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I have learned way too much about personal electric helicopter aviation, seems like the idea is for under $10,000 someone can buy a personal one-person electric helicopter for travel, transport, etc.

Only recently have I learned of all this because I just finished a website for a company that is doing just as I mentioned above. The website is www.hecopter.com

Check it out...

What do you think? Can it be done? Would you buy one? Is there a market for this now or in the near future?

My curiosity is very peaked as I was reading all the info that I was putting into the website, cool stuff indeed!
 

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I have always wanted one to skip traffic but the FAA might have issues with me :crazyloco

and how come there are better smilies on here :rolleyes
 

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Hi, I am also heavily involved in aviation as well as mechanical engineering. From an aviation point it all seems like an excellent idea! But if you check it out from a mechanical (or electrical) engineering perspective, I doubt it very much whether this is feasible at all! The sheer power required even for a one-man helicopter will require so much electrical power that the amount of electrical storage weight required will start to defeat the object. Further the endurance of such a chopper will be extremely limited not to speak of the reliability issues. Have the FAA approved this design??? A ZX10R or a ZX6R is a much better option!!!!
 

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Nice. As a pilot i would recommend that u stay away from it. The FAA {fedral aviation administration} would probably have issues with it. U also have to think about training costs and insurance on the aircraft. It would be cool to have, but seems far fetched. I personaly would buy a fixed wing airplane. Helicopters require way too much maintinence, reqiure a lot of training and skill and are far more dangerous than fixed wing airplanes.
 

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The information was interesting to be sure. Kind of out there though. Wasn't quite sure on the "fuel" system thing (maybe I just missed that part). Was it all electric or did they not mention "thrusters" in there somewhere which suggests some sort of combustible fuel source?
Would certainly be great for beating the traffic to & from work tho. Not too sure about the "neighbor freindly - landing in your surburban driveway" statement. Although it might not chop anyone's head off, it would be sure to raise a few eyebrows. Hey but ideas like this one are what bring about radical changes to conventional thinking :clap
(BTW: good luck with the FAA thing):thumbdown
 

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As an student pilot, I would love to buy a helicopter that was only $10,000 and as easy to fly as a car, but they gave reason why it would fail themselves:
"the helicopter - is notorious for requiring special training, as well as acute manual dexterity and coordination." This states that it will not be as easy as driving a car.

"Anything that goes up must also come down. With an automobile, most people expect that even a catastrophic failure of one or more parts will yield a worst-case result of being stranded by the side of the road. Whether an exaggerated perception or not, people expect that virtually any failure of any part of an aircraft will have life-threatening safely consequences." In a fixed wing aircraft you would expect to have high chance of life-threatening consequences when multiple parts fail. In a helicopter, if engines fail you can't just glide while staying airborne, you will fall like a rock because there are no airfoils (wings) to keep you airborne. Leading to almost certain life threating injuries.

And, as others said the FAA will not be cool with people taking off from their driveways. Also, most people stated it would be nice to skip traffic, implying that their live in metropolitan and densely populated areas. With large cities come large airports and Class B airspace. High certifications, or a special endorsement, are needed to fly in Class B airspace, along with an accepted request to the local ATC to even enter the airspace.

This would be a great convenience for people, however it will take more than 18 months an a $10,000 before this can really "take off".:crackup
 

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This idea was out years ago. It was pretty cool. I looked into the rules, and you can't fly ultr-lites over residential areas, and therefore, not from your driveways. There was also an initiative from NASA and the FAA to re-do air travel lanes to accomodate for ULs.

This company has something that could actually work. As for safety, they have a parachute that auto-deploys.

http://www.trekaero.com
 

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Hi, I am also heavily involved in aviation as well as mechanical engineering. From an aviation point it all seems like an excellent idea! But if you check it out from a mechanical (or electrical) engineering perspective, I doubt it very much whether this is feasible at all! The sheer power required even for a one-man helicopter will require so much electrical power that the amount of electrical storage weight required will start to defeat the object. Further the endurance of such a chopper will be extremely limited not to speak of the reliability issues. Have the FAA approved this design??? A ZX10R or a ZX6R is a much better option!!!!

I agree,. get a kawi- any model will do, you'll probably get there faster
:smile :smile :smile
 

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+1
 

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Greetings and Salutations

Hey Guys,

The HECopter website is still getting hits after a year from this thread. So I thought I'd come here and weigh in. You have all raised some good issues. Here's my response.

FAA FAR Part 103 defines the ultralight aircraft category. To make a long story a short one, you can't fly over 700 feet high or within 5 miles of an airport of any significance without air traffic control permission. You can't fly over "congested" areas, and while that word is somewhat ambiguous, the intended purpose was to allow for emergency landings without undue peril to innocent bystanders.

Otherwise, as long as the craft weighs less than 254 pounds empty, can't go any faster than 62 MPH at full throttle in level flight, and can only carry one person, it is a "motorized vehicle" - not a regulated aircraft - as far as the FAA is concerned. It would not require any certification or license whatsoever for either the pilot or the craft itself. This would place an ultralight in the same Federal legal environment as a dirt bike, a snowmobile, or a jet ski. If your neighbors would have a cause of action against you for riding an ATV in your back yard, then the same principle would apply to operating an Ecopter.

Therefore the FAA regulations have defined my target entry market: personal powersports. I think Beans was trying to do an informal survey of that market here to see what the interest was.

With all due respect to the technical detractors, I have a flying full-size prototype. Yes, I know exactly how much power is required to hover out of ground effect (the least efficient flight mode) using the existing configuration. Sparing you the math, its 53 horsepower assuming a thrust figure of merit of .6 and a motor efficiency of 65%, or approximately 1650 amps at 24 volts. This is not a trivial sum and an all-battery powered craft is NOT feasible (except as a standby power source) without radical advances in technology.

However, my calculations using “off-the-shelf” motor-generator technology would afford an OGE hover time of about 40 minutes with the FAA-mandated 5 gallons of fuel.

There are two key technical advantages of RAIR™ technology over existing helicopters. Firstly, the control system is natively TTL logic coupled through MOSFETs. I can easily control everything with microprocessors. The flexibility for automation is enormous. Secondly, the system is highly fault-tolerant through redundancy. There are no single points of failure, so there are no critical – read costly - parts.

The Electricopter™ is cheap, easy, and safe by design. Yes, it’s way, way “outside the box”. Once you see it fly, you’ll understand what an aviation paradigm shift it represents. Public demonstrations will likely happen this summer.

Regards,

Brad Hughey
 

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65% efficiency 53hp motor generator

This motor/generator being used is quite efficient, i don't suppose you could supply some more information regarding it? like manufacturer, style of engine and fuel? I take it its not being made just for this copter given the $10,000 price tag. Any idea how much the motor/generator weighs just by itself?

Pretty interesting design :) whats the expected life of those motors at maximum output?? are they being run at below spec? Are they run in banks so you can create uneven lift on the copter (to create a torque about the COM). It would be interesting if you could alter the angle of the rotors individually... or alter the overall shape of the rotor distribution to cater for strange turbulence.. like an automatic stabilisation system.

anyway.. some more information about the motor/generator would be appreciated. Thankyou!! Goodluck with the project!
 
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