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Thread: Experimental eVTOL innovation

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by dapug View Post
    Now let's apply this to aviation.

    I agree completely regarding the use of available components (Zero as you mentioned, etc). I'm not trying to invent motors here, I'm trying to come up with a practical horizontal flight eVTOL airplane buildable by home builders with commercially available parts. How many motors? Will the wings rotate, or stay fixed? How will it transition? Should it be a hybrid, or all electric? That takes engineering, and a Tesla junkyard is not going to provide it.

    A revolution and shift is indisputably happening in aviation regarding eVTOL. Let's also see a shift in the way planes get designed in the first place too.
    I'm still listening but not YET convinced.

    There already has been a huge revolution and shift in aviation! Look at the $1.4B that Eclipse wasted on an unfounded, pie in the sky, business model. Now the question is how many more $B or even $T are going to be wasted ignoring basic physics? Just briefly (free Engineering advice , there is currently not a high enough power/weight ratio with electric/electric storage for long, fast flights in conventional, fixed wing aircraft. Now add to this, power-lift vehicles require ~10 times more thrust than fixed wing aircraft. Decreasing the rotor diameter makes this much worse … and adds noise. For those not old enough or haven't done their homework (those that don't know history are bound to repeat it), all of these new revolutions have been done before! Powered lift, ducted fans, blown wings, VTOL (tilt wing, tilt rotor, tilt pod, tilt etc.), boundary layer suction, etc. In the end on (e)VTOL, they are greatly speed limited due to no propeller inflow velocity for takeoff and a lot of inflow velocity for cruise. With this said, though …

    We do need to be getting ready for when electric power will be truly unlimited. Electric airplanes have HUGE advantages in many areas. The simplest being that a single-engine airplane can be made into a "multi-engine" airplane with a single motor (2 or more motors within 1 physical motor). Electricity simplifies many, many areas. I'm all for electrics and getting ready for the future. The future is not just thousands and thousands of autonomous, intercity vehicles that reduce automobile congestion instantly by 2021.

    If you want to develop a kick *, electrically-powered, conventional airplane that is more reliable, safer and the currently-foreseeable future, I'd be thrilled to make you/us rich.

    Blue on Top,
    Ron Blum

    PS. (More free engineering) Hybrid related to airplanes is NOT more efficient, it is an interim fix until we solve the energy density issue first.

  2. #42
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    The current FAR that exempts experimental from the category and class rating is the law. I don't see how any FAA Order can overtake the Federal Aviation Regulation that went through the full public process.
    I think pilots are only required to read and follow the FAR's.
    This should be challenged with a court case if it hasn't happened already.
    Bill,

    You can't just hold out one regulation and hang your hat on it to the exclusion of the whole of the regulations. While Part 61 does indeed include an exclusion that would permit a pilot to operate an aircraft that holds an experimental airworthiness certificate without an appropriate category/class rating (when no passengers are carried), there is more to the story. The aircraft must be operated in accordance with the regulations found in other parts of title 14, as appropriate. Specifically in this case, 91.319. Among other operating limitations applicable to experimental aircraft, 91.319 contains the following regulation:

    "(i) The Administrator may prescribe additional limitations that the Administrator considers necessary, including limitations on the persons that may be carried in the aircraft."

    This points out that additional operating limitations are issued for these aircraft. The operating limitations are issues as a part of the individual aircraft's airworthiness certificate. An aircraft issued an airworthiness certificate at the current time would include an operating limitation I quoted earlier in this thread that would specify what category/class rating is required in order to act as PIC of that particular aircraft.

    So the ability for the FAA to issue such an operating limitation is already found in the regulations. No "overtaking" is happening. The operating limitations are issued in accordance with the regulations. The part 61 regulation you refer to is there to allow the FAA to be flexible in issuing said operating limitations when the need arises. The case we are discussing in this thread may very well be one of those cases. But until someone actually presents such a vehicle for certification, all this discussion is merely conjecture. We just don't know at this point what the FAA might do. As soon as someone steps up to the plate and submits an actual application for an airworthiness certificate, we will find the answers.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    Bill,

    You can't just hold out one regulation and hang your hat on it to the exclusion of the whole of the regulations. While Part 61 does indeed include an exclusion that would permit a pilot to operate an aircraft that holds an experimental airworthiness certificate without an appropriate category/class rating (when no passengers are carried), there is more to the story. The aircraft must be operated in accordance with the regulations found in other parts of title 14, as appropriate. Specifically in this case, 91.319. Among other operating limitations applicable to experimental aircraft, 91.319 contains the following regulation:

    "(i) The Administrator may prescribe additional limitations that the Administrator considers necessary, including limitations on the persons that may be carried in the aircraft."

    This points out that additional operating limitations are issued for these aircraft. The operating limitations are issues as a part of the individual aircraft's airworthiness certificate. An aircraft issued an airworthiness certificate at the current time would include an operating limitation I quoted earlier in this thread that would specify what category/class rating is required in order to act as PIC of that particular aircraft.

    So the ability for the FAA to issue such an operating limitation is already found in the regulations. No "overtaking" is happening. The operating limitations are issued in accordance with the regulations. The part 61 regulation you refer to is there to allow the FAA to be flexible in issuing said operating limitations when the need arises. The case we are discussing in this thread may very well be one of those cases. But until someone actually presents such a vehicle for certification, all this discussion is merely conjecture. We just don't know at this point what the FAA might do. As soon as someone steps up to the plate and submits an actual application for an airworthiness certificate, we will find the answers.
    Joe,
    I am still confused about post #13 where you said a student pilot can solo an EA-B with an instructors endorsement.
    But then in post #18 you said to me: as a Private Pilot I would need a category and class rating. Why can't a private pilot fly solo with only an instructors endorsement instead of a category and class rating?

