CycloTech is transforming the Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP), the most agile maritime drive, into a revolutionary and superior propulsion system (“CycloRotor”) for the aviation industry. CycloRotors allow direct and immediate control of both magnitude and direction of thrust – 360° around the rotation axis – within fractions of a second. CycloTech´s patented technology is currently the only cyclogyro concept in the world that can generate sufficient thrust efficient, in order to be a truly competitive alternative aircraft system for aircraft propulsion. With a highly automated optimization toolchain using (FE-calculations, CFD-simulation, multi-body-simulation, weight- and size scaling calculators, etc. ) the technology is now ready to be customized for the use as an auxiliary control unit to enhance aircraft concepts with conventional propulsion systems.
CycloRotors are thrust-vector-systems that enable an immediate thrust generation 360° around the rotation axis – at constant rotation speed and direction – within fractions of a second
The ability to steer the magnitude and direction of thrust 360° around the rotation axis of every single rotor allows a more precise maneuverability of aircraft. The thrust vector control enables a much faster and sensitive change of thrust than with conventional tilting systems or by change of rpm of propellers.
The direct and immediate control of thrust is ideal for work in tight surroundings. The CycloRotors provide agility on a superior level and allow to react to crosswinds and gusts in a much faster and more effective way. Instead tilting a propeller unit, the CycloRotor immediately counteracts the applied force.
CycloRotors allow an extremely high discload and can be used as lift- and thrust-generating sources. In comparison to fixed-wing, tilt-wing, or tilt-rotor systems, aircraft with CycloRotors as main propulsion system offer a reduction of the aircraft footprint of up to 75%.
The transition from hover to forward flight is a highly critical phase for VTOL aircraft. The precise thrust vector control of the CycloRotor allows a smooth transition phase without any banking of the aircraft or the need to change the attitude of the aircraft.
The performance of CycloRotors increases with rising speed. The energy consumption in forward flight mode reduces in comparison to the hover mode. Thus, making the CycloRotor the ideal propulsion system for mid-range flight missions.
The perfect solution for serving the market needs either as a stand-alone propulsion system or in combination with conventional concepts, as a stabilizing and control system. All current CycloRotors are fully electric-powered but could be used with a hybrid system as well.
The major challenge of using the Cyclogyro rotor technology is its radical new approach as an aircraft propulsion unit and the high rotational speed. This requires an extreme lightweight construction in combination with smart design which demands new concepts, advanced composite material and innovative manufacturing methods. The key is to understand, describe and control the underlying physics and its effects of a CycloRotor by heart. CycloTech has built up an highly automated toolchain with CFD-simulation, multi-body-dynamics calculation models, FE-simulations and further optimization tools to continuously improve the performance of the CycloRotors.
Only with that knowledge and clear insight into the technology it is possible to establish the Cyclogyro rotor technology on the market as a clear ground-breaking innovation for VTOL and urban air mobility. More than 100% performance increase has been realised within the last 3 years and there is still plenty of potential for optimization potentials still to utilize – the technology is just about the beginning of its maturity curve.
CR-42 SINGlE-ROTOR DESIGN*
The current rotor design with a one-sided mounting offers an easy connection to any aircraft structure via a simple suspension system. CR42 is a fully electric CycloRotor with an electric motor and a gearbox as a drivetrain. The core of the agility is the patented mechanical configuration and control system.
|max. thrust [N]||253|
|thrust/weight ratio [-]||2,4|
|power aero/thrust [W/N]||35,6|
|power aero [kW]||9|
*in operation in our technology demonstrator
**including drivetrain and suspension
ROTOR CONCEPTS & INCREASING EFFICIENCY
Despite the tremendous performance increase over the last couple of years, CycloTech has already identified various further optimization potentials. Improvements in thrust generation in hover mode, weight-saving measures within the design and concept of the rotor, and increased efficiency in forward flight mode will further raise the competitiveness of the technology. One of the multiple improvements, just to name one of it, will be a direct drive. Safety, reliability, and redundancy of systems are main topics during the certification of aviation systems. For the future use as a main propulsion system CycloTech is developing a twin-rotor system that is designed and built as a redundant CycloRotor concept for the use in UAV and Urban Air Mobility applications.
Shifting Expectations and
The proof of concept to elevate our development on Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 will be performed with a flight demonstrator of approximately 83kg take-off weight equipped with 4 of our CycloRotors. The prototype is a sole technology demonstrator but based on a de-scaled 5-seater Airtaxi configuration.
The demonstrator will be used as a technology platform to test further optimization loops of the rotor technology. Parallel to the flight demonstrator, we started the development of a CycloRotor as an auxiliary system for a high precision inspection drone for use in harsh and tight environments. Partners are welcome to join the project.