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An Entirely New Class of Aircraft Arrives

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the pretty-fly dept.

Transportation 289

fergus07 writes "Austrian research company IAT21 has presented a new type of aircraft at the Paris Air Show, which has the potential to become aviation's first disruptive technology since the jet engine. Neither fixed wing nor rotor craft, the D-Dalus uses four mechanically-linked, contra-rotating, cylindrical turbines for its propulsion, and by altering the angle of the blades, it can launch vertically, hover perfectly still, move in any direction, and thrust upwards and hence 'glue down' upon landing, which it can easily do on the deck of a ship, or even a moving vehicle. It's also almost silent, has the dynamic stability to enter buildings, handles rough weather with ease, flies very long distances very quickly and can lift very heavy loads. It accordingly holds immense promise as a platform for personal flight, for military usage, search and rescue, and much more."

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289 comments

Better video here: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525390)

Re:Better video here: (0, Troll)

Sun (104778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525418)

Rickrolling. Don't waste your time and bandwidth.

Shachar

Re:Better video here: (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525426)

Dude! The link is here sir [ebaumsworld.com]

Thank you.

Re:Better video here: (0)

difster (318632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525470)

Crap, I got Rick Rolled. Do not click the link above. Mod it down.

Re:Better video here: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525484)

There is a lot worse things than being Rick Rolled. trust me [ebaumsworld.com] .

Re:Better video here: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525746)

It's also almost silent, has the dynamic stability to enter buildings

I guess they were holding off on this until Bin Laden got caught

Fanwing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525412)

First thing I thought of was fanwing (google it), also known as the flying lawnmower aircraft.
I saw it on a tv report ages ago and remember these things being said to be extremely stable and quiet, but also significantly slower than a helicopter.

Re:Fanwing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526210)

Are you suggesting that the D-Dalus and the fanwing are somehow the same thing? Because they're not. At all.

Herve Leger Dress (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525420)

Please visit http://www.hervelegersdress.net, welcome to my site

Video (2)

boredgeestje (756712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525434)

This article seriously lacks a video showing how the D-Dalus operates. Now it merely looks like a high-tech fan.

Re:Video (2)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525512)

Add to that that the article seems to be describing the second coming, not any realistic plane. If it can do what the article says, you could at least show it moving, no ? It is quite hard to believe that nobody tried putting a movable wing directly behind the propellor before.

But that's quite typical of these kinds of articles of course.

Re:Video (1)

gd2shoe (747932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525804)

I second. Without a video, I strongly suspect it's some kind of hoax. (If it sounds too good to be true and then keeps going...)

Re:Video (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525864)

They already tried setups with a wing behind the turbine/propellor... kind of. The C-17 military transporter features so-called "blown flaps" which allows for better lift at low speeds (liftoff /landing) and thus smaller runway sizes. However from what I've heard, due to the heavy stress on the flaps, those are very expensive, over-engineered and still extremely fragile...

There's nothing to move apparently... (2)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526058)

At least not yet. All they have is a proof of concept laboratory prototype.

The current status of D-DALUS

D-DALUS is currently in prototype stage. Over recent weeks IAT21 have conducted extensive constrained flight tests in a specially prepared laboratory near Salzburg, including the transition from vertical to forward flight, and are now ready to move to an open test range for free flight tests. In trials to date D-DALUS has met the performance criteria placed upon it and appears to be scalable, becoming more efficient and less complex as it increases in size. It will therefore be ideally suited for applications that range from maritime search and rescue, through the carriage of freight, to operating alongside and within buildings during fires or, for example, nuclear accidents.

