, the new and optimized wing configuration was invented to address all of the earlier design limitations.
The Elytron aircraft architecture combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called "proprotors", mounted along a single tilt-wing in a central position, and two joined pairs of fixed wings. 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.
Elytron aircraft will be capable of achieving airspeeds two to three times those of equivalently powered helicopters. The airframe has also been optimized for low drag at the higher airspeeds due to its unique distribution across 3 sets of wings. Stall performance is very safe as it borrows from airframes using a front wing with canard-type stall response. Fixed wing 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. 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.