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Eads shows to the world a new concept of ecologic helicopter

Berlin, Germany - For aircraft a new power supplied by hybrid electric-diesel system whom promises up to 50% fuel saving


(WAPA) - The 2050 hags over the entire aerospace industry as the final date to respect the agreement submitted by all the members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to reduce by 50% carbon dioxide emissions with respect to 2005.

For this reason today the aerospace company focus a large part of their investment into sustainability of future aviation. From is part Eads is not waiting for the concurrence but is actively reacting to the future needs. The company decide to shows the results of the eCO2avia Eads Innovation Works, the research and development compartment of Eads, at the prestigious event "ILA Berlin".

In German capital Schönefeld Airport it going to be shown the prototype of a new concept of sustainable helicopter. The main innovation can be found in the propulsion system and in the high efficient aircraft architecture. The European company state that the new helicopter developed by Eurocopter is able to achieve a 50% less CO2 emission compared with a conventional helicopter.

The first important innovation consist in the propulsion that is supplied by an hybrid electric-diesel system. Two diesel engines of new generation with opposite pistons opposite cylinders (Opoc™), furnished by the Americans company EcoMotors generate the power that is immediately converted into electric power.

A diesel engine was already use to propel helicopters in 2009 by the Australian designer Graeme Smith, who use an aluminium-cast lightweigh Deltahawk V4 diesel engines, but this time the motor is something completely new. The patented OPOC is a turbocharged two-stroke consisting of two cylinder disposed in opposite direction w.r.t. the crankshaft. Two pistons move in opposite directions inside each pistons. In the OPOC there are no valves or camshaft, the fuel is directly inject from a hole at one end of the cylinder in the other side is located a small ports for the exhaust gases. The movement of the piston alternatively opens one of the two ports, it is clear that the position of the ports determine the gas input and expulsion time. The fuel before the injection is pressurized by a turbopump, that is driven electrically when the engine is running at low rpm and the exhaust gases do not have high pressure.

The OPOC system is lighter, more efficient and economic with respect to a conventional design, furthermore it guarantee by it self 30 % fuel saving compared with a regular turboshaft engines and it provides a power - to -weight of 2KW/Kg. EcoMotor International receive the interest of Eads already during the "Heli Expo 2010" held in Huston, Texas, in February.

In the aircraft presented in Berlin the crankshaft of the Opoc engines was connected to lightweight electric power generators. These transform the mechanical power into electric power that is transfer to a power unit that manage the current and feed the main and tail rotor engines and the batteries. The two rotors are driven by different electric motors and the power unit is free to increase the power to one of the two rotors without increase necessary the other one.

The new generation battery used are able to provide power enough to take off and land, without the diesel engines. In this way it could be possible to use the helicopter in town in the night hours, but at the state of art due to safety reason the OPOCs must be kept running.

The propulsion system is only one of the improvements. The entire architecture of the vehicle has been studied to reduce drag and increase efficiency. First of all the main rotor is free to tilt with respect to the fuselage. During cruise flight the rotor can lean forward while the fuselage is aligned with the main stream direction. Moreover the larger tail surfaces guarantee at a certain speed maneuverability without using the tail rotor. (Avionews)

(World Aeronautical Press Agency - )
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