Jump to content


UpperLimit2011General_468x60Helicopter AcademyTigerTugsVRForumGen468VOLO_VRGeneral468
Photo
- - - - -

Will eVTOL take over the commercial small-helicopter market?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 voyagerB

voyagerB

    PVT Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:To VTOL or not to VTOL
  • Company working for:independent consultant in mobility issues

Posted 04 July 2017 - 01:22

Since the UBER Elevate Summit in April this year, more OEMs said they would develop eVTOLs, aircraft that can take off and land vertically and that use electric power. Among them AgustaWestland, Aurora, Airbus. Embraer. The argument for eVTOLs is as follows.

 

1. If aviation authorities will allow parcel delivery drones, why not beef-up the rotors and airlift passengers? Electric rotor technology is constantly evolving (already past the 5 kW per 1 kg own weight threshold), so are lightweighting and battery tech.

 

2. If we expect cars to ‘2D-maneuver’ autonomously through dense city traffic... then it should be less of a problem to have rotor-equipped vehicles auto-pilot themselves through the air, where there’s lots of 3D space to maneuver. 

 

3. eVTOLs are safer than ICE-propelled helicopters. They are less complex, have less mechanical parts, have no variable propeller settings (like a helicopter has). eVTOLs will be cheaper to operate, and will not require a pilot (license) in 5 years time. 

 

4. Change of regulations is up to aviation authorities of course. Adapting them will work as an enabler of one of the most exciting, new industries (same with developing self-driving cars). Generally, governments don't want to miss out on them.

 

drones%2B%2526%2Bself-driving%2B%25282%2What say you?


  • TeoerryNug likes this

#2 chris pochari

chris pochari

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco CA
  • Interests:Helicopters, business, geopolitics, rotorcraft technology, investing, real estate, business opportunities
  • Company working for:RSI

Posted 04 July 2017 - 03:04

E VTOLS, Lilium etc are constrained by the low energy density of lithium ion batteries. So any large job like carrying people on a charter trip or tour is going to be very difficult for an electric VTOL unless lithium ion energy density is dramatically improved. Electric can work for very short distance UAV application, photoshooting etc. 

https://ibb.co/kF3gZa click here to see the comparison. 

Lithium ion energy density is 100 times less than kerosene/JET A

Click here to watch Allan Epstein from P&W explain https://www.facebook...?type=3. So far electric only provides disadvantages over turbine power. Batteries have a LONG way to go before they can be competitive with fossil fuel. Some person in Palo Alto equipped a Robinson R44 with a 1200lb battery, it flew for 12 minutes I think. 

Technological evolution https://en.wikipedia...gical_evolution only happens if the technology being replaced is inferior to the new technology, like steam to diesel and piston to turbine. Going from Turbine, or piston, to electric is a downgrade, less range, more weight and less payload? Helicopters, or Quadcopters are the least efficient form of air transport, requiring the most energy to generate lift, if airplanes haven't been electrified yet than helicopters have along way to go.

I did a hypothetical conversion of a cessna 172 from gas to electric, if you were to take the space used to store the fuel, and replace it with high end lithium batteries, not exceeding the weight of the fuel (because we don't want to lose payload) you would get only 6% of the range of the gas powered airplane. Now do that with a helicopter and see what you get, it will be even worse. To get the same range as the original airplane you would need 14000lbs of batteries!!!!! I heard one guy say for a 747 to take off powered by batteries you need need 2 additional 747's full of batteries. Not happening, And that's fixed wing!


  • TomPPL, Fred0311 and voyagerB like this

#3 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,532 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy recreational pilot! :)

Posted 04 July 2017 - 11:32

What say me?

I used to deliver for Fedex, I also used to take a semi over to Amazon to pickup in bulk, and the sheare volume of packages that go through the system every day makes drone delivery so, so, impractical!

Plus there will probably be a clever hoodie type who follows the drone waiting for it to drop its package so he can then snatch it and run! At least I could hide the box, lets see a drone do that!

Even out in the middle of butt-crack nowhere you'd still need a army of drones,...it ain't gonna happen!

As for passengers, I'll stick with the 737 ride to Vegas!

