New Trends in Helicopter Technologies

Trend #1: Single Engine Operative Mode
Single engine operative (SEO) mode which allows a twin engine helicopter to shut down one of its engines while in cruise to save fuel, and restart it again rapidly when needed. Airbus Helicopter presented the environmental Clean Sky 2 demonstrator to prove that new technology could make helicopters more environmentally friendly by reducing noise and emissions:
Key features:

    SEO – Single engine operative mode which allows a twin engine helicopter to shut down one of its engines while in cruise, to save fuel, and to climb rapidly
    Supercritical transmissions featuring fewer parts, which will make the system lighter and reduce maintenance cycles
    Supplementing flight-by-wire with mechanical flight control, including smart functions such as auto trimming

Airbus plans to undertake a preliminary design review of the Clean Sky 2 aircraft this year and critical design review during 2018, with a first flight to follow two years later.
I’m looking forward to Paris Air Show in June where the final design configuration will be revealed.  #Rexnord Aerospace at Paris AirShow 2017 – Booth D-103

Trend #2: Untraditional tail rotor and no horizontal stabilizers
Bell Helicopter has unveiled a new future helicopter concept featuring a range of next-generation technologies. I'm excited to see Bell pushing out in this new direction:

    Fly-by-wire and autonomous capabilities allow for single seat pilot
    Electric hybrid system in the tail rotor for a hybrid anti-torque system.  Multiple fans and an allowance for a venting system on both sides of the tail, so that it can thrust in either direction.
    No horizontal surfaces
    Hybridized propulsion. This combines advanced thermal engine cores for the main propulsion with electric distribution and motors to drive the system for further control and rudimentary vehicle operations and maintenance
    Various landing gear configurations are being considered

This futuristic looking rotorcraft impressed not only our team, but the whole audience of spectators. I’m looking forward to seeing the final design.

Aerospace Rexnord


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