They could probably do a CG presentation, but for those satisfied with that, those couple of images on their site should suffice. [d-dalus.at]

They are apparently also planning "an autonomous pallet-transportation-system" and a small roof-sized power plant based on the underlying technology.
These last two apparently only existing in text form so far. [iat21.at]

Re:There's nothing to move apparently... (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526424)

What, they couldn't video those "extensive constrained flight tests in a specially prepared laboratory" and stick them online? Nobody had even so much as a camera phone that could do some crappy low res video? I agree with the others - until we see this in action, colour me highly skeptical. We've been promised cheap, effective personal flight many times before and we're still waiting :)

Re:Video (3, Interesting)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526136)

It also sounds like a fuel hog. Helicopters are fuel hogs because the rotation of the blade is necessary to provide the lift as well as the thrust. Fixed wing setups have the advantage of getting the lift for cheap. I think if it has any potential it may be at replacing rotor aircraft. Not fixed wings. I don't foresee fuel prices going down in the future.

Re:Video (5, Interesting)

jonamous++ (1687704) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526166)

I am unsure of how this design will handle an engine-out situation. A fixed-wing aircraft will have some glide ratio (9:1, 7:1, whatever) and a helicopter will autorotate. What happens with this design? It looks like it would just become a brick.

Re:Video (5, Funny)

malkavian (9512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526220)

Parachute?

Ban It Immediately (2)

difster (318632) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525438)

People are bad enough drivers in 2 dimensions; I don't want to have to deal with them in 3 dimension as well and I don't want flying cars falling on my house either.

Re:Ban It Immediately (1)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525498)

Combine it with google's cars that can drive themselves though....

Re:Ban It Immediately (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525964)

actually one more dimension ought to decrease the possibility of collisions. I see no reason why most of the travel could not be on autopilot on one way routes. I'd trade a no asphalt world for a reasonably low risk of getting a flying car crashing in from the roof.

Re:Ban It Immediately (4, Interesting)

jonamous++ (1687704) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526196)

There is a reason that less than 1/5 of one percent of the US population are pilots. It's not easy, it requires a lot of work, and it's very expensive (40-50 hours in a cheap cessna at $100/hr plus ~$35-45/hr for an instructor). There are even less instrument rated pilots (about 200,000 less) who are certificated to fly in poor weather/visibility. The problem isn't the "autopilotable" part (flying along a route), it's weather, navigation, landing, emergency procedures. Most people simply won't do it, it's far easier to drive a car.

Re:Ban It Immediately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526566)

Isn't that the point of this device though, the way it works means landing should theoretically be much safer (computer overrides could easily prevent you approaching too quickly or at the wrong angle and adjust the lift appropriately) combined with increased stability in general. Besides, outside of people who are training to be a pilot as a career, lots of people fly and the one thing they tend to have in common is money - this leads me to believe that the bigger barrier to flight is wealth, not skill (I'm not saying no skill is required, but driving a car at high speed in lanes of traffic in bad weather requires skill yet millions of people manage it daily with relatively few incidents considering the miles covered).

Re:Ban It Immediately (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525994)

Don't ban it, just declare it an "airplane" and require a pilots license.

But... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525444)

Will it blend?

Re:But... (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526190)

Four items at once, I believe.

Silent? I don't think so... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525448)

This is seriously impressive but nothing moves that much air in near silence.

I guess that they mean that it makes less noise than a 737.

It is still bloody magic though.

Re:Silent? I don't think so... (1)

carlzetie (1589423) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526476)

Unless it's built by Dyson.

Re:Silent? I don't think so... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526550)

Yeah if this is real I'm really impressed. I have absolutely no idea how this thing works. The weird drum-shaped whirlydoodles on this thing look like no propulsion mechanism I've ever seen before.

It's an entirely different kind of flying. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525452)

It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525532)

It's an entirely different kind of flying.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525814)

It's an entirely different kind of flying.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525880)

It's an entirely different kind of flying.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (1)

earthloop (449575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525888)

It's an entirely different kind of flying.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (0)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525978)

like this:

WOOOSH

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526004)

Surely you can't be serious.