,...oh' yeah, and a bunch of people flying around with no license (and thus no training) yeah, that's an awesome idea!
  • TomPPL and chris pochari like this
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#4 voyagerB

voyagerB

    PVT Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:To VTOL or not to VTOL
  • Company working for:independent consultant in mobility issues

Posted 15 July 2017 - 02:49

E VTOLS, Lilium etc are constrained by the low energy density of lithium ion batteries. So any large job like carrying people on a charter trip or tour is going to be very difficult for an electric VTOL unless lithium ion energy density is dramatically improved. Electric can work for very short distance UAV application, photoshooting etc. 

https://ibb.co/kF3gZa click here to see the comparison. 

Lithium ion energy density is 100 times less than kerosene/JET A

Click here to watch Allan Epstein from P&W explain https://www.facebook...?type=3. So far electric only provides disadvantages over turbine power. Batteries have a LONG way to go before they can be competitive with fossil fuel. Some person in Palo Alto equipped a Robinson R44 with a 1200lb battery, it flew for 12 minutes I think. 

Technological evolution https://en.wikipedia...gical_evolution only happens if the technology being replaced is inferior to the new technology, like steam to diesel and piston to turbine. Going from Turbine, or piston, to electric is a downgrade, less range, more weight and less payload? Helicopters, or Quadcopters are the least efficient form of air transport, requiring the most energy to generate lift, if airplanes haven't been electrified yet than helicopters have along way to go.

I did a hypothetical conversion of a cessna 172 from gas to electric, if you were to take the space used to store the fuel, and replace it with high end lithium batteries, not exceeding the weight of the fuel (because we don't want to lose payload) you would get only 6% of the range of the gas powered airplane. Now do that with a helicopter and see what you get, it will be even worse. To get the same range as the original airplane you would need 14000lbs of batteries!!!!! I heard one guy say for a 747 to take off powered by batteries you need need 2 additional 747's full of batteries. Not happening, And that's fixed wing!

The thing is that fixed-wing requires a landing strip. If we expect next-gen aerial vehicles such as air taxis (UBER does) to really work, then VTOL will be paramount. Next issue is (indeed like you suggested) how to make flight itself more efficiently. Some aviation companies pursue airplane-like flight with swiveling thrusters to do the VTOL party trick. Here are the concepts that are being worked on:

 

eVTOL%2Bcraft%2B%25283%2529.jpg



#5 chris pochari

chris pochari

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco CA
  • Interests:Helicopters, business, geopolitics, rotorcraft technology, investing, real estate, business opportunities
  • Company working for:RSI

Posted 15 July 2017 - 04:56

The thing is that fixed-wing requires a landing strip. If we expect next-gen aerial vehicles such as air taxis (UBER does) to really work, then VTOL will be paramount. Next issue is (indeed like you suggested) how to make flight itself more efficiently. Some aviation companies pursue airplane-like flight with swiveling thrusters to do the VTOL party trick. Here are the concepts that are being worked on:

 

eVTOL%2Bcraft%2B%25283%2529.jpg

I'm familiar with most of these designs, They have been in the news a lot! I get a little worried when Uber, a taxi app company get's in the aviation business. But overall I think electric VTOL, Fix wing or any type of electric powered aircraft will prove to be very difficult. Check this out

http://energyskeptic.com/2013/why-arent-there-battery-powered-airplanes/ 

A 200-seat airplane weighs about 115 tons at take off.

About a third, or 38 tons of that weight is the kerosene fuel.

The other 77 tons are the passengers, their luggage, and the airplane itself.

An electric, battery-powered airplane would require nearly 3,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries – the batteries would weigh 39 times more than the plane, passengers, and their luggage.

Nor would fuel cells do much better.
 

Source: Mark Schrope. 6 Nov 2010. Fly Electric. New Scientist.


  • TomPPL likes this

#6 voyagerB

voyagerB

    PVT Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Interests:To VTOL or not to VTOL
  • Company working for:independent consultant in mobility issues

Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:38

@chris pochari

 

The pictures I posted are all 2-seater designs. The Ehang is even a single seater.

I am not talking about electric passenger planes like Tesla and Wright Electric are contemplating.



