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VTOL

VTOL Technologies' Flying-Wing VTOL UAV

The age of unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs has well and truly dawned but designers aren't resting on their laurels when it comes to improving the capabilities of these multi-talented aircraft. One innovation that's come to the fore recently is the use of an enclosed four rotor platform (see our recent look at the CyberQuad) which offers a number of advantages including greater stability, agility, hovering ability and a smaller footprint. This unique new design from Britain's VTOL Technologies takes this idea a step further, adding four movable rotors to a single "flying-wing" to create an aircraft that claims to deliver a higher payload capacity for its size and up to four times the endurance of current vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV designs.  Read More

The CyberQuad UAV uses four ducted rotors for stable, stealthy flight in urban or enclosed...

If one rotor is good, four must be better. That’s the general idea behind the CyberQuad, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Cyber Technology. The CyberQuad is an electric, remote-controlled reconnaissance platform that features four ducted rotors to provide lift and maneuverability, allowing the remote-control UAV to be used in urban and enclosed environments. The four rotors give the CyberQuad the payload capacity and stability of a helicopter-type UAV, while the ducted design avoids the dangers associated with exposed propellers.  Read More

An AESIR UAV takes flight

Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) employ a fixed wing design much like that of a traditional plane. But these designs offer limited maneuverability and payload capacity, require a runway to takeoff and land, and are unable to hover. Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) UAVs get around these problems, usually by employing rotors like a helicopter. Now UK-based company AESIR has developed a VTOL UAV that has no external rotating parts, instead relying on a phenomenon known as the Coanda effect to generate lift.  Read More

The Flying-Cam III E SARAH

We write a lot about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in military use but, as is so often the case with technology developed for the military, this kind of equipment is increasingly finding its way into civilian applications. The latest example to catch our eye is the Flying-Cam III E Special Aerial Response Autonomous Helicopter (SARAH) – a fully electric quasi-UAV camera platform for getting those majestic soaring shots for film and television shoots.  Read More

The Entecho hoverpod

We continue to be optimistic about the future of personal flight - and from flying cars to coaxial flying platforms, ion-powered jetpacks and more recreational solutions, plenty of innovative designs are striving for viability. We haven't seen anything like this one before though - Entecho has come up with an operating prototype of a sort of cylindrical fan-forced flying saucer, steered by directing the downward airflow through a flexible skirt that allows easy directional control. The blades are not exposed and move reasonably slowly, it's stable in flight and the system is remarkably simple from a mechanical point of view. It's also quite simple to fly using a joystick controller. Totally VTOL and with a small footprint, perhaps the Entecho Hoverpod might deliver as a practical and affordable personal flight solution.  Read More

The Springtail Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle built by Trek Aerospace is a single pilot vertic...

Last week we reported on the two-seater Hummel helicopter concept and mentioned that it looked very similar to the SoloTrek XFV (Exo-skeletal Flying Vehicle) backpack helicopter flown in the movie Agent Cody Banks. We haven't had a close look at this Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle but, although the design was first tested in 2003, it's still a unique form of transport that we hope to see more of in the future.  Read More

The AN-1 AeroQuad flying platform from Aeris Naviter

We've written before about the nifty flying carpet-style PAM Individual Lifting Vehicle - now it seems there's another self-stabilizing coaxial dual-rotor flying platform on the way. The AN-1 AeroQuad, from Spain's Aeris Naviter, boasts all the key advantages of the PAM VTOL platform - it's as easy to pilot as a Segway, it'll fly for up to 5 hours, and happily hover at 20-30 feet with a maximum payload of 200kg - making it very handy for crop spraying, firefighting, aerial photography, lifeguarding, rescue and border control in mountainous areas. The AeroQuad moves forward from the PAM design, though, in that it comes in both land- or water-based configurations, and either one is able to fold up after use to a size so small you only need a half-trailer to transport it.  Read More

Finnair's A1700-2400 Cruiser
 Image credit: Kauko Helavuo

To celebrate its 85th anniversary, Finnair has served up a blue-sky vision of what the next 85 years of aviation could hold. Concentrating mainly on potential developments in environmentally friendly technology and lightweight material, the Departure 2093 website lists five aircraft that could grace our sky later this century.  Read More

M200X VTOL prototype

Moller International is selling its Jetson-like M200X 2-passenger VTOL prototype on eBay. Although it's a long way from the latest designs to rise from the Moller drawing-board like the hybrid flying car, the M200X is a significant piece of aviation history, having completed over 200 manned and unmanned flight demonstrations since 1989.  Read More

The autovolantor Flying Car

September 9, 2008 Moller International has announced that it has designed a hybrid flying car. The two-seater autovolantor is fashioned in the shape of a Ferrari 599 GTB with wings and is claimed to be capable of lifting off vertically from a traffic jam and flying at up to 150 mph for a short distance (about 15 minutes). The autovolantor is designed to function on the road very much like a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) using one of its eight Rotapower engines to generate enough electrical power to drive for up to 40 miles.  Read More

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