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WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

This is not a specific question but it might make for some interesting technical questions and answers.

The World's first manned flight of a 100% electric powered helicopter was conducted on the 12th of August 2011, after 2 weeks of tethered flight tests. This machine, designed and test flown by Pascal Chretien, for the French based company Solution F, is the outcome of a remarkably short development period that was initiated in August 2010.
This ultra light coaxial helicopter weighs 170-Kg empty, including 60 Kg of high performance air-cooled Li-ion polymer batteries that can deliver 43 KW continuous, and 52 KW peak. The craft weighs 247-Kg at takeoff and offers 10 to 12 minutes flight time. To save weight, conventional cyclic and flight controls were replaced by a weight shifting system, as well as a specific design for rotor inertia, and blade pitch. Collective and yaw are achieved via electrical flight controls.

An advanced MOSFET based feather light drive train offers astounding 87.5% end to end efficiency, from batteries terminals to rotor mast.

This helicopter is a demonstrator intended to pave the way for hybrid rotary wing aircraft and is a test bed for new technologies. Flight envelope expansion is ongoing.

Pictures are on http://www.electrotor.com/Temporary/WorldsFirst.html


RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

Well, congrats to them on the technical achievement.

As for the next step, I guess a hybrid helicopter makes as much sense as a hybrid speedboat.  Maybe someone can explain that to me.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

Interesting feat - maybe, might lead to some interesting things - but I have an electric toy helicopter that has full 3 axis controls and flies for 10 minutes - costs about $100.

RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off


This is a short answer to your question.

"The distinction between various electric powertrain technologies is becoming more blurred as performance improves. A fuel cell uses some kind of hydrocarbon fuel, with hydrogen favoured for transport applications but heavy oils possible for static applications (steam reformation used to break down into H2 and CO2). Lithium-Polymer batteries are the latest generation of energy storage device but are capable of extremely high rates of charge and discharge. Often the two technologies are combined to allow fuel cells to trickle charge LiPo batts in between demand peaks. For constant high power applications like helicopters this approach is of limited use, but LiPo will eventually give way to true high power to weight fuel cells. When will this happen? Eventually... "

It is by Graviman on this thread; http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/426523-future-helicopter-electric-3.html


RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

The $50 3 channel electric helo is a wonder of the modern age, in my opinion. Mine is still in one piece after several hours flying.

I'm away from any useful PC, or books, if you scale the performance and size of one of our toys up to 50 kW is there any magic in this or has he merely used a photocopier to scale the design up?



Greg Locock

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RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off


It appears that simply scaling a helicopter up or down from existing craft or from existing algorithms will present problems.  Pascal has previously designed and built, but not flown, a conventional single seat helicopter with a reciprocating engine.

His electric helicopter was designed, with the help of books, papers and discussions; and built with existing components where possible. The initial objective was his achievement of manned electric rotorcraft flight. His intention now is to improve and advance the electric helicopter.



RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

Neat. The major blow in these electric derived forms of travel are the batteries. Once we can fly for more then 10 minutes the world will change much quicker, and these things will "take off". For now they are just cool and nice research tools.
Best of lick to them  


RE: WorldÆs First Manned Electric Helicopter takes off

haha. LUCK...not lick.  


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