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Advanced Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft – ARVA

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ARVA represents a new aircraft concept with a configuration that is seif, quiet and efficient as well as easy to control, high compact and which is able to accomplish vertical takeoff and landing with transition to and from forward flight. This new aircraft technology uses a revolutionary design, generating lift within a relatively small body by employing a unique combination of lifting surfaces. ARVA presents a minimum foot-print when operates in urban or mountain areas and can be parked in reduced spaces like navies or submarines. Applications are numerous, including door to door transportation as VTOL taxi, fast deliveries for commercial and medical purposes, medical emergency services, efficient delivery platforms for heavy cargoes including water for irrigation and forest fire-fighting and many others. 

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Advanced Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft – ARVA

  1. 1. Advanced Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft – ARVA
  2. 2. 2 ARVA 1. Executive Summary A feasibility study showed that there existed a need for a multi-purpose general aviation aircraft with the ability to take-off and land vertically. In particular, the Emergency Services would benefit tremendously from the ability to pick up patients from otherwise inaccessible locations, thus improving their service and helping to save the lives of people in all the world sites. On the other hand to transport the people from door to door remains an untouched mission for the actual VTOL solutions. This is because 99% of the VTOL actual solutions use at least an external airscrew to produce the lift. That determines a catastrophic behaviour when are touched external objects. Within the present concept we try to develop a "best in class," advanced VTOL aircraft system utilizing the new Distributed Electric Propulsion - DEP, combining the Vertical Take Off and Landing capabilities of a helicopter with the horizontal speed and payload of a traditional jet airplane. This new Advanced Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft - ARVA using the new DEP will revolutionize regional flying and provide an accessible and affordable transportation platform for both the commercial and civilian/military markets while reducing capital and operating expenses. The DEP aircraft capabilities while eliminating all current rotary wing technical issues will also dramatically reduce airport congestion and flight delays by as much as 50% by allowing a significant number of flights to by- pass major hubs and travel more direct, point-to-point routes. This has the added benefit of freeing-up takeoff and landing slots at major airports for larger jets thus further alleviating congestion and delays. On the military side, governments will benefit from DEP aircraft scalable design allowing the flexibility needed to support a wide range of strategic
  3. 3. 3 ARVA and tactical missions, from small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) applications, to rapid deployment of troops and cargo from remote locations all over the world or to individual solder flights. Additional applications include search and rescue, firefighting, pollution and traffic monitoring, crop management, weather tracking and forecasting as well as individual flights. In the electric or hybrid variant the proposed concept will contribute radically to lower glob warming which became stringent in the last years. 2. State of the art The rotary wing aircraft, or helicopter, is a common type of VTOL aircraft. Helicopters have large rotors that provide both vertical and horizontal trust. In order for the rotors to perform this dual function across of range of airspeeds, the rotors are typically quite complex. The rotors generally rotate at low speed. This results in heavy transmissions between rotor and
  4. 4. 4 ARVA engine. Because of the mechanical complexity across the entire vehicle system, many parts are single points of failure. Because of this lack in redundancy, frequent inspections and maintenance are required to keep the vehicle safe. On the other hand helicopters are large and unprotected from heating nearby obstacles and any contact of the rotors with external objects can be catastrophic. The U.S. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is launching another attempt to develop a high-speed vertical-takeoff-and- landing (VTOL) aircraft with the hover capability of a helicopter. This new platform will be able to land in unprepared areas, move in all directions and hover in midair — all critical skills for transporting troops, conducting surveillance operations and performing special operations, and search-and- rescue missions. The VTOL X-Plane program is a 52-month effort to fly an experimental aircraft capable of exceeding 300 kt., but with a hover efficiency of 75% or better and a cruise lift-to-drag (L/D) ratio of 10 or more. By comparison, according to DARPA, today’s conventional helicopters are capable of 150–170 kt., with a hover efficiency of 60% and a cruise L/D of 4–5. DARPA wants the new aircraft to overcome design barriers of the past, improving low fuel efficiency, increasing controllability, and reducing
