Well this is great news if we can start to dismantle the horrible hub system now used by airlines.
I wonder what the noise footprint of something like this will be - especially during transition to and from hover mode? If it's loud, (and looks like it might be), and one of the ideas is to bring passengers closer to their destinations, it may not be all that welcome for those who work or live nearby. Just thinking out loud.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. I think it will open up smaller airports to airlines and small shuttle companies. Perhaps it could be used to take more to places with only room enough for a large helicopter.
Surely the large rotors are electrically driven to cut down the huge weight of the mechanical drive system. I note the jet engines don't have fans - thus they are turboshafts. Jet engines now need to provide significant electrical power to aircraft - their conversion to turboshafts solely providing electric power is a logical development. Perhaps we are seeing the rise of electric powered fans for short hall thrust with power provided by compact turbo-shaft engines.
As long as the each rotor has sufficient capacity in an emergency loss of one rotor, an electric motor is primarily limited by increased self heating in providing extra power, which in an emergency is likely limited to seconds at full power rather than minutes.
Perhaps if the UK Government were to invest in this solution rather than 20 bn in the Heathrow expansion it would mean the London area could utilise the many runways it has at its disposal. There is not a lack of Runways in any major metro area just the infrastructure to join them up and the aircraft to utilise them. A A318 uses very nearly the same slot time as an A380, so take that traffic out of the equation and a lot of slots are released, no need for a third runway. Plus Northholt could now make sense as a sub-hub as it is only 5 miles away as the crow flies (or the tube tunnel goes). I could go on but I am sure you get the picture.
Looks problematic ; to give the lift, you need a big rotor, which means a big wingspan, which means thick heavy wings blocking the downflow. So would need novel materials. Probably just a speculative patent claim stake.
What will happen to the engines in horizontal flight, when the rotor blades go passed their intakes?
Why did they wait decades to design a passenger VTOL aircraft? Tremendous use and need for it. For example multiple aircraft can take off from different points at the airport if they are heading in different directions. Should end airport congestion. Would make thousands more airports usable. Would... the list of benefits is long.
To many moving parts in my opinion. Only person I would put on this thing is the mother in law!!
Stephen N Russell
Reuse 737, 767, 757, 777 airframes, , awesome.