Vari-Speed II

The helicopter configuration with main and tail rotor currently dominates worldwide, but new concepts for rotor aircraft are gaining importance in the USA and Europe. These innovations, such as variable rotor speeds for different flight conditions, are being driven forward in research programmes such as „Clean Sky 2 – Fast Rotorcraft“ in the EU and „Future Vertical Lift“ in the US to develop high-speed helicopters and lightweight rotorcraft with improved flight characteristics to meet the demand for high forward speed.

The transnational project VARI-SPEED II, funded by the Austrian national aviation research program Take OFF and the German national aviation research program LuFo, is the follow up project of VARI-SPEED (FFG.Nr.:850442), a project that proved the possibility of rotor speed variations performed by a transmission system. VARI-SPEED II focusses on the interaction of single components in the drive train. The controllability and handling qualities of a rotorcraft with rotor speed variations and the realizability of the transmission ration variable module, are further research questions. The interactions and behavior of the drivetrain components in different flight conditions are investigated in a simulation model of the dynamic system. 

ADTs main tasks in the project are:

  • Development of a scaling method to downscale the drivetrain to test bench size
  • Concept and design of the scaled gearbox demonstrator
  • Preparation of a testing program for the demonstrator
  • Preparation of a multi-body simulation model to validate the real-time capable flight simulator model


Contact: Christopher Gross

Funded by:
TAKE OFF, Federal Ministry of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) via FFG Österreichischen Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH,
LuFo VI-1, Luftfahrtforschungsprogramms des BMWK, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz 

Project Period: 01.11.2020 – 31.10.2023

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