Helicopters engaged in rescue missions often have to overcome physical obstacles and their own limitations before the crew can begin the precarious task of plucking people to safety.
Rooftop obstacles can hinder a helicopters approach to the top of a building whilst rotor blades determine how close a helicopter can get to the side of a building or cliff face.
These anomalies may soon be overcome if Dr David Metreveli and his DM AeroSafe group get their Eagle off the ground.
The Eagle is a vertical take off and landing (VTOL) platform designed to retrieve people trapped in burning high-rise burning buildings and skyscrapers. The Eagle could also be engaged in cliff face and water rescue.
The proposed Eagle VTOL Aerial Rescue Platform has been designed to rescue up to 10 people at each approach and moor directly to any floor of a high-rise building.
The design of proposed VTOL vehicle is based on a ducted fan powered by a number of internal combustion engines, on top of which a double-deck occupied area is mounted.
The power plant, around which the complete flight vehicle is designed, consists of 4 four-cylinder radial piston aero engines with a forced air cooling system, mounted on four sides of an octahedral shaped central gearbox.
A special heat-resistant rubber protective belt surrounds the fuselage structure, which is intended to protect the platform’s structure and to protect a building’s facade during the approach and contact between the platform and building.
Four horizontal multi-blade wide chord ducted fans generate vertical lift and these are attached on diagonal structural beams around the platform’s occupied area.
The altitude of the Eagle is controlled by simultaneously adjusting all four pitches. Applying pitch differentials between the fans controls pitch, roll and yaw: fore and aft for pitch, laterally for roll and diagonally for yaw. Tilting the whole vehicle forward gives would give the Eagle forward motion.
The lower floor of the square gantry is the location of the main seating area where accommodation is provided for the mission controller and any additional paramedic or technical staff, as well as seats or stretchers for the victims. Occupants would be by a surrounding grid skeleton of graphite and Kevlar banisters.
The rescue deck is also equipped with a retractable ramp and ladder. On one side of the ramp a helicopter-type rescue hoist could be attached, as well as television cameras, lights and any other navigation aids designed to help the pilot move the craft with precision.
A single-seat helicopter type cockpit sits on the second floor and is equipped by a helicopter-type instrument panel and is protected by graphite-epoxy three-dimensional lightweight structure and shatterproof safety glass.
The Eagle is said to have a sufficient power margin to continue flying and land safely on two engines as each engine has its own carburettor and a separate fuel supply line.
Power is delivered from each engine to the gearbox through an overrunning clutch, which, in event of any engine failure disengages it from the gearbox so that it will not interfere with the operation of the remaining engines.
A scaled-down mock-up of the Eagle’ has been developed and built, and the stage of the project is a scaled-down remote-controlled four fan VTOL Flying Concept Demonstrator Platform.