Re:It's an entirely different kind of flying. (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526208)

...and don't call me Shirley!

fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525496)

excuse me, but this is a fake

Not a fake, but seriously overhyped (4, Informative)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525980)

Right now, the focus seems to be on the UAV market. If the technology is ever used for manned flight, this will not be for a long time. Whether the technology is truly a major advance for UAVs in constrained spaces (the current objective) we shall need to wait and see. From the company website [d-dalus.at] :

The current status of D-DALUS D-DALUS is currently in prototype stage. Over recent weeks IAT21 have conducted extensive constrained flight tests in a specially prepared laboratory near Salzburg, including the transition from vertical to forward flight, and are now ready to move to an open test range for free flight tests. In trials to date D-DALUS has met the performance criteria placed upon it and appears to be scalable, becoming more efficient and less complex as it increases in size. It will therefore be ideally suited for applications that range from maritime search and rescue, through the carriage of freight, to operating alongside and within buildings during fires or, for example, nuclear accidents.

Yet Another Flying Car Scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525504)

Dear All, this "Moeller" flying car scam has been regularly featured on Slashdot every 4 months or so for the last 5 years or so. How many time can people be duped? Maybe geeks are more gullible than redneck farmers and other people in general? Just my 0.02 (piconewtons of thrust).

Anything else? (3, Insightful)

jamesl (106902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525508)

And it will bring us world peace, end hunger and cure cancer.

This shows the value of issuing press releases.

Re:Anything else? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525732)

"And it will bring us world peace, end hunger and cure cancer."

LOL, I had the same thought, does it do the dishes?
Perhaps it also adjusts subluxations.

Re:Anything else? (4, Insightful)

ygslash (893445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526192)

This shows the value of issuing press releases.

The company's web site [iat21.at] is a small self-consciously slick flash site. It contains only a few short press releases about this and several other technologies, each with similarly outlandish world-changing claims and supposedly already built and working.

According to Google Maps, the corporate address on the web site points to what appears to be a private home in a fancy neighborhood in Linz [google.com] .

Sounds like a great engine (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525514)

All those planes that weigh less than 70kg with a pilot are sure to benefit!

I'll wait to see how it scales up.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525636)

70kg with a 120hp engine certainly doesn't sound very impressive. A basic propeller driven light aircraft would probably have a payload closer to 300kg with that size engine. Even a helicopter in that power range should have a payload about double that.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525716)

Woosh.....

Re:Sounds like a great engine (0)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525840)

A new kind of engine doesn't have to be better in every way than all existing engines in order to be interesting. When petrol engines were invented, they were significantly inferior to steam engines. Also, propeller engines can't hover, and helicopters can't thrust upwards. I expect this will find a niche. Or maybe not. Maybe it will vanish without a trace, but it's still interesting.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (1)

mike260 (224212) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525886)

Why can't a helicopter thrust upwards?

Re:Sounds like a great engine (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526090)

Because its thrust direction depends on the shape of the rotor blades. You'd have to flip the rotor blades upside down to get upwards thrust.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526188)

Because its thrust direction depends on the shape of the rotor blades. You'd have to flip the rotor blades upside down to get upwards thrust.

Just invert the pitch of the rotor blades ("negative pitch"). Nothing new. R/C helicopters have been doing this for ages.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526216)

So, why can't they dynamically change the shape of the blades? Fucking lazy engineers is why!

Re:Sounds like a great engine (2)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526234)

Because its thrust direction depends on the shape of the rotor blades. You'd have to flip the rotor blades upside down to get upwards thrust.

No, just change the AOA of the blades sufficiently. However, you run the risk of the rotors contacting the tail rotor or the boom. They are not designed to flex in that direction.
There are some vids around of R/C helicopters hovering upside down.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526454)

It can if you're talking physics, it's done all the time with RC helicopters which can hover inverted just fine. If you're talking about any aircraft that the FAA would certify, there's no way that would ever happen. The idea of this aircraft being used as drones would provide lots of real world experience in unexpected failure modes without people getting killed.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525942)

120hp is enough for lite airplane or even a lite helicopter. The original R22 had 150HP and a payload around 300lbs about 135kgs . Not a lot of room for fueling. Max Gross was 1300lbs not that anyone has ever taken-off with more then that. Also, I consider this to be a rotorcraft especial since it looks like it could easily vortex ring state just like helicopter. Am guess it isn't very fast since it has to proved a large part of it's thrust in order to maintain altitude. I don't think it's ever been flown since none of the photos seem to show it it flying.

