Aerovel Autonomously Performs Takeoff, Flight, and Landing – Twice!

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

As explained on their YouTube posting, Aerovel’s autonomous flight of their Flexrotor aircraft shows a remarkable level of adaptability and control.  “In what are believed to be the first-ever flight cycles of an unmanned aircraft based on an unmanned boat, Flexrotor launches from a remotely-controlled skiff while underway, climbs out as a helicopter, transitions to wing-borne flight, images the skiff while flying at low and high speeds, transitions back to thrust-borne flight, and retrieves autonomously onboard. The aircraft then shuts down, is automatically refueled and restarted, and repeats the first flight, finally being secured onboard in a docking station.” Aerovel notes that the boat was radio controlled, but the Flexrotor Pandora flew the mission on its own and without human …

Thrust Testing Wingtip Puffers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Oliver Garrow, President of Garrow Aircraft, LLC in Mountain View, California, has been developing the Verticopter® concept for the last several years, and made a dinner presentation on his design at last year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Garrow’s Verticopter uses pivoting motors to provide vertical and horizontal thrust, with tip and tail thrusters fine tuning low-speed maneuvering capabilities. Verticopters will come in all sizes, with a single-seater ultralight as an entry-level machine and an inexpensive way to test the concept, especially when one uses a low-cost model aircraft motor unit from Turnigy (distributed by HobbyKing in Hong-Kong, P/N CA120-70), and a SPIN 300 Optically-isolated electronic speed controller (ESC) from Jeti for power – at least for the wing-tip thrusters.  The motor shown …