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A heavy lift quadcopter concept

News International-French

3 Aug 2020

The development of the concept model for a Heavy Lift Aerial Platform (HLAP) has been an ongoing composites technology project for over 4-years at IYRS School of Technology and Trades.

A heavy lift quadcopter concept

A heavy lift quadcopter concept

A heavy lift quadcopter concept
The project started in old Bristol facility in the Fall of 2015. Since then, multiple classes and groups of students have contributed to the start and stop progress of this interesting technology demonstrator project.

This non-flying concept model is a 2-meter x 2-meter quadcopter that is designed with a lift capacity of 103-pounds of continuous load. It features eight electric motors with four sets of counter-rotating 24-inch propellers. The airframe consists of prepreg carbon fiber with a 3D printed thermoplastic sub-structure. The mock-up motors are also 3D printed.

Bob Lacovara, Composites Technology Lead Instructor says:

“The ducted fan design capitalizes on about 12% of additional thrust over an open prop configuration, reduces the noise level, and will allow the vehicle to “park” up against the side of a building, in trees, or operate safely in proximity to maritime rigging.”

The purpose of the project was to become a platform for the incorporation of many different fabrication techniques and applications of materials. The fabrication included the use of complex CAD/CNC machining, epoxy tool making, advanced composites prepreg molding, vacuum infusion, open-molding, and 3D printing. These processes served as a laboratory for the integration of composites design, materials, and processing methodology.

A heavy lift quadcopter concept
While the development originally started in 2015 as a group capstone project in Bristol, it then migrated to the new Brooks Building in Newport. Here it became an independent project as successive generations of students became interested in the fabrication.

In terms of the potential use of the Heavy Lift Aerial Platform, Lacovara says:

“The HLAP concept has a range of applications from commercial to military tasking. The vehicle’s design load capacity produces the potential for delivery of goods, use as an observation platform, for inspections, communications, search and rescue, or cinematography.” 

The completion of this project demonstrates the intersection of product design, materials application and processing techniques to produce this technological achievement. The diligent work of multiple generations of students is at the core of this completed project.

IYRS also thanks Composites One and Axion for donations of specialized materials used in the tooling and fabrication. The HLAP will be on display in the Brooks Building stairwell, overlooking the next group of students who will wrap their arms around another fascinating project.