  5. 5. 5 ARVA exposure to the enemy. The V-22 Osprey, which is currently in use by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, has had serious cost overruns and a series of fatal crashes during its development and exploitation. Finally DARPA has awarded Aurora Flight Sciences the prime contract for Phase 2 of the Agency’s Vertical Takeoff and Landing Experimental Plane (VTOL X-Plane) program. Aurora Flight Sciences tested successfully a scale demonstrator. According to the builder the subscale vehicle demonstrator (SVD) prototype of the LightningStrike successfully completed a series of takeoff, hover, and landing manoeuvres at an undisclosed US military base. The recent flight was conducted by an Aurora team from a ground control station with oversight from US government officials and is part of the goal to build a full-size demonstrator aircraft to validate the LightningStrike's technology. For more information from Aurora on LightningStrike and to view/download videos: o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CCdjpS4Xkw o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LylpcttuQ_U&feature=youtu.be
  6. 6. 6 ARVA When finished, the full-scale LightningStrike will be the first to use a distributed hybrid-electric propulsion system with synchronous electric- drive. The unmanned aircraft will reach a top sustained speed of 555 to 740 km/h, hover with an efficiency of at least 75 percent instead of the current 60 percent, presents a more favourable cruise lift-to-drag ratio from five or six to 10, and carry a payload equal to 40 percent of the X-Plane's 4,536 to 5,443 kg gross weight. One disadvantage of this technology is the wing mechanism complexity. Also with its great wing span this aircraft cannot be operable in cities or crowded area. Unfortunately this type of technology is not scalable to large aircraft configuration. 3. ARVA product with Distributed Electric Propulsion – DEP ARVA represents a new aircraft concept with a configuration that is seif, quiet and efficient as well as easy to control, high compact and which is able to accomplish vertical takeoff and landing with transition to and from forward flight. The new ARVA concept uses a revolutionary design, generating lift within a relatively small body by employing a unique combination of lifting surfaces. This is primarily because it allows the creation of an extremely compact aerial vehicle which has VTOL capabilities and high lifting efficiencies. ARVA using DEP as a rotorless drag-reducing propulsion system can be deployed in a versatile hover- capable flying aircraft to lift heavy loads efficiently. Scalable with a combination of stable overlapping flight roles and modes from horizontal take-off through assisted low speed and stationary hover through to high
  7. 7. 7 ARVA speed winged flight and back. ARVA mainly employs a multiple ducted fan arrangement and new ducted fan configuration creating a very efficient air distribution. The innovative ducted fans are used for vertical lift and also for horizontal propulsion. The ducted fans are grouped in three multiple propellers or powerplants, two of them being located in the front of the fuselage and the third at the rear side located between two struts fixed on the fuselage. ARVA uses two sets of fixing wings and one set of mobile wings. The mobile wings are of retractable type and can be retired inside of the front fixed wings to obtain minimum footprint necessary when the aircraft is used in urban or mountain areas. To increase endurance at the cruising speed the mobile wings are extended and the flying efficiency becomes maxim.
  8. 8. 8 ARVA ARVA specifications: No. Characteristic Value 1 Take-off and landing (including from water) Vertically 2 Number of passengers 3 - 4 3 Number of electric fan motors 12 4 Max. take-off weight 900 kg 5 Payload 200-300 kg 6 Estimated cruising velocity 280 - 350 km/h / 175 - 220 mph 7 Estimated maximum velocity 500 km/h / 310 mph 8 Estimated range (fully electric) 500 km / 310 mi 9 Estimated power 400 kW / 544 hp When ARVA missions are only in urban areas the mobile wings can miss, the aircraft being reconfigured, as in the picture below: The estimated dimensions are:
  9. 9. 9 ARVA Multiple propeller design a) With usual Ducted Fans Normal ducted fans will be used. b) With By-pass Ducted Fans To improve the disk loading value with around 150-250% ARVA can use a new type of ducted fans, respectively the By-Pass Ducted Fan having two parallel air streams.
  10. 10. 10 ARVA The air vehicle can become even more compact and the total weight can be dramatically reduced. The By-Pass DEP propulsion can have for the VTOL aircraft the same impact that had the turbofan engine for commercial aviation. Compared with other technologies the By-pas ducted fans are very well located in the performance graph. Power-unit variants: 1. Fully electric 2. Hybrid electric with extended autonomy
  11. 11. 11 ARVA 1. The aircraft uses 12 electric motors making the system highly redundant. If one or two of the electric motors failed the aircraft continues to operate safely. The rotor design is also innovative and reduces drastically the external noise. The electric motors are supplied with electricity by a number of modular batteries, making possible another innovation. The system can work with minimum two modular batteries. If the travelling distance is short only two batteries will be used. The number of embarked batteries increases with the distance. This system, with modular batteries, avoids transporting a futile mass. On the other hand, if the batteries are discharged, they can be easy replaced (being modular) and ARVA is very quickly prepared for the next fly. 2. The hybrid electric variant will use an innovative power unit having an IC engine with internal heat recovery, high efficiency and ultra- high power density.
