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1. WO2020191489 - MULTICOPTER HELICOPTER AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURE THEREOF

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[ EN ]

1. A multicopter helicopter comprising one main rotor and two or more secondary rotors operatively connected to a frame, wherein each of the secondary rotors are smaller in diameter than the main rotor, and wherein each secondary rotor is pivotably connected to the frame.

2. The multicopter helicopter of claim 1 , wherein each rotor uses a fixed pitch propeller.

3. The multicopter helicopter of claim 1 , wherein each rotor uses collective pitch control.

4. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the main rotor is responsible for most of the lift of the multicopter helicopter, preferably almost all of the lift.

5. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein each secondary rotor pivots around an axis defined by a generally horizontal line passing through itself.

6. The multicopter helicopter of claim 5, wherein the line defining each axis passes through its corresponding secondary rotor in a front to back direction of the multicopter helicopter.

7. The multicopter helicopter of claim 5, wherein each axis is defined by a generally horizontal line passing through its corresponding secondary rotor in a direction of the main rotor.

8. The multicopter helicopter of claim 5, wherein each axis is defined by a line that is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the corresponding arm of the secondary rotor.

9. The multicopter helicopter of claim 7, wherein at least one axis is offset from the generally horizontal line passing through its corresponding secondary rotor in the direction of the main rotor by up to about 5 degrees, up to about 10 degrees, up to about 15 degrees, up to about 20 degrees, up to about 25 degrees, up to about 30 degrees, up to about 35 degrees, up to about 40 degrees, or up to about 45 degrees in either direction on the horizontal plane.

10. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the main rotor is canted, for example to the left or the right.

1 1. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the secondary rotors can each pivot around their axis up to about 10 degrees, up to about 20 degrees, up to about 30 degrees, up to about 40 degrees, up to about 50 degrees, up to about 60 degrees, up to about 70 degrees, up to about 80 degrees, up to about 90 degrees, up to about 100 degrees, up to about 110 degrees, up to about 120 degrees, up to about 130 degrees, up to about 140 degrees, up to about 150 degrees, up to about 160 degrees, up to about 170 degrees, or up to about 180 degrees in either direction around said axis.

12. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the secondary rotors can pivot entirely around their axis in either direction.

13. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the center of gravity of the multicopter helicopter is positioned in such a way as to distribute the multicopter helicopter’s weight across all rotors such that they all have about the same disc loading.

14. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the main rotor has a disc loading of at least about 5%, at least about 10%, at least about 15%, at least about 20%, at least about 25%, at least about 30%, at least about 35%, at least about 40%, at least about 45%, or at least about 50% higher than the secondary rotors.

15. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the secondary rotors each have a disc loading of at most about 5%, at most about 10%, at most about 15%, at most about 20%, at most about 25%, at most about 30%, at most about 35%, at most about 40%, at most about 45%, or at most about 50% higher than the main rotor.

16. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 15, wherein the secondary rotors each have a diameter that is from about 10% to about 75% the diameter of the main rotor.

17. The multicopter helicopter of claim 16, wherein each secondary rotor has a diameter that is at most about 75%, at most about 70%, at most about 65%, at most about 60%, at most about 55%, at most about 50%, at most about 45%, at most about 40%, at most about 35%, or at most about 30% the diameter of the main rotor, and/or at least about 10%, at least about 15%, at least about 20%, or at least about 25% the diameter of the main rotor.

18. The multicopter helicopter of claim 16, wherein the secondary rotors are about 50% the size of the main rotor in diameter.

19. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein the multicopter helicopter is at least about 100mm in size.

20. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 19, wherein the multicopter helicopter is at least about 200mm in size, at least about 300mm in size, at least about 400mm in size, at least about 500mm in size, at least about 600mm in size, at least about 700mm in size, at least about 800mm in size, at least about 900mm in size, at least about 1 m in size, or at least about 2m in size.

21. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 19, wherein the multicopter helicopter is about 550mm in size.

22. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 20, wherein the multicopter helicopter is about the size of a conventional helicopter.

23. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 22, wherein the main rotor is from about 0.1 meters to about 22 meters, or more, in diameter, preferably about 0.600 m.

24. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 23, wherein the main rotor is at least about 100mm, at least about 200mm, at least about 400mm, at least about 0.5 metres, or at least about 1 metre, and/or at most about 2 meters, at most about 3 meters, at most about 4 meters, at most about 5 meters, at most about 6 meters, at most about 7 meters, at most about 8 meters, at most about 9 meters, at most about 10 meters, at most about 15 meters, or at most about 20 meters.

25. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 23, wherein the main rotor is the size of the propellers on a conventional helicopter.

26. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 25, wherein the multicopter helicopter is at least about 0.1 kg, preferably about 2.4 kg.

27. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 26, wherein the multicopter helicopter is at least about 0.5 kg, at least about 1 kg, at least about 2 kg, at least about 2.5 kg, at least about 5 kg, at least about 10 kg, at least about 25 kg, at least about 50 kg, at least about 100 kg, or at least about 200 kg.

28. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 26, wherein the multicopter helicopter is about the weight of a conventional helicopter.

29. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 28, wherein each rotor is made from, but not limited to, wood, plastics, carbon fiber, composites, metals and alloys, preferably carbon fiber.

30. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 29, wherein the frame comprises a main body, and two or more arms extending from the main body upon which to connect the rotors.

31. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 30, wherein each secondary rotor is attached to a separate arm of the frame.

32. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 31 , wherein the frame is made of wood, plastics, carbon fiber, metals and alloys, or combinations thereof, preferably carbon fiber.

33. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 32, wherein the frame holds most of the electronics and/or batteries required to operate the multicopter.

34. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 33, wherein the main rotor and its power unit are directly attached to the main body.

35. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 33, wherein the main rotor is operatively attached to the main body via a motor mount of sorts.

36. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 35, wherein the multicopter helicopter frame comprises 2 arms.

37. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 36, wherein the frame of the multicopter helicopter is smaller in size, and lighter in weight, than conventional multicopter helicopter frames.

38. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 37, wherein the secondary rotors can pivot in a way that allows them to counter the torque of the main rotor; to control the multicopter helicopter’s yaw; and/or to contribute thrust for lift.

39. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 38, wherein the secondary rotors can pivot in a way that allows them to both counter the torque of the main rotor as well as control the multicopters’ yaw.

40. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 39, wherein the yaw of the multicopter helicopter is controlled by a combination of pivoting the secondary rotors and thrust corrections to compensate for the change in the angle of the thrust.

41. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 40, wherein by being able to counter the torque of the main rotor, contribute thrust for lift, and/or control the multicopter helicopter’s yaw by pivoting the secondary rotors, less power is used, and longer flight times are achieved.

42. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 41 , wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame by using a pivoting mechanism.

43. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 42, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame using a pivot, which is mechanically linked to a servo.

44. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 43, wherein the secondary rotors are directly attached to an end of a servo bracket, while the other end of the servo is attached directly to the frame.

45. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 42, wherein the secondary rotors are attached to the frame by means of a pivot, and a linking arm to an actuator, hydraulic, or pneumatic actuator which allows for pushing and pulling, thereby pivoting the secondary rotor around its axis.

46. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 42, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame using a pivot, which is mechanically linked to a motor through a reduction gear set.

47. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 46, wherein a closed loop system, whereby the angle of the secondary rotors is reported to the control unit in real time, is used.

48. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 46, wherein an open loop control unit is used, whereby the control unit inputs actions, and adjusts based on reactions of the multicopter helicopter without being informed of the actual angle of the secondary rotors.

49. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 48, wherein the frame is a“T” style frame attached to a pivoting mechanism and the pivot point which is attached to a propulsion unit mount, wherein the propulsion unit mount is able to pivot back and forth in a way to control the multicopter helicopter’s yaw, and a propulsion unit is attached to the propulsion unit mount to which the rotor is attached through a direct drive.

50. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 49, wherein the main rotor carries at least about 40%, at least about 45%, at least about 50%, at least about 55%, at least about 60%, at least about 65%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, or a total of about 100% of the multicopter helicopter’s weight.

51. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 50, wherein the main rotor produces at least about 40%, at least about 45%, at least about 50%, at least about 55%, at least about 60%, at least about 65%, at least about 70%, at least about 80%, at least about 90%, or up to about 100% of the total thrust.

52. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 51 , wherein the main rotor and/or each secondary rotor is a ducted propeller or a ducted fan, preferably a ducted propeller.

53. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 52, wherein the main rotor further comprises collective blade pitch control.

54. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 53, wherein the secondary rotors further comprise collective blade pitch control.

55. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 54, wherein all of the rotors further comprise collective blade pitch control.

56. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 55, wherein the multicopter helicopter is an unmanned vehicle.

57. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 55, wherein the multicopter helicopter is a manned vehicle.

58. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 57, wherein the secondary rotors are each made up of two power sources, and two contra-rotating rotors.

59. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 58, wherein the secondary rotors and/or the main rotor are each made of contra-rotating rotors.

60. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 59, wherein the main rotor and secondary rotors are on the same horizontal plane.

61. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 59, wherein the secondary rotors are on a different horizontal plane than the horizontal plane of the main rotor.

62. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 61 , wherein the secondary rotors are outside of the circumference created by spinning the blade of the main rotor.

63. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 61 , wherein the secondary rotors are above or below the main rotors’ horizontal plane, and partially or completely within the circumference created by spinning the blade of the main rotor.

64. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 63, wherein the secondary rotors are distributed symmetrically around the main rotor.

65. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 63, wherein the secondary rotors are distributed asymmetrically around the main rotor.

66. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 65, wherein the secondary rotors are not all of the same size.

67. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 66, wherein a total battery consumption of the multicopter helicopter is about 10 to 11 amps using a 10.5 amp 6S lithium ion battery.

68. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 67, wherein the frame is shaped in a“V” form or a“T” form.

69. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 68, wherein the multicopter helicopter has two secondary rotors.

70. The multicopter helicopter of claim 69, wherein the two secondary rotors can both spin in the same direction (counterclockwise or clockwise).

71. The multicopter helicopter of claim 69, wherein the two secondary rotors can spin in opposite directions (clockwise/counterclockwise pair).

72. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 69 to 71 , wherein the two secondary rotors and the main rotor are arranged in a way that, when viewed from above or below, they form a relatively isosceles triangle where the main rotor’s position is at the apex of the triangle.

73. The multicopter helicopter of claim 72, wherein the center of gravity of the multicopter helicopter is located within the triangle formed by the placement of the rotors.

74. The multicopter helicopter of claim 73, wherein the center of gravity is biased at least about 33%, at least about 50%, at least about 66%, at least about 75%, or at least about 80% towards the main rotor, and/or at most about 100%, at most about 95%, at most about 90%, or at most about 85% towards the main rotor, preferably between 80 and 95% towards the main rotor.

75. The multicopter helicopter of claim 73, wherein the center of gravity is biased about 33%, about 50%, about 66%, about 75%, about 80%, about 85%, about 90%, about 95%, or about 100% towards the main rotor, preferably about 80%.

76. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 75, wherein the multicopter helicopter is a tricopter comprising one main rotor and two secondary rotors positioned horizontally.

77. The multicopter helicopter of claim 76, wherein the frame is made of a carbon fiber sheet cut down to hold all the electronics required for flight in the main body, the main propeller is directly attached to the main propulsion unit, which is a brushless DC electric motor and is attached to a motor mount, attached to the body; the frame comprises two arms in a“V” shape; the front landing gear is attached to the body part of the frame, the rear landing gears are attached to the ends of each of the arms making up the frame, the rear rotor units are made up of a servo which is attached directly to the frame, the motor bracket is operatively attached to the servo, allowing it to pivot around a pivot point to the left and to the right of the axis made up of each of the arms of the frame, and the propulsion unit is a brushless DC motor which is directly attached to the secondary rotors.

78. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 68, wherein the multicopter helicopter has three or more secondary rotors.

79. The multicopter helicopter of claim 77, wherein the multicopter helicopter comprises three or more secondary rotors positioned horizontally.

80. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 75, wherein the multicopter helicopter is a threecopter comprising one main rotor and two secondary rotors positioned vertically.

81. The multicopter helicopter of claim 80, wherein the two secondary rotors both create thrust in the same direction, opposite to the torque of the main rotor.

82. The multicopter helicopter of claim 80 or claim 81 , wherein the center of gravity of the multicopter helicopter is located directly under or above the main rotor.

83. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 80 to 82, wherein the center of gravity of the multicopter helicopter is positioned centrally, above or below the main rotor.

84. The multicopter helicopter of claim 80 or 81 , wherein the center of gravity is offset from the center of the main rotor.

85. The multicopter helicopter of claim 80 or 81 , wherein the center of gravity is offset from the main rotor to the front or the back by at most about 5%, at most about 10%, at most about 15%, at most about 20%, at most about 30%, at most about 40%, or at most about 50%.

86. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 75, wherein the secondary rotors are positioned vertically.

87. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 75, wherein the secondary rotors are positioned horizontally.

88. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 76, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame, such that the blade of each secondary rotor is located above the frame.

89. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 76, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame, such that the blade of each secondary rotor is located below the frame.

90. A multicopter helicopter comprising one main rotor and two or more secondary propulsion equipment pieces operatively connected to a frame, wherein each of the secondary propulsion equipment pieces produces less thrust than the main rotor, and wherein each secondary propulsion equipment piece is pivotably connected to the frame.

91. The multicopter helicopter of claim 90, wherein the secondary propulsion equipment pieces are rotors, including ducted propellers or ducted fans; turbofans; or jets.

92. A method for manufacturing the multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 89, comprising the steps of operatively connecting a main rotor to a multicopter helicopter frame, and pivotably connecting two or more secondary rotors to the frame.

93. The method according to claim 92, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame by means of a pivot, and a linking arm to an actuator, hydraulic, or pneumatic actuator which allows for pushing and pulling, thereby pivoting the secondary rotor around its axis.

94. The method according to claim 92, wherein the secondary rotors are pivotably connected to the frame using a pivot, which is mechanically linked to a motor through a reduction gear set.

95. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 91 , for use in land surveying for construction or mining, situational awareness for civil security applications (fire fighting and police situations, for example), transportation of goods, or photography.

96. The multicopter helicopter of claim 95, for use in carrying cargo and/or people.

97. The multicopter helicopter of any one of claims 1 to 91 , for use in carrying cargo and/or people.