    I see the current limitation has "must hold category and class certificate or privilege. ​What is privilege?
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 09-16-2019 at 03:57 PM.

  4. #44
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    Joe,
    I am still confused about post #13 where you said a student pilot can solo an EA-B with an instructors endorsement.
    But then in post #18 you said to me: as a Private Pilot I would need a category and class rating. Why can't a private pilot fly solo with only an instructors endorsement instead of a category and class rating?

    I see the current limitation has "must hold category and class certificate or privilege. ​What is privilege?
    An instructors endorsement is a "privilege" for the purposes of this operating limitation. This allows a sport pilot to fly the aircraft on the sport pilot endorsement (assuming the aircraft is sport pilot-eligible), as well as a student pilot if an instructor is willing to endorse the student to solo the experimental aircraft.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joda View Post
    An instructors endorsement is a "privilege" for the purposes of this operating limitation. This allows a sport pilot to fly the aircraft on the sport pilot endorsement (assuming the aircraft is sport pilot-eligible), as well as a student pilot if an instructor is willing to endorse the student to solo the experimental aircraft.
    That's good to know in advance. I have an unfinished Avid Amphibian that can be certified either two or three seats. I will choose two seats at the time of application so it qualifies as Light Sport. Won't need the seaplane category and class add on rating at all,apparently. Just a seaplane light sport endorsement. Thanks.

    Back to thread topic, I don't know if "Light Sport Powered Lift" is possible. I know Light Sport Helicopter isn't. Perhaps that is part of the "stay tuned".
    Last edited by Bill Berson; 09-16-2019 at 07:04 PM.

  6. #46
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    I don't know if "Light Sport Powered Lift" is possible. I know Light Sport Helicopter isn't. Perhaps that is part of the "stay tuned".

    Powered lift is specifically excluded in the definition of a light-sport aircraft. Check FAR 1.1 for reference.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  7. #47

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    It seems to me, the experimental- research and development (testing of new design concepts), is the way to go.
    From the current 8139.2j, MIDO is the place to go. Maybe they could issue an appropriate variance with operating limitations that protect the public but not require a powered lift rating for the test pilot.

  8. #48
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    It seems to me, the experimental- research and development (testing of new design concepts), is the way to go.
    From the current 8139.2j, MIDO is the place to go. Maybe they could issue an appropriate variance with operating limitations that protect the public but not require a powered lift rating for the test pilot.
    Bill,

    Experimental R&D is a valid option, but not as desirable because the airworthiness certificate is limited-duration. Typically these are only issued for 6 months or less, in order to prove a concept or gain approval for a modification. This in fact might be the way the FAA would go initially with an aircraft such as we are discussing here. Might do an R&D certificate for a limited time, then later switch it to amateur-built or exhibition as appropriate. This would allow them to sort out the pilot requirements in a very controlled condition before issuing broader operating limitations.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  9. #49

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    Getting an airworthiness certificate should be readily achievable. Then the question turns back to how does the FAA expect an experimenter to get a powered lift endorsement or authorization to test fly?

  10. #50

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    Hey everyone. I found a single article that answers almost every question I had - basically outlines the entire journey that one would embark on (as it stands today) to achieve what I originally posted about.

    Check this out:
    https://www.verticalmag.com/news/evt...t-perspective/

    Here is a summary as it relates to the conversation in this thread.

    Aircraft points of interest:
    • Configuration/type of experimental: A heavily modified Lancair with eVTOL ability. (horizontal flight, not simply a "manned drone")
    • Not autonomous (so far wasn't the goal of this particular aircraft) - pilot required
    • Not hype. 180+ manned flights, unlike most of the rest of the entire eVTOL industry to date, still doing unmanned testing.
    • Unique aircraft design is optional. Lancair is a well-known well-loved kit aircraft for horizontal flight. Engineering efforts then focused around VTOL specifically.
    • Redundancy - can have a motor out, or battery outage, and it still flies (still does NOT meet the requirement not to stall when unpowered)
      • This was tested while manned! (whoa)


    Pilot points of interest:

    • Pilot is rotorcraft certified (was a pilot, but then got trained to fly heli)
    • FAA granted Powered Lift rating to the pilot! (without military tiltlift training)


    ^ So far, this seems to be the pilot requirement for anything experimental VTOL that is not autonomous, and is NOT easy to arrange (must convince FAA) ^

    Development points of interest:

    • X-Plane creator Austin Meyers directly assisted development via add-ons for tests to run in the Simulator before actual flight tests (that's freakin awesome)
    • Beta Technologies now has an approved, simulator-based training program that will allow it to sign off additional powered lift test pilots (also super freakin awesome)


    That pretty much answers all sorts of curiosities on this topic. Granted, it's not at the level of low-budget home building, but we can see what it would take for any builder/entrepreneur to push the bleeding edge on the eVTOL front. And it doesn't yet answer how the aircraft itself will be classified when done. I'm a little bummed, as I definitely am not interested in heli training, so I guess I'll be waiting for the far distant future when a new pilot cert is perhaps created. In the meantime, that eVTOL X-Plane sim training would be AWESOME if they could make that available to us all.

    Coolest quote, regarding the lack of rotor spinning due to the nature of electric instant on/off of the rotors:
    "...it also caused some confusion for a tower controller who was clearing Clark for a 10-minute hover test. “They kept asking me if I was ready to go because they didn’t see any rotors turning . . . I said, ‘Absolutely, I’m ready to go.’ And they’re like, ‘Advise when you are ready to go.'”"

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