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HeliComfort - Adaptable power density coating for energy efficient heating of cockpit and cabin

Today’s cockpit & cabin heating is mainly driven by hot engine bleed air pick-up and mixing with (cold) outside air. The air is carried into the cockpit & cabin through a complex pipe and valve system, and the warm-up is achieved by air convection. Due to the high level of air leakages on e.g. helicopters’ unpressurized cockpit & cabin, the heating power losses are not negligible and the homogeneity of the heating comfort over the interior space is quite poor. In addition without the engines running, on-ground pre-heating of the cockpit & cabin cannot be achieved.

HeliComfort aims at developing a novel, energy-efficient heating system, using an electrically conductive, non-transparent polymer as a coating. The coating is added to several selected surfaces in order to provide increased comfort to the crew and passengers by using IR radiant heat. This will also eliminate or at least reduce the need for bleed air with the future goal to make it completely redundant. Furthermore, by using ground power supply, the pre-heating of the cockpit & cabin will be possible even when the main engine is switched off. This feature can enhance the comfort and working environment for passengers as well as the crew, especially for medical staff and even more for a patient in an emergency medical Service helicopter, or for VIP transport service customers.

Funding program:

Clean Sky JTI 2013-03

Project partners:

AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (coordinator)

Villinger R&D GmbH

Rail Tec Arsenal Fahrzeugversuchsanlage GmbH

H4 Aerospace Ltd

CEST Kompetenzzentrum für elektrochemische Oberflächentechnologie GmbH