High compression engine on a light helicopter - Technology streams
Optimal diesel powered helicopter The engine for the optimal helicopter architecture is required to feature low specific fuel consumption and very low weight-to-power ratio which only breakthrough technologies will permit to reach. Different advanced
engine concept and architectures are considered and compared.
Concept and feasibility assessments are based on analysis and validation of engine integration studies concerning cooling, vibration reduction, mechanical installation, controls and avionics, etc.
This work is conducted in close collaboration with the DELILAH Partner Consortium led by the Lublin University of Technology.
Diesel powered helicopter demonstrator In order to test a flight-worthy prototype in 2014, an existing helicopter has to be adapted with only limited modifications. The EC120 airframe was chosen since its light weight requires a 330 kW rated engine only.
Preliminary performance studies indicated that the payloadrange
domain is enlarged w.r.t. the turbine powered reference version provided that the weight-to-power ratio (including power off-takes for cooling and auxiliary engine functions) does not exceed 0.8 kg/kW and specific fuel consumption is less than 240 g/kWh. No high compression engine in this power range currently offers the required combination
of low fuel consumption, high power density and reliability matching helicopter specifications.
The HIPE-AE440 Partner Consortium (AustroEngine, TEOS) is tasked with the design and prototyping of the engine meeting these specifications, based on their respective experience with general aviation and racing car engines.
The figure below depicts the preliminary engine architecture and shows how it matches the required volume and interfaces with the EC120 airframe.