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Title: Comparative study of piston vs. electric single-seat tandem helicopter

Authors: Jelena Svorcan; Aleksandar Kovačević; Lazar Popović; Aleksandar Simonović

Addresses: Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia ' Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia ' Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia ' Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract: The paper presents a starting, but necessary comparative study between two diverse designs of single-seat tandem helicopter configuration, piston-propelled vs. electrically-driven. Both possibilities have their pros and cons, and need to be considered in detail, with respect to the initial requirements. In this investigation, the primary design objectives include 100 kg of payload as well as satisfactory performances in both hover and progressive flight. The comparison is conducted through the initial sizing procedures that enabled the estimation of takeoff mass (along with its main contributors), but also characteristic speeds, flight limits and basic helicopter performances. Used models and assumptions are explained in the paper. In the beginning, some essential advantages of tandem configuration helicopters are mentioned and accentuated. Also, future trends in electric aviation are considered. After that, total mass is decomposed into several main components and rotor dimensioning is performed. By assuming sufficient available power, it is possible to estimate the basic helicopter performances in both axisymmetric and progressive flight. Obtained results are presented graphically and numerically. In the end, some conclusions and recommendations for further research are given. For the time being, piston-propelled single-seat tandem helicopter can achieve better numerical results.

Keywords: tandem helicopter; performances; power curve; hover; progressive flight; empty-to-takeoff mass ratio.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSA.2022.10043801

International Journal of Sustainable Aviation, 2022 Vol.8 No.1, pp.1 - 14

Received: 01 Aug 2021
Accepted: 12 Oct 2021

Published online: 28 Jan 2022 *

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