Kestrel Aerospace’s petrol-engine- powered electrical propulsion system for its one-seater vertical take-off and landing personal air vehicle (PAV) is now undergoing static tests.

The PAV will use two 40kW (53hp) petrol engines, unlike the company’s Lancer unmanned air vehicle, which uses one.

The PAV’s top speed is expected to be around 160kt (295km/h).

During the tests two different types of paraglider petrol engines are being evaluated.

The vehicle’s two engines would power two belt-driven permanent magnet alternators.

They produce electricity for the brushless motors that rotate the two dual-ducted fans that propel the aircraft.

“We are doing lots of static testing. We expect to go to tethered tests in first quarter 2006,” says Simon Scott, managing director and chief technology officer for Kestrel Aerospace.

The electricity generated is distributed via a capacitor, which helps balance power supply between Kestrel’s proprietary fans and its avionics. Some of the power is diverted to lithium ion back-up batteries.

These would provide up to 3.5min of flight in the event of engine failure.

Source: Flight International