Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slow Rotor Imaginations

I love the slow rotor technology developed by Carter Aviation Technologies.  It is a smart vertical takeoff and landing craft with long range.  Hopefully it will find a good market in aviation.  The engineering being this tech is pretty impressive.  As cool as it is as it is, I love to imagine what technologies can do if they were configures or applied differently.

What if the Carter Copter had a different wing configuration?  Actually I was thinking about a lifting body configuration.  Now that may sound strange or even insane, but bear with me a minute.  The wings on the Carter Copter are long and thin.  They are not used to provide lift during takeoff and landings, the rotor does that.  They are to provide lift during cruise at speed.  A lifting body needs speed to provide lift.  In fact it needed a lot of speed even to land.  So it could be a good candidate for the Carter Copter.

Now, the engineering needed to fashion an appropriate lifting body for the Carter Copter has to be creative. The lifting body has to provide lift for the craft at cruise, stability for flight, and allow for enough down wash of air from the rotors for takeoff and landing.  I imagine a rather thin one with a rounded nose and a bulbous dorsal.  The benefit of a lifting body to the craft is that it would have less drag while in cruise increasing the lift to drag ratio.  It should also provide a good volume inside the body for accommodate crew, passengers, and cargo.  Could such a lifting body be designed?  Would its performance be better than wings?  Would it be stable enough?  Would it really be worth it?  These are the questions engineering would answer on paper.  Some major aerodynamics would be utilized in such a project.

Let's take this tech to the next level.  Could it be pushed to supersonic speeds?  Lifting bodies can even do hypersonic speeds.  The real question could the rotor be designed in such a way to handle such speeds.  The rotor was redesigned by Carter Aviation Technologies just to crate the slow rotor tech.  What design changes would you have to make to handle transonic speeds?  Doesn't it get you thinking?  You could end up with a supersonic aircraft that doesn't have to land or take off from pavement, let alone a runway.

Such musings are fun for me.  You can take an existing technology and turn it into so much more.  Of course, it's just musings.  Reality has a tendency to shatter dreams.  Proof is in the numbers and experiments though.  Those can be just as fun.