  12. 12. 12 ARVA Different aircraft configurations in operation 1. Configuration before take-off and landing for minimum footprint in crowded areas 2. After take-off in vertical flight 3.In transition
  13. 13. 13 ARVA 4. In forward flight at maximum speed 5. At cruising (economic) speed operates with only four ducted fans Each powerplant can be oriented individually to ensure the vertical takeoff (as is shown in the pictures) as well as the forward flight. The aircraft uses 12 electric motors making the system highly redundant. If one or two of the electric motors failed the aircraft continues to operate safely or in the case of total system failure the aircraft can glide. As a supplementary safety measure a ballistic parachute can be deployed when need.
  14. 14. 14 ARVA Aircraft control The aircraft uses 12 electric motors making the system highly redundant. Due to multiple number and independence of the vertical/horizontal lift rotors, the vertical/horizontal thrust is redundant and thrust and control remain available even with a failure of one or two rotors. Since there are multiple rotors, that provide large control forces, the rotors are able to be smaller, with faster response rate for operation even in gusty wind conditions. To control the aircraft orientation at low speed there are used some flaps to deflect the ducted fan air stream. ARVA concept versatility Many other design configurations are already imagined and one of them is presented below: ARVA benefits As a pilotless drone or replacement for ageing S/VTOL airframes, this multi-role propulsion system and application provides enhanced operational versatility, stability, scalability, handling, fuel-efficiency, payload capacity,
  15. 15. 15 ARVA performance, reduced noise and increased safety potential. Other benefits are simplified mechanical construction over helicopter with multiple- redundant array of engines with independent throttling for directional thrust, feathering on failure and controlled vertical cushion decay to produce a soft landing. Blade-shedding will not cause catastrophic power-loss from multi- engined array. ARVA offers reduced footprint and consequently low safety issues when operate in city or other similar environments. Aurora X-VTOL concept is complex and costly aircraft having a high footprint/load ratio in takeoff. In comparison, ARVA can retract its wings and can be operated and parked in reduced areas. In emergency cases ARVA can glide using its normal wings not affected by the ducted fan location, increasing even more the redundancy. ARVA is a scalable concept and can be reproduced from small UAVs to large or very large aircraft.
  16. 16. 16 ARVA The ARVA advancements beyond the State-Of-The-Art are listed in the following table: Advancement Helicopter Aurora ARVA Explanation 1 Extreme compactness in takeoff and landing conditions - 0 ++ The ducted fans are placed parallel with the longitudinal axes of the fuselage and a part of the wings is mobile. 2 Greater speed - 0 0 Low drag 3 Reduced weight - 0 + No massive and heavy mechanisms to rotate the wings 4 High efficiency -in vertical flight ++ 0 + The aircraft aerodynamic loses in the vertical flight are minimized -in forward flight -- 0 + The aircraft weight is supported by the wings 5 Simplified construction -of the rotors -- 0 0 It uses a simple blade design -of the electric drive -- 0 0 The electric motor acts directly the rotor -of the wings 0 + Shorter rigid wing reduces complexity of rotating wings 6 Torque cancellation / Mechanism simplification - 0 0 The counter-rotating rotors cancel the overall torque of the aircraft body
  17. 17. 17 ARVA 7 Easy control -- 0 0 The horizontal flight and the turn are simply controlled with few actuators and with electric motor RPM 8 Easy maintenance -- 0 + The construction has a reduced number of components 9 Improved safety -- 0 + There are no external moving parts and the aircraft can glide in emergency cases. Can land in complex environments without risk of strike. Can operate with one or two failed motors. 10 Product versatility - 0 ++ A big number of configurations are possible 11 More rigid wing - 0 ++ Reduced wingspan needed for VTOL landing. Rigidity allows wings to be lower profile and lighter. Provide large reduction in wingtip vortices. Create larger effective aspect ratio reducing drag. 12 High range - 0 0 More speed allows for greater range 13 Low NVH level - 0 0 Less vibration than large diameter rotor 14 Lifting fuselage and larger cabin + 0 + Tear drop fuselage Market opportunities for ARVA o On-demand aviation (door to door transportation) o Fast deliveries for commercial and medical purposes o Medical emergency services
  18. 18. 18 ARVA o Re-supply of offshore oil and gas platforms o Inaccessible regions delivery o Aerial fire-fighting o Spreading substances in agriculture as an air-tractor o Rapid deployment of troops and cargo from remote locations all over the world including from naval locations (vessels or submarines) o Individual solder flights o Pollution and traffic monitoring Contact info: Author: Eng. Liviu Grigorian GIURCA Phone: 0040731015778 E-mail: lgiurca@hybrid-engine-hope.com