#7 pokey

pokey

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,018 posts
  • Location:maine YAY !
  • Interests:just about anything interesting
  • Company working for:my own

Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:21

 

A 200-seat airplane weighs about 115 tons at take off.

 

About a third, or 38 tons of that weight is the kerosene fuel.

The other 77 tons are the passengers, their luggage, and the airplane itself.

An electric, battery-powered airplane would require nearly 3,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries – the batteries would weigh 39 times more than the plane, passengers, and their luggage.

Nor would fuel cells do much better.
 

 

 

 

Skip the motors, batteries, fuel cells and fuel tanks. With 200 seats, eliminate the under seat luggage & install pedals. "This is your captain speaking, we are ready for take off, everyone pedal as fast as you can"

 

"we have reached our cruising altitude now, you tired passengers can now take break"

 

"we are starting our decent now, ALL of you passengers can stop now & we thank you for peddling with us today"


  • chris pochari likes this

#8 chris pochari

chris pochari

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 77 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Francisco CA
  • Interests:Helicopters, business, geopolitics, rotorcraft technology, investing, real estate, business opportunities
  • Company working for:RSI

Posted 15 July 2017 - 15:46

 

 

Skip the motors, batteries, fuel cells and fuel tanks. With 200 seats, eliminate the under seat luggage & install pedals. "This is your captain speaking, we are ready for take off, everyone pedal as fast as you can"

 

"we have reached our cruising altitude now, you tired passengers can now take break"

 

"we are starting our decent now, ALL of you passengers can stop now & we thank you for peddling with us today"

Yup



#9 Fred0311

Fred0311

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:?

Posted 15 July 2017 - 18:24

Pokey isn't that what Spirit already does?
  • chris pochari likes this

#10 Eric Hunt

Eric Hunt

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 624 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near the beach

Posted 16 July 2017 - 00:46

 

 

Will eVTOL take over the commercial small-helicopter market?

 

 

No.



#11 pokey

pokey

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,018 posts
  • Location:maine YAY !
  • Interests:just about anything interesting
  • Company working for:my own

Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:16

 

 

No.

 

not even in fifty years? 100? FIVE hundred?

 

are you sure of this?

 

do you know how closely electricity/magnetism/and gravity are related? But we have no clue what any of them really are? Oh yes, we know how to use them to a limited degree (today)

 

But to flat out say "no" to that question?---Yes, they may not be even called helicopters by then.

 

The day electric motors (as we know of them today & batteries) is not in the near future, you don't see any  flying diesel locomotives ,,, yet !  (even Doc Brown's was steam powered)


  • TomPPL likes this

#12 r22butters

r22butters

    VR Veteran Poster

  • VR Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,532 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pluto,...at least until the next election :) ,...damn the wifi here is unbelievable!
  • Interests:Admiring the city lights and coastal sunsets from a thousand feet,...when I have the dough. :)

    ,...oh' yeah, and boobs!
    😕+🍟+🚁+🌃=☺
    .
  • Company working for:Just a happy recreational pilot! :)

Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:48

Enough already! We already know what the future's going to look like!




,...and electricity, magnetism, and gravity are all God's farts!
  • TomPPL likes this
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#13 Whistler

Whistler

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 37 posts

Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:06

Eventually.  But we are all safe.  so are our children if they want to become pilots I think. It will take a generation or more before these technologies become sophisticated enough to truly be game changers.  Electronic cars are just NOW becoming a viable alternative.  The first electric car on the market came out in 1884.  Since then numerous iterations have started and failed over the years.  It takes a lot more time for ideas to succeed in reality than they do in our imaginations.  The world is moving faster than ever before... but still not as fast as we think it is.  

 

still, it's important to be future minded.  lest we fall victim to thinking we are as untouchable as the railroad, coal, motor city, etc... history is rife with examples of people who believed their means of making a living would go on forever.  always have a plan B.


  • TomPPL and chris pochari like this




3 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users


    Yahoo (1)


ColoradoHeliOpsGeneral200Genesys VRForum200_GeneralPrecisionVRForumGeneral200Able_VRGeneral200NFCVRGeneral200DevoreGeneral200MaunaLoaSoftwareVRGeneral200HeliHelmetsMidwestHeliAcademy2016Helmet FX General 200