Re:Sounds like a great engine (1)

scsirob (246572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526100)

Got that right.. My 120HP Jabiru-powered homebuilt RANS S6S plane weighs 325kg empty, 545 MTOW. Does that mean I'd need to strap 1000HP of this engine type to get off the ground? Yeah, really tempting..

Voith Schneider Propeller (5, Informative)

bre_dnd (686663) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525530)

It looks like the Voith Schneider Propeller as used on tugboats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voith_Schneider_Propeller [wikipedia.org] -- but spinning faster, displacing air instead of water, and rotated so it can generate up/downward thrust.

The wikipedia page also has an animation showing how it works.

Flettner rotor, not Voith Schneider Propeller? (4, Insightful)

Richard Kirk (535523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526122)

This looked like a magnus lift rotor to me. Have a search on Flettner aircraft.

Here's a marvellous 1930's ref. from Wikipedia...

http://books.google.com/books?id=xSgDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA26&dq=Popular+Science+1931+plane&hl=en&ei=5r8JTaa6Ismr8AaNmb2iAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEAQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q&f=true [google.com]

So... not exactly new but probably controllable with modern computer avionics.

Re:Flettner rotor, not Voith Schneider Propeller? (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526534)

completely and utterly different principle of operation. Magnus lift is the force that occurs when an airflow is passed around a rotating cylinder whilst the cylinder is moving... this new device is a rotating array of aerofoils and relies on the angle of attack being changed as the foils move around the axis... there is no motion through the air by the entire assembly required to generate lift... merely the rotation of the blade assembly around it's axis.

Re:Flettner rotor, not Voith Schneider Propeller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526562)

They have rotating disks there, so It is Flettner alright (Magnus force driven), mod parent up.

Quadcopter with turbines instead of blades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525552)

This doesn't seem that revolutionary, sure if they can get better thrust to weight out of turbines than props so it can be scaled up that's excellent, but as far as I can see the whole principle is a something that thousands of people are doing at home for a few hundred bucks.

prior art.... (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525570)

uh, rotating cylinders generating lift? similar described in this 1925 paper [flightglobal.com] ? or a concept drawing in a 1950 Mechanix Illustrated [modernmechanix.com] ?

nice engineering (if it works/flies) but nothing exceptionally new...

Re:prior art.... (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525602)

Seems to be more closely related to the Voith Schneider Propeller [wikipedia.org] than a rotating drum.

Manned flight (2)

Alioth (221270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525588)

The issue I see here is this:

Helicopter: engine quits, it can glide (autorotate) to a landing that most of the time is successful, and nearly all of the time doesn't kill anyone.

Fixed wing: engine quits, it can glide to a landing that most of the time is successful and nearly all of the time doesn't kill anyone.

Both small fixed wing and helicopters have simple mechanical controls that are very reliable, and quite often the failure of one of these controls results in a brown-pants moment for the pilot but the aircraft can still be controlled to a landing.

This doesn't look like it has that capability, and in addition requires electronic controls, so any failure = fall out of the sky. Of course, for small aircraft based on this concept, a ballistic full-airframe parachute may be used so in most cases the landing can be survived without serious injury, but ballistic chutes don't really scale all that well. With that it doesn't seem like a disruptive technology - perhaps a disruptive technology for small aircraft that can carry a ballistic chute or unmanned aircraft that don't fly over populated areas, but that's pretty restrictive compared to the different kinds of helicopter you can make, so I don't see helicopters nor fixed wing going away any time soon. That's not to say that if this turns out to be practical it won't be very useful, just that it's not really a disruptive technology if it requires a ballistic chute to not kill anyone if there's a computer or engine failure because this seriously limits the chances of it ever being a certified aircraft by any aviation authority in the world.

