A Case for an Electric Gyroplane Seaplane

Helios

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All industrialized countries in the world are working on the battery power density limitations. Please note the following development published in Forbes on Oct., 31st, 2015 titled "Lithium-Air Battery Breakthrough May Mean Game Over For Gasoline" from Cambridge University.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2015/10/31/lithium-air-battery-breakthrough-may-mean-game-over-for-gasoline/2/

Two other US companies are mentioned in this article and their achievements with Lithium Air batteries and they are further along the product development cycle. There are hundreds of other companies taking alternate paths to battery nirvana.

Billions of dollars will role into the company that achieves commercial success and 3 to 5 years does not seem out of the question for this to happen considering the technology curve we are all living in today.

For an introduction Lithium Air batteries, WIKI has a high level overview -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium%E2%80%93air_battery
 

Hodag

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Helios,
Thanks for the post. It's great news.

Birdy,
Thanks for the post and the information,

If there was an infrastructure somehow capable of doing it, you could theoretically charge up in 4 minutes with supercapacitors instead of batteries. Supercapacitors usually have a higher number of recharging cycles than batteries as well. (http://www.electric-vehiclenews.com/2015/05/graphene-supercapacitor-equals-li-ion.html) Generally though, most batteries lose longevity from faster charging and should ideally be trickle-charged when possible. Any decent electric aircraft should allow a quick battery change in five minutes or less for one person in my opinion.

I also think we could have the silent propeller already, mainly by dropping the RPMs on a specially matched motor and propeller and dumping the reduction drive.

We aren't quite there yet, but it’s time to start planning. Also, if you're mustering you may need a bit of noise?
 

Jean Claude

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you could theoretically charge up in 4 minutes with supercapacitors instead of batteries. Supercapacitors usually have a higher number of recharging cycles than batteries as well.
Great drawback to the use of supercapacitors is that the voltage changes a lot during the discharge:
To half discharged, the voltage is not more than 75%
To 3/4 discharged, the voltage is not more than 50%

I also think we could have the silent propeller already, mainly by dropping the RPMs on a specially matched motor and propeller and dumping the reduction drive.
Propeller r.p.m is not selected due to the engine, but because of the available space for she. Electric engine is not better for that.
 

Fly Army

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Hodag,
Do yourself a favor. Get out of your chair in front of the computer and go out to your local airport and FLY something - anything. While you're doing that think about simple physics and report back to us with your updated ideas.
 

Hodag

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Jean-Claude,
Merci encore,

Here is a good discussion of ultracapacitors. They have strengths and weaknesses and are mainly used as a supplement. I was just making a point that if recharging was a priority, it could be accomodated, perhaps with a more sophisticated controller and charging unit. (http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1279397) Obviously, there are reasons why EVs aren't using supercapacitors exclusively. Speaking for myself, I would not attempt to solve the issue of energy storage or motors without an EE. Perhaps one will stumble on this thread and would like to comment?

Here is a link with some new potential technologies, in addition to the proton exchange method already linked above, (http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g785/8-potential-ev-and-hybrid-battery-breakthroughs/) , and to Iron Flouride (http://cleantechnica.com/2015/04/28...y-3x-capacity-quirky-iron-fluoride-can-tamed/). Lithium-Ion will not likely be deposed soon, but it has lower theoretical limits than others, like Lithium-Air, and the list of new potentials is ever-growing, such as solid state batteries. However, Aeromarine-LSA is using LiPo, others may use LiFePO4. The list is too long for casual debate.

Honestly, my skepticism of whether a gyroplane will remain viable as a STOL aircraft is stronger than if electric aircraft will be made. Future light aircraft could look like a full scale RC model or drone with gimballed rotors, like a Puffin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mc66-uEkEBk) or Verticopter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c5...d=mJc6TX7Reoo&annotation_id=annotation_653462), but I digress.

As to the propeller, I would like to hear from this aviation forum. A new propeller could be one of the most complex pieces to the puzzle. I can point, again, to the work at Aeromarine-LSA (http://aeromarine-lsa.com/electric-motor-news-propeller/), which intends to use a motor with 2000 RPM at climb/take-off and 1000 at cruise. Their engineer has interesting things to say about how to build a low-maintenance motor as well. They are also designing 650-pound amphibious aircraft floats.

The Electraflyer uses a direct-drive system. (http://www.electraflyer.com/)
 
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Jean Claude

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I can point, again, to the work at Aeromarine-LSA (http://aeromarine-lsa.com/electric-motor-news-propeller/), which intends to use a motor with 2000 RPM at climb/take-off and 1000 at cruise.
I suppose Aeromarine also hopes few subsidies. More realistically,
all things being equal, the power of a propeller is proportional to (rpm)^3 . So with the same ideal angle of attack of the blades, she produces 8 times less thrust at 1000 rpm relative to 2000 rpm, at the same forward speed.
But a gyroplane in cruise requires about 65% of the propeller thrust in climb. Not 1/8 !
 
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Hodag

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Remember, the Zigolo is a very light single seat aircraft that uses 25 max HP, but the motor will also be tested at 50 and 75 HP and available to purchase as a custom kit through Aeromarine-LSA including batteries and propeller. The RPMs for two-seat thrust levels would be much higher. However, Bosch uses a 12,000 RPM motor in the e-Cavalon, presumably for maximum efficiency rather than lower maintenance, noise, vibration and pilot fatigue and possibly lower rates of pilot error and injuries, not to mention more eco-friendliness of a direct drive system. The new motor is being tested at Embry Riddle University, which may provide some cost savings. They actually expect 900 RPM cruise on the Zigolo. (http://aeromarine-lsa.com/electric-motor-is-now-running-for-bench-tests/) Aeromarine-LSA will use the motor at 25 HP in the Zigolo and 50 HP on the Merlin and the Stinger. Once testing is complete at the 67-75 HP range, it would be ready for any single seat rotorcraft. 80 kw seems to be a better power level for two-seaters.

It was mentioned that Electravia did receive some funding from France to develop quiet propellers. They have made some other tractor propellers that operate at low RPM at single seat thrust levels. (http://www.ul.props.fr/range.php) They also tested the Excalibur propeller on an M-16 Magnigyro (http://www.e-props.fr/tests_excaliburA.php)
 
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