Will ornithopters fly?

Published on June 07, 2017

Will ornithopters fly?

Historically, two types of aerodynamic flight have developed in the world - an airplane and a helicopter. In addition, each of them solves his problem - the plane provides good economic performance of long-distance transport, and the helicopter allows you to deliver cargo to where the aircraft cannot land.

I invite you to speculate about the existing structures of aircraft from a critical point of view. From the point of view that hardened airplanes and helicopter pilots do not like to talk about.

Let's start with the plane.

Any moving invention must have two tools of movement - the engine (which converts the accumulated energy of a substance into radiant) and the propeller (that which converts this energy into motion). And considering the plane from this position, we fall into a small logical impasse. In addition to the engine and propulsion, the aircraft also needs a wing, which allows it to use air as a support. But the trouble is that the air can be used as a support only at speed and the problem is that we have to carry this plane with us in order to keep ourselves in the air. Nature solved this question simply - she made the wing not only a carrier, but also a propeller. The man could not implement such an elegant decision and took the path of the separation of these functions. For this he paid by that the efficiency of conversion of fuel energy into motion is not high due to the low efficiency of the propeller, the wing becomes conditional ballast and creates most of the resistance — all of this affects efficiency. We have already reached the limit of development of this solution - then we can only increase the speed (we have already built the largest and most constructively high-quality aircraft: A380 and Boing 787).

In a helicopter, the task of combining propulsion and support is solved, but it is solved awfully! To simplify the design, engineers forced the wing-blade to rotate. In terms of hanging, this is the most effective solution. But it is worth forcing the helicopter to fly forward - this is a shaped energy recklessness. One blade flies to meet the flow, while the other runs away from it and on the delta of their lifting forces and a helicopter flies. This disgrace is expressed in the extreme inefficiency of helicopters in long-haul transport. On average, a helicopter spends four to five times more fuel per ton-kilometer than a plane!

Is it possible to solve this problem differently?

For 13 years I have been engaged in the development of maholet (ornithopters) apparatus potentially capable of resolving the contradictions that underlie traditional aviation transport.

At first glance, the very idea of ​​flying, as birds look archaic and not viable, but is it?

It is useless to theorize on this topic, since there is simply no aerodynamics of a flapping wing as a direction of science. Therefore, this task requires a large experimental base and research, which is what I actually do.

In 2013, we built the world's largest flying maholet with a take-off weight of 30 kg. The device looks ridiculous, but he allowed to give answers to some very important questions.



The main answer - you can fly with the help of wing beats!

But further mysteries became even more. The data that we obtained in terms of aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics do not fit into the aerodynamic models that we built on the basis of general aerodynamic laws. There are significant differences in a big way. Those. in spite of the terrible, at first glance, aerodynamic aerodynamic quality of the device is 12. That is, same as the plane. It `s very unusual.

What's next?

The biggest issue remains the issue of scope. Those. Is it even possible to build a large flywheel? The fact is that the very size of the flywalker is limited by the laws of physics. The moment of inertia of the wing increases in the fourth power of a linear size, and the strength in the second, i.e. there is a point after which a maholet cannot exist. It's all about the drive - the crank drive is terrible! And from the point of view of design and from the point of view of implementation - it is absolutely not suitable for maholet. The take-off weight limit of the flywheel with a crank drive is around 40 kilograms.

It took me two years to find the answer on how to make a maholet more than this limiting mass.
And now we are building a new device whose task is not just to prove the possibility of flight of the device with a flapping wing, but also to show its effectiveness in comparison with the aircraft and the helicopter.

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I am betting that the flywheels may well be competitors to multikopter because of their greater efficiency, as well as low noise (video is not an indicator, there was no silencer on the engine).

In the case of the success of our new experiment, it will be possible to build flywheels of almost any reasonable dimension, but I am personally interested in the aerotaxi segment with the possibility of vertical take-off and landing - an interesting variant of the future urban transport.