OT: your signature (2)

LordNightwalker (256873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525734)

Offtopic, but the link in your signature no longer works. The new URL is http://www.oolite.org/ [oolite.org]

Re:OT: your signature (2)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526134)

Congrats. You win "Geek of the Day" for June 22, 2011!

Re:Manned flight (3, Interesting)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525920)

I'm not so sure. Assuming this is a variation on the Voith Schneider Propeller [wikipedia.org] , consider a configuration of the cylinder of propellers with all the airfoils parallel, and pointed in the direction of flight (so the direction of flight is perpendicular to the cylinder's axis). That's essentially just six stacked wings in an odd configuration, kind of like a triplane. If you have enough forward velocity to maintain lift, all you need to do is lock the airfoils in place. By changing the angle of attack on some of them you can emulate flaps, and increase the lift. The compact configuration of wings would have lots of drag, but you could add fixed wings on the outside to help.

I think this thing can glide.

Re:Manned flight (1)

Lalakis (308990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525948)

if it requires a ballistic chute to not kill anyone if there's a computer or engine failure because this seriously limits the chances of it ever being a certified aircraft by any aviation authority in the world.

Most modern airplanes are flown with Fly by Wire systems that are also computer based. Aviation authorities seem to be happy with them, so, I guess, with the proper redundancy and backup provided, this technology will be welcomed too.
 

Re:Manned flight (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526056)

Both small fixed wing and helicopters have simple mechanical controls that are very reliable, and quite often the failure of one of these controls results in a brown-pants moment for the pilot but the aircraft can still be controlled to a landing.

But only for tiny aircraft is this possible. It most certainly is not the case for any helicopter that can seat more than 2 people, and it certainly isn't true for bigger fixed-wing aircraft like a passenger carrier.

Also quadcopters use very, very light propellers, so mechanical failure disables that engine entirely, leading at least to limited control (and if the control software is not capable of running a propeller in both forward and reverse it will spin out of control immediately). And quadcopters are not very efficient flying machines, and the loss of one propeller implies that the opposite propeller can no longer be used for thrust, that would cause it to spin out of control. This means that any failure leads immediately to loss of 50% trust capacity, so if you want to make a decent landing with an engine failure make sure you implement extra powerful propellers.

hi (-1, Offtopic)

fastformationuk (2295268) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525590)

I like this post http://tinyurl.com/4yn3fuq [tinyurl.com]

Re:hi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526198)

Congrats, you are the /. user with the most accounts evar... MichealKristopeit must be jealous.

P.S. You really need to come up with a different approach, I can see all your posts coming from a mile away. How 'bout some Markov chains? Haven't seen that guy posting in stories here for quite some time now.

Disruptive? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525594)

It looks like my vacuum cleaner. And I'm not trying to be funny. It has fixed spinny things, which kinda reminds me of a rotor. Forget it, too early.

Re:Disruptive? (2)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526506)

Um, there's only one "o" in hover.

Still not quite there... (5, Interesting)

nikolardo (2266242) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525678)

"I am now planning aerial machines devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external attachments, which will be capable of immense speeds"

"You should not be at all surprised, if some day you see me fly from New York to Colorado Springs in a contrivance which will resemble a gas stove and weigh as much. ... and could, if necessary enter and depart through a window."

