The concept for the Elytron design has evolved over a 10-year period during which Elytron Aircraft LLC experimented with several quarter-scale convertiplanes, as well as full-size airframe modeling, extended flight simulations, and CFD simulations. The popular Verticopter flying-wing design with in-wing propulsion was the most successful of these prototypes but still had aerodynamic limitations. In 2012, Elytron Aircraft LLC invented a new and optimized wing configuration that addressed all of the earlier design shortcomings.
The Elytron design combines three sets of wings: one pair of rotary wings called "proprotors"
Elytron aircraft will be capable of achieving airspeeds two to three times those of equivalently powered helicopters. The airframe has also been optimized for low drag at the higher airspeeds made possible by its tilt wing. Fixed wings planes are also far more fuel efficient than rotary wing aircraft, reducing operational costs and increasing range. The combination of the speed of a fixed wing plane and the vertical take-off of a helicopter will allow for applications such as air taxi from city center to city center.
The Elytron mechanism for controlling the plane during vertical flight will have far fewer parts than helicopter swash plates. Elytron’s design has no complex hub but instead distributes the parts across the tilt wing making them lighter and easier to inspect and maintain. All of the tilt wing actuators have redundant control. In the case of engine failure, the airframe's superior glide ratio will eliminate the need for autorotation, which is a requirement in any helicopter.
Elytron has built a 2-seater demonstrator aircraft which serves as a technology showcase. The next step for Elytron is to start commercial applications which include a 7-seater class of aircraft able to support applications, such as emergency medical services.
Elytron invites you to visit their display at Oshkosh 2014, Booth I-9 in the EAA Innovation Center on Monday July 28 – Friday August 3, where their 2-seater demo aircraft, assembled as an all carbon composite airframe, will be on display. Elytron intend to commence flight testing in 2015. Further inquiries may be submitted via the company’s website at http://elytron.aero/