CycloTech launches flight trials of prototype
After 15 months of intense project work, CycloTech finally finished the design, assembly and system testing of its first flight demonstrator. The aim of the technology prototype is to proof the precise and agile thrust control to enable a stable VTOL, transition into forward flight and efficiency gain in forward flight mode.
The flight demonstrator is a de-scaled 4-seater Airtaxi (currently without design surface) and the Cyclogyro rotors are the main and only propulsion system for the aircraft. It is fully electric, has an MTOW of 82kg @ 1000N max thrust and allows a flight time of approx. 3 minutes. The concept still bears a lot of optimization potential in terms of weight savings, battery density and rotor efficiency and will be used as technology platform for further improvements of the system architecture. “We will start the flight trials step by step – first in a safe environment on our dynamic test bench, where the demonstrator is able to take-off and perform first flight maneuvers but is stuck to a pole to minimize the risk of damage.” States Hans-Georg Kinsky, the CEO of CycloTech. First free flights indoor the company assembly and testing hall are scheduled for May and June and outdoor flight should start in July.
Prior to outdoor flights, additional wind tunnel test of the rotor performance in forward flight condition needs to be done, which are scheduled for late June in Graz. The experimental certification process is already started and is conducted in partnership with an Austrian University. The final cruise speed is planned to be approx. 50km/h at a 50% reduced energy consumption compared to hover mode. That will eb the fastest speed ever achieved by an aircraft with Cyclogyro rotor technology as propulsion system.
The Cyclogyro rotor technology enables a fast and direct control of magnitude and direction of thrust without changing rpm or the need to tilt the rotor or wings and therefore offers completely new possibilities for VTOL aircrafts in the UAV and UAM sector. CycloTech will use the experience and data generated by the flight trials for the final concept of its first products. To gain more trust within the aviation industry the first use case won’t be with Cyclogyro rotors as main propulsion system but as auxiliary system to enhance existing UAV concepts. The first application that will be brought to market by 2023 is a high agility drone for inspection of critical infrastructure. The main lifting propulsion will be conventional propellers and the Cyclogyro rotor will be used for precise positioning. The combination will enable operating in much rougher conditions than conventional
inspection UAV and can be used for search & rescue missions as well. More news to come soon ….