"The flying machine of the future -- my flying machine -- will be heavier than air, but it will not be an airplane. It will have no wings. It will be substantial, solid, stable. You cannot have a stable airplane. The gyroscope can never be successfully applied to the airplane, for it would give a stability that would result in the machine being torn to pieces by the wind, just as the unprotected airplane on the ground is torn to pieces by a high wind. My flying machine will have neither wings nor propellers. You might see it on the ground and you would never guess that it was a flying machine. Yet it will be able to move at will through the air in any direction with perfect safety, at higher speeds than have yet been reached, regardless of weather and oblivious of 'holes in the air' or downward currents. It will ascend in such currents if desired. It can remain absolutely stationary in the air even in a wind for great length of time. Its lifting power will not depend upon any such delicate devices as the bird has to employ, but upon positive mechanical action."

-Nikola Tesla

Re:Still not quite there... (2)

codewarren (927270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526408)

Oh. So that's why they thought he was crazy.

This plane has four mechanically-linked turbines (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525738)

It's an entirely different kind of flying, altogether.

Re:This plane has four mechanically-linked turbine (3, Funny)

MrFurious5150 (1189479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525922)

It's an entirely different kind of flying. :D

Quite please (1)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525772)

My house, being in the approach lane for Dusseldorf international airport, I pray for the quite part.

It is shocking how loud an old 747 is on final. The hope has always been for tech like this to come around and silence these old POS planes.

Computerized flight controls. (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525796)

Great if you have error-free computer system to run it on. Not so good if you do not.
Mid flight rebooting not a good idea.
Looks like it unpowered, it'll fly like bricked i-phone

"Immense Promise" requires Efficiency (5, Insightful)

randyjparker (543614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525832)

Thirty years ago I was in the Propulsion & Thermodynamics group at Lockheed. One of the guys had a research project on spanwise rotor propulsion - his proof of concept used a beefed up cylindrical hair dryer rotor of the day. Yeah, you can get some net thrust, but at nowhere near the efficiency of conventional designs. There has to be a really strong reason to sacrifice all the extra fuel and weight and safety deficits when compared to better techniques. Perhaps there are niches where the tradeoffs are worth it, but that is not what I'd call "immense promise". Let's see what kind of thrust-to-weight, lift-to-drag, and thrust-specific-fuel-consumption their aircraft can produce first...

Experimental Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525884)

Looks like the 2D Propulsor.

Osama bin ladin anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525904)

Looks like the military already got a preview contract....

fans for the memory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36525950)

Looks like it's a variation on fan-wing propulsion, in which case it's basically is a big hi-tech fan... capable of blowing hard enough to generate lift [but then, so's any VTOL system really]

lol (3, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | more than 3 years ago | (#36525958)

Is it April 1st, or just slashdot mods got bored?

As a pilot and an engineer... the sheer amount of bs in one article stymies the ability to say anything else!

Silent turbines? Do you know how a turbine works? Definitionally it moves amazing amounts of air (and fuel). Air movement = sound. It can't be silent.

It can "hover" into a building? Do you know how the threshold between "Hey we're just outside the window" and "oh now we're 2ft above the 3rd floor" and "yeah now our exhaust has nowhere to go" works?

It can "glue itself down to a deck of a ship"? How many aircraft have been swept off a deck of a carrier after landing? NONE! Gravity keeps them there. Sure, the engines can generate more than 1G of lift ... but if you need 2G to stick the aircraft to the ground... get a nice tether because you have one really expensive balloon!

Ridiculous.

Is it April 1?

E
Full disclosure: I am a licensed rotorcraft pilot. That means I fly helicopters. They don't have silent counter-rotating turbines (lol) and don't "stick to the deck."

Re:lol (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526352)

The D-Dalus is the BitCoin of the aviation world... bunch of claims that sound too good to be true and which are subsequently disproven, but that won't stop it from being on the front page of Slashdot every day now.

Re:lol (-1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526380)

So far it seems all hot air with no substance beyond the GizMag article. No other news source picked this up.

No Australian company by the name of IAT21 is attending the 2011 Paris Air Show either.

http://www.paris-air-show.com/en/the-show/exhibitors [paris-air-show.com]

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526446)

Try looking for Austrian companies then.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526498)

No Australian company by the name of IAT21 is attending the 2011 Paris Air Show either.

It's an Austrian company, and it shows up on the Paris Air Show website once you manage to read the name of the country properly. Get a map.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526560)

So far it seems all hot air with no substance beyond the GizMag article. No other news source picked this up.

No Australian company by the name of IAT21 is attending the 2011 Paris Air Show either.

http://www.paris-air-show.com/en/the-show/exhibitors [paris-air-show.com]

TFA mentions it's from AUSTRIA.

Do you realise that's not the same place as AUSTRALIA?

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526578)

You say Australia, I say Austria, let's call the whole thing off.

In Hall 4, AB30.

From the site you linked:

IAT2I INNOVATIVE AERONAUTICS TECHNOLOGIES GMBH
Austrian Pavilion

Hall 4 AB30

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526598)

That is because they are Austrian and not Australian.

IAT2I INNOVATIVE AERONAUTICS TECHNOLOGIES GMBH
Hall 4 AB30

You must be American, please go buy a world map and pin it behind your toilet door.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526416)

Dude, negative thrust is useful for landing or pre-takeoff on a rolling small ship - it's one of the features of the RN Merlin.
The ship attitude, driven by the waves, can mean that the deck accelerates faster than 1G - and then you meet the deck coming back up again.
If you can apply negative thrust, you can stay 'down' with the ship until you choose to takeoff - or stay where you are once you've landed, until you get lashed down.

Demonstration? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526070)

I don't even see any proof this thing can lift ANY weight; a static display is pretty worthless. Howis it mounted; what would a plaform for it look like?

Where's the video?

footage please (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526078)

does anyone have any video of it, you know, flying?

Similar things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36526092)

You might have a look at this:

http://serve.me.nus.edu.sg/cyclocopter/
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=6188.0;prev_next=next

fuel (0)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526132)

Does it run on fossil fuel? If so, then this tech will only last until we run out of this fuel.

I think we need something that can fly on electricity.

Re:fuel (2)

sectoidman (782960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526362)

Does it run on fossil fuel? If so, then this tech will only last until we run out of this fuel.

I think we need something that can fly on electricity.

You can run airplanes on biodiesel or alcohol if necessary.

See also:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/10/worlds_first_100_percent_biodiesel_jet_flight.php [treehugger.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_202_Ipanema [wikipedia.org]

Where's the eye rolling button (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526232)

From the article:

The D-Dalus (a play on Daedalus from Greek mythology) is neither fixed wing or rotor craft and uses four, mechanically-linked, contra-rotating cylindrical turbines, each running at the same 2200 rpm, for its propulsion.

Also known as a rotor wing aircraft. Its not rocket science. You can take one look at it and easily deduce its a rotor wing design.

What exactly is disruptive about it?

Safety? (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526270)

I'm no aerospace engineer...

But I'm imagining what happens if an engine quits during take-off/landing. In a fixed wing aircraft, you're probably still screwed depending on your altitude, but at least you have a chance at restarting and/or ditching in a field. With something that hovers, you have no more lift once the engine quits, you're just a rock. Heck, not even only during take-off/landing, just during cruise, what do you do?

Helicopters can auto-rotate by storing energy in the main rotor and then "re-engaging" it when you're close to the ground. Basically, you get a one time use pillow. This thing however? How do you safely recover from an engine out?

With multi-engine airplanes, you also have the "option" of at least extending range during a single engine failure. This thing appears to apply thrust upwards to "lift" the aircraft as the wings do on a normal plane. What happens when an engine (think wing) fails on this? Does it just flip out of control (imagining multiple sets of these on a passenger plane applying lift to different areas of the fuselage).?

parachute? (1)

Lazy Jones (8403) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526288)

looks like a parachute might work, as there's no rotors or anything else that could interfere.

It slices! It dices! (1)

Cyy (2141450) | more than 3 years ago | (#36526372)

Its the SlapChop(tm) of the air!
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