I’m skeptical that a full sized helicopter will mirror the experiences in RC. RC have provided a lot of improvements where no one else was doing it. I suspect that the innovation will start to increasingly come from the top down.
Look at it this way. Power to weight ratio goes to RC, acceleration in all directions goes to RC, Inertia goes to full scale but that isn't what you want when controlling thrust becomes a factor of rpm changes so again RC wins in fine controls. The only way the electric tail rotor will fully succeed in full scale is if the tail is electric driven but the pitch is still controllable and at that point you are better off just driving the tail as a typical helicopter would.
Well, we're watching video of a full scale helicopter flying with it.
As some points mentioned by others, this does reduce mechanical complexity:
- No need for a gear set and output from the main gearbox. The gearbox could likely be made smaller and lighter.
- no gearbox at the tail.
- No driveshaft along the tailboom needing bearing supports, flex plates. Also the tailboom geometry would have more freedom as you don't need to find a way to run a shaft along it. Or cover the shaft.
- many small/medium helicopters still use control rods to control the pitch of the tail rotor. This gets replaced by a harness. Simpler & lighter once again
- FBW control only needs to speedup or slowdown one or multiple fans, is no longer dependent on the power setting of the engines.
- Redundancy: if one fan fails, there is still authority available.
- Likely less maintenance, especially inspection
reduced weight/complexity should lead to lower costs as well
- On the ground you can keep the engine running at ground idle with the main rotor still turning, but have the tail rotor completely stopped.
I think this will work out long term.