ELETAD is examining the feasibility of producing an electric tail rotor drive for a helicopter , and, if successful, will produce a working prototype. The lead partner is the University of Bristol, with other partners the University of Bucharest, Motor Design Limited and Lucchi Rimini Elettromecanica. The team will develop, build and prove this innovative technology in partnership with Agusta Westland over 5 years from October 2010 to September 2015, supported by the Clean Sky JTI.
The project will centre on the use of ultra-high efficiency permanent magnet machines such as those now being employed in hybrid and electric vehicles to the challenging environment of a helicopter. In this environment, weight, fault tolerance and safety critical operation become the primary drivers requiring innovative use of modern materials, intelligent heat /loss management and intelligent, weight optmised power control.
The programme is funded as part of the €1.6Bn Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI).