A new eVTOL from the EcoCar student team at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Fraunhofer IISB
A competition-winning eVTOL aircraft
We are an interdisciplinary student team at the University of Erlangen and the Fraunhofer IISB. Within our Project Silver we are developing innovative electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts, “eVTOLs”. With our prototype Night Fury, codename “NF-2”, we competed with international student teams in the NFC – the New Flying Competition in Hamburg in October 2020. And we took the crown!
Long story short
We have a history in developing innovative electric vehicles and power electronics. Ever since our founding over a decade ago we have been fortunate enough to present our research results at internationally leading science conferences and industrial fairs like the PCIM Europe and the Hannover Messe. Now with our entrance into the research field of electronic aviation we are especially keen on competing against other student teams to prove ourselves in direct competition. So what makes the new iteration of our project special?
DESIGNED FOR COMPETITION
Based on regulations of the New Flying Challenge we derivated a new design, also influenced by our previous experiences from Project Silver 1.0 and 2.0. The result is an electrical VTOL robot with autonomous flying capabilities. Night Fury comes with a Quad-Plane design, essentially a quadro-copter combined with a plane to deliver maximum flight stability and long distance capabilities
DESIGNED WITH EXPERIENCE
To ensure an efficient flight we have drawn upon our experience with gliders and copters. The concept of Night Fury is based on leading glider designs combined with thoroughly simulated and tested quad-plane designs. With the expertise of our team members, the support of our sponsors and partners as well as the ability to use state of the art workshops and test stands at our faculty we were able to develop what we believe to be a highly competitive flying robot
Our history in developing our own power electronics with scalability in mind proved to be a privilege. A self-developed battery pack with its own control unit combined with our efforts in designing our own ESCs distinguish the Night Fury from conventional designs that rely solely on purchased electronic components
CONTROL SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Designing and building an efficient VTOL is one thing, but in order to guarantee our competitiveness we had to develop efficient system controls as well. With new sensor technologies in mind we are also developing a platform on board the Night Fury as sensor and communication testbed. In conjunction with extensive field tests we are continuously improving our control system and our sensor data fusion
And that’s us
About 20 students from various fields of study who together carry out the research and development for our projects. As a team, we design entire electrical vehicles and develop individual components for self-developed research platforms. Even internships and final theses are supervised here. Located at the Faculty of Technology, we use a variety of opportunities to gain professional expertise and explore new, interesting areas of research.
You can also visit us at www.ecocar-stud.de for more insights about our other projects