Actual results of the first half of the project period (2013)


Rotor assembly

Figure 1: IAT21 rotor assembly with 6 blades

  • Development of an analytical model that allows for a fast identification of lift and thrust forces, as well as power requirement as a function of several cycloidal rotor parameters at different operational conditions.
  • CFD simulations of a number of geometrical aspects in cycloidal rotors.
  • Computation of the IAT21-L3 rotor geometry.
  • Evaluation of the possible conceptual designs: fully-electric and self-sustainable airship; conventional airplane with hybrid propulsion system; compound helicopter; innovative aircraft with four contra-rotating electric-driven rotors.
  • Analysis on virtual camber effect, identifying the ratio (blade's chord/rotor radius) as a key parameter.
  • Analysis of possible implementations of various renewable energy systems (batteries, fuel cells, solar panels, hybrid systems) on different typologies of aircrafts.
  • Optimised Offset System

    Figure 2: Optimised Offset System

  • Preliminary optimization study about the best energy preserving pitching schedules of the blades during a rotation cycle, which should result in an increase of performance of CROP.
  • Analysis of possible ways of integrating PECyT (Plasma Enhanced Cycloidal Thruster) system on CROP.
  • Refinement of CFD-FEM simulations.
  • Research on appropriate means of transferring power to the rotating frame, such as axial flux machines and rotating transformers.
  • Conduction of FE (Finite Element) simulations of possible electric drive systems to establish its performance

Constructions and tests:

IAT21 L1 on lab bench

Figure 3: IAT21 L1 on lab bench

  • Several tests on five rotor assemblies, one of these were tested to destruction.
  • Constant updating of the air vehicle design based on experimental results of rotor assemblies and smoke tests on air flow at different rotor speeds.
  • Examination of different options for the rotor assemblies and aerial vehicle configurations. Greatest efficiency was achieved with a 6-bladed configuration.
  • Definition and testing of several rotor parameters obtained by laboratory models.
  • Construction of a rotor assembly which allows the integration of PECyT.
  • Creation of laboratory models of sub-systems, which were used to redesign the rotor offset sub-system in order to obtain a more swiftly and accurate response to controlling commands, and to approximate the centre of gravity of the aircraft as close as possible to the centre of mass.
  • Reduction of the weight of the carbon fibre wings up to 40% whilst increasing their strength.
  • Development of new component designs, manufacturing techniques and aerofoil shapes to minimise stresses, increase their strength and lifetime, and to reduce their weight.
  • Construction of a 4 rotor lab model for vertical launch tests.
  • Development of electronic components and software to allow the control during the flight and to be driven from vertical to stable forward flight.
  • Proof of the electrically driven cyclo-gyro concept and optimisation of 4 rotor lab model.

Upcoming event:
Aerodays 2015, 20-23 October 2015, London.
CROP post-project presentation by invitation of European Union
CROP-Project Newsletter Q1/2014

CROP-Project Newsletter Q2/2015