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Sagita Sherpa helicopter

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Specifications Comment this helicopter
Picture Sherpa
General
Manufacturer Sagita
Type Sherpa
Introduced 1/1/2016
In production? No
Units produced 0
Price US $ 200,000.00
Dimensions
Overall Length 19.67 ft
Length 15.6 ft
Height 8.23 ft
Width 4.76 ft
   
   
Description

Belgium (Europe) is not known for its aerospace industry. However, there are now three different manufacturers of (very) light helicopters active in the country: Dynali, Winner and, most recently (2013), Sagita, which revealed a mock-up of its Sherpa very light helicopter at Le Bourget Air Show in France.

Sagita was founded in 2008 by Hubert Antoine and is located in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. The Sherpa helicopter was developed in a consortium with four other companies and the universities of Liege and Brussels.

The Sherpa is a two-seater, coaxial helicopter, but that is where the similarities with conventional coaxial machines end. Sagita took a radically different approach when it designed the dynamic system and engine in an attempt to optimize the efficiency of the transmission system while limiting the number of moving parts. The result is the patented TDR rotor drive system (patent N°EP1990275).

This system uses two conventional piston engines to power the helicopter. However, it doesn’t do this by driving a conventional transmission system with belts and/or gears. Instead, the piston engines power a centrifugal air compressor and the compressed air is ducted to the rotorhead. Along the way, the combustion exhaust gases of the piston engines are used to heat the compressed airflow, adding additional power. Finally, the heated airflow drives two contra-rotating turbines that are part of the enclosed rotorhead, where they drive the rotors directly. The expanded air leaves the turbines in the open space between the lower and upper halves of the rotor head enclosure. Each half also forms a turbine pressure chamber.

This new approach eliminates the conventional mechanical transmission all together, including the free wheel construction (needed for autorotation), as the turbines can spin freely by design. Another remarkable feature is the use of incredibly stiff carbon epoxy blades that allow for a very short distance between the two contra-rotating rotor systems.

The revolutionary design of the Sherpa is also seen in the way it looks. The compressor is placed at the rear end of the egg/bullet-shaped fuselage, while the enclosed rotorhead further enhances its futuristic appearance.

At the time of writing (2014), there is only a true size mock-up and a 1:5 scale model used to demonstrate the technology in existence. Sagita is aiming for a market introduction by the end of 2015.

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Design features
  • No (main) transmission but two contra rotating turbines that drive the rotor blades directly
  • The two turbines are places in the rotorhead and are powered by compressed hot air
  • Two piston engines power the compressor
  • Compressor air inlet at the rear of the fuselage
  • Skid type landing gear using monolame (only one connecting part per skid)
  • Carbon epoxy composite fuselage
  • Very stiff carbon epoxy blades allowing for a small distance between the two contra rotating rotor systems
Description

Belgium (Europe) is not known for its aerospace industry. However, there are now three different manufacturers of (very) light helicopters active in the country: Dynali, Winner and, most recently (2013), Sagita, which revealed a mock-up of its Sherpa very light helicopter at Le Bourget Air Show in France.

Sagita was founded in 2008 by Hubert Antoine and is located in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium. The Sherpa helicopter was developed in a consortium with four other companies and the universities of Liege and Brussels.

The Sherpa is a two-seater, coaxial helicopter, but that is where the similarities with conventional coaxial machines end. Sagita took a radically different approach when it designed the dynamic system and engine in an attempt to optimize the efficiency of the transmission system while limiting the number of moving parts. The result is the patented TDR rotor drive system (patent N°EP1990275).

This system uses two conventional piston engines to power the helicopter. However, it doesn’t do this by driving a conventional transmission system with belts and/or gears. Instead, the piston engines power a centrifugal air compressor and the compressed air is ducted to the rotorhead. Along the way, the combustion exhaust gases of the piston engines are used to heat the compressed airflow, adding additional power. Finally, the heated airflow drives two contra-rotating turbines that are part of the enclosed rotorhead, where they drive the rotors directly. The expanded air leaves the turbines in the open space between the lower and upper halves of the rotor head enclosure. Each half also forms a turbine pressure chamber.

This new approach eliminates the conventional mechanical transmission all together, including the free wheel construction (needed for autorotation), as the turbines can spin freely by design. Another remarkable feature is the use of incredibly stiff carbon epoxy blades that allow for a very short distance between the two contra-rotating rotor systems.

The revolutionary design of the Sherpa is also seen in the way it looks. The compressor is placed at the rear end of the egg/bullet-shaped fuselage, while the enclosed rotorhead further enhances its futuristic appearance.

At the time of writing (2014), there is only a true size mock-up and a 1:5 scale model used to demonstrate the technology in existence. Sagita is aiming for a market introduction by the end of 2015.

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Design features:
  • No (main) transmission but two contra rotating turbines that drive the rotor blades directly
  • The two turbines are places in the rotorhead and are powered by compressed hot air
  • Two piston engines power the compressor
  • Compressor air inlet at the rear of the fuselage
  • Skid type landing gear using monolame (only one connecting part per skid)
  • Carbon epoxy composite fuselage
  • Very stiff carbon epoxy blades allowing for a small distance between the two contra rotating rotor systems
Performance
Persons 2
Max. Range 235 mi
Cruise Speed 94 mph
Max. Speed 110 mph
Max. rate of Climb 0 ft/min
HOGE ceiling 6800 ft
Service Ceiling 0 ft
Gross Weight 1000 lb
Empty Weigt 575 lb
Useful Load 425 lb
Dynamic system
Fuel Capacity 22 gallons
Number of Engines 2
Engine Type Piston
Engine Code
Horse Power 130
Rotorhead Coaxial
Number of rotorblades 2
Rotor Diameter 19.67 ft
Number of tail rotorblades 0
Tailrotor Diameter 0 ft
Blueprints & model
Manufacturer Website manufacturer..
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