Flutterby™! : helicycle

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2005-10-11 19:17:27.566519+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

In the "projects I'll likely never have the time or resources for, but are oh soooo cool", there's the Helicycle single seat helicopter. Less than $40 per hour operating costs (ie: per mile comparable to that of a car even if you don't count that a car needs to travel further because of road versus air distance), with a turbine(!), 7.5:1 power to weight ratio (fairly high performance), $23,500 for the airframe kit, $11,000 for the engine, looks like 600-700 hours of construction time.

And then there's the whole "learning how to fly a helicopter" thing, but... wow! Neat!

[ related topics: Aviation Machinery Cool Technology Fabrication Aviation - Helicopters ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-11 19:24:12.12179+00 by: ebradway

If more people used these while talking on their cell phones, it sure would screw with the Missouri project!

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-11 20:56:25.175824+00 by: aiworks

I'd like to see the Stanford DARPA Grand Challenge team spend some time with this.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-10-11 21:46:36.814804+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think that flight is actually much easier than ground travel. There's a lot of route finding and terrain analysis that doesn't have to be done from the air.

The R/C model helicopter folks have been using solid state gyros for basic stabilization during flight control for quite a while, this CMU team has some pretty impressive maneuver controls. I ran across some R/C system the other day that was a 4 prop flying platform where the basic demo was "take it to altitude, kill the throttle, let it tumble, apply throttle, it automatically recovers into a stable hover".

And if you search for things like "autonomous helicopter", there are a gazillion small UAV research groups out there.