Issue 55 Uncrewed Systems Technology Apr/May 2024 Sellafield’s UAV equipment l Applied EV Blanc Robot l Battery tech l Robotican’s Goshawk l UGVs l UAVHE RW1 rotary l Roboat UVD l Autopilots l Arkeocean UVD l UMEX 2024 l CycloTech UVD

CycloTech Bumblebee 2.0 | UVD into Bumblebee 2.0’s performance and helped the team to optimise it. The telemetry system collects data from the propulsion units, the battery, the flight controller and other key aircraft systems. This includes temperature, voltage, current, electrical power consumption, system status, aerodynamic pressure, aircraft height, position (GPS), speed, attitude and acceleration data. “Step by step, we are expanding the flight envelope in testing, and gaining more and more knowledge about the unique capabilities of a CycloRotorequipped aircraft,” Hofreither says. “We have already explored more demanding environmental conditions than originally intended by flying in high temperatures and corresponding low air densities.” Next, the team plans to show some of the vehicle’s unique manoeuvring capabilities. “For example, we want to perform a pitch manoeuvre to show the vehicle’s ability to decouple its attitude from its flight path,” he says. In operation, this could be useful for landing on an inclined surface, as the vehicle could match its pitch angle to that of the slop and descend vertically, instead of having to touch one skid down before the other. “Another example would be compensation for gusts or crosswinds without the need to pitch the whole aircraft, which is more responsive and has the potential for higher precision in positioning,” he says. It could also be used for aiming purposes in a military or firefighting context. While testing Bumblebee 2.0 and then putting it through its paces for the public, the CycloTech team also has other future developments in mind. Future directions “Our focus is now on the next generation of CycloRotors, incorporating all that we have learned from further research, ground and flight testing,” Hofreither explains. “Any new demonstrator would feature a new generation of CycloRotors and a design with at least six of them to utilise their unique 360° thrust vectoring capabilities better.” The company’s thinking on six-rotor machines can be seen in feasibility studies for vehicles such as the CruiseUp crewed eVTOL machine and the CCY-01 cargo UAV, the latter being the subject of a cooperative study with Yamato Holdings in Japan. CruiseUp is conceived as a twopassenger, autonomous air-taxi with a top speed of 150 km/h and a range of 100 km. CCY-01 is described as a midclass cargo eVTOL machine, capable of carrying a 45 kg payload for 40 km and coping with crosswinds of up to 36.5 kt. It occupies a 2.7 x 2.5 m ground footprint, easing operation to and from confined areas, particularly in urban environments. A third concept is described as a very high-stability inspection UAV, illustrated as a quadcopter with a single CycloRotor module on top to provide direct horizontal thrust in any direction. Each of these very different six-rotor aircraft places its extra pair of CycloRotors at a 90° angle to the other four, where they can generate thrust directly to the side, parallel with the pitch axis, in addition to contributing to lift. This allows the aircraft to move laterally in a flat attitude, because there is no need to roll the aircraft to tilt the thrust vector to move sideways. As well as adding another decoupled axis for manoeuvre, it also increases the ability to counter lateral gusts, so the aircraft is much more stable in rough weather. When the flight-test programme is over, Bumblebee 2.0 will become a flying showcase for CycloRotors and air vehicles equipped with them, and Steinke hopes it will “inform, impress and inspire” the rest of the world. “And, in the very end, it will find its place in a museum somewhere.” 113 Uncrewed Systems Technology | April/May 2024 Length: 2.468 m Width: 1.864 m Height: 0.897 m Max take-off weight: 85 kg Speed: up to 100 km/h Flight time: 10 min with current battery technology Some key suppliers: Electric motors: Lehner-Motoren-Technik Electronic speed controller: MGM COMPRO Basic specifications CruiseUp (foreground) and CCY-01 are, respectively, an eVTOL air taxi and a cargo UAV with six CycloRotors, instead of four, enabling more manoeuvres such as sideways flight without roll (Image courtesy of CycloTech)