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Austrian research firm IAT21 has unveiled a radically new type of aircraft that could render the helicopter obsolete.
D-Dalus can 'approach as gently and silently as a hot air balloon', say its developers, hover, rotate in any direction and fly as fast as a jet.
The propulsion system consists essentially of four sets of contra-rotating disks, each driven at 2,200 rpm by a conventional aero-engine. The disks are surrounded by blades whose angle of attack can be altered using servos, allowing thrust in any direction.
Apparently, it's easier to fly than a helicopter, with a simple joystick control, and can be repaired by your average car mechanic.
But, they add, in trials it looks as if larger versions are actually more efficient and less complex, meaning there's no reason why it couldn't be used in passenger aircraft.
They also envisