Scappoose, OR-based Sport Copter Inc. used Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks 3-D CAD software in the design of its new Sportcopter II gyroplane.
The company proclaims the Sportcopter II to be the fastest gyroplane available, with a cruise speed in excess of 100 mph, thanks to a 2.5-L Subaru liquid-cooled engine, which produces 190 hp. It is also believed to be the first gyroplane with a fully enclosed cabin and engine, with removable doors and engine cowling, providing it all-weather capability, simplified maintenance, aerodynamic streamlining, added propeller efficiency, and effective protection of vital components. The 49-in-wide cabin is equipped with forced air ventilation and heat, and the fully glassed pod allows all wiring to be tucked away for complete protection.
Sport Copter claims to have cut design time in half with the use of SolidWorks tools. Improved design visualization and accuracy helped engineers cut prototyping costs, and raw material costs were also reduced despite rising steel prices.
“We’ve evolved from making scale models of control systems using wooden sticks to test geometry to 3-D CAD with SolidWorks,” said Sport Copter President and Chief Designer Jim Vanek. “We’ve reduced prototyping costs by a factor of 10, cut art to part time in half, and are using SolidWorks as a critical step to go from design straight to CNC machining, which will further reduce development time.”
Sport Copter engineers used the COSMOSXpress design visualization tool, within SolidWorks, for critical load analyses to help ensure components could stand up to repeated landings, takeoffs, and other usage rigors.
“Innovation means being able to translate an idea into a working reality,” said SolidWorks Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Rainer Gawlick. “Sport Copter is the type of company where innovation is an everyday event. Using SolidWorks helps its engineers make those innovations fly.”