Whizzy, spinny, Enterprise/UFO looking like thing.
February 4, 2002 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Whizzy, spinny, Enterprise/UFO looking like thing. SimiCon, a Norwegian company focused on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is developing a circular craft that uses both rotors and a low profile jet in order to provide the high performance of a fixed wing craft along with the VTOL capabilites of a helicopter. Looks pretty cool.
posted by zeoslap (13 comments total)
If it has at least interplanetary capabilities it's what I've been waiting for all my life. (And, hint hint, what I expected to be able to buy by about 1985. C'mon guys, get it together before I'm too old and decrepit to deal with the G forces...)
posted by jfuller at 3:49 PM on February 4, 2002

Well, obviously it's going to have a time-travel option in a couple of years. That'll explain all those UFO sightings since 47 or so. Which is of course what crashed in Roswell... Which is what this thing was reverse engineered from....

*head explodes*
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:53 PM on February 4, 2002

Not to mention its almost unlimited potential as a super high performance lawn mower. Maybe with some kind of fusion or antimatter drive.
posted by coelecanth at 4:03 PM on February 4, 2002

It already is a lawnmower!
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 4:18 PM on February 4, 2002

So where do you sit?
posted by bloggboy at 4:45 PM on February 4, 2002

Uh oh...
posted by NortonDC at 5:09 PM on February 4, 2002

bloggboy: Not only do I wonder where any crew and cargo would go, I wonder whether they'd have enough room left over to fit fuel tanks into this puppy with enough capacity to be useful.

Think about it: To get that rotor spinning, there has to be some way (a transmission, a generator and electric motor) to transfer power from the turbofan to the rotor shaft. Add to that the complexity of a retractable, telescoping rotor assembly. That kind of capability, which hasn't been attempted in aircraft yet, consumes the airframe's internal space for more motors/actuators, cabling, hydraulics, etc., with a substantial weight penalty. And that's not even considering the retractable landing gear. This would be an aircraft that makes the V-22 Osprey look like a 1950s design by comparision.

Notice that unlike single-main-rotor helicopters, this design lacks a tail rotor to counteract the torque from the main blade. But it's not using NOTAR (no tail rotor) blower technology either, or it would require another additional fan, internally designed to duct air so as to provide counteracting force, etc.

The bigger the wing/saucer (to offset the requirement for copious internal space), the greater the overall weight -- and the less the overall performance in speed, range and manuverability.

I'll believe this when Northrop Grumman builds a working prototype for the Navy. Until then, it's just a bunch of design-bureau engineers' collective rice bowl.
posted by alumshubby at 5:37 PM on February 4, 2002

It's designed as an unmanned vehicle… (and that's a fancy three dotty elipsis(?) thing as learnt from MeFi yesterday)
posted by zeoslap at 5:55 PM on February 4, 2002

Oh and if you actually read the info the design uses the jet blowing sideways to counteract the torque from the main blade.
posted by zeoslap at 5:57 PM on February 4, 2002

The vehicle could be used by police for surveillance, or to track pollution...

Great. Call me when I can hover into work.
posted by treywhit at 6:11 PM on February 4, 2002

Been there, did that.
(A51 employee.)
posted by HTuttle at 8:28 PM on February 4, 2002

They'll build cities around this thing.
posted by internook at 2:01 AM on February 5, 2002

This is not entirely a new concept. (scroll down some) Projects similar to this were conducted in the late 40's and early 50's with some moderate success, however none could achieve the cost effectiveness or efficiency of conventional designs.

It's definitely a neat looking machine, and I'm sure it would get it's use in movies or television, it just doesn't seem that it will be capable of doing anything that is currently not possible with the aircraft we have now. I applaud the innovation though, it's another step closer to finally getting my hoverboard.
posted by fluxcreative at 6:26 AM on February 5, 2002

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