Politehnica University Timisoara

When engineers take playing seriously

When engineers take playing seriously

When engineers take playing seriously

23 November 2020






For those who do it with passion, the engineer profession means a fairly large dose of inventiveness. And when it meets the playful spirit that dwells in each of us, more or less hidden, surprising things arise. This is also the case of engineers Francisc Bereczky, administrator of ECHITRON S.R.L and Ioan Silea, professor at Politehnica University Timișoara, who, at one point, discussed how to build a ... flying dragonfly. Through the mastery and costs borne by Mr. Bereczky, the idea went further, building, for the first time, a more efficient device, namely an aircraft with take-off and vertical landing with a cycloidal engine.

Among the micro-aerial vehicles (MAV), increasingly present in the military and civilian field, there are those with the ability to take off and land vertically (VTOL = vertical take-off and landing). They have two major advantages: the ability to operate in environments without take-off/landing infrastructure and increased maneuverability. The authors created the prototype of such a radio-controlled aircraft, equipped with an original and revolutionary type of cycloidal thrusters with pivoting blades, the achievement being an absolute first in the field. The weight of the device, including the batteries, is 170g and the flight autonomy is 15 minutes. The aircraft uses four cycloidal thrusters with swivel blades, each driven by a brushless DC motor.

According to the authors, aerodynamic forces (lift and endurance) contribute equally to the generation of propulsion force and mention the potential of this new type of engine to be used in electric aircraft for rarefied atmospheres, such as Mars. Highlighting (theoretically and practically - through functional prototype) the important role of the aerodynamic drag force in the generation of propulsion force is an absolute novelty in the field of aircraft developed with technical means. To date, such studies have been conducted only in the field of insect flight.

The results, recognized by the world of research, were published in the AIAA Journal - a scientific journal of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, covering all areas of aeronautics and astronautics, especially in terms of new theoretical and experimental developments. The article and auxiliary materials (movies, pictures) can be acquired for a fee by accessing: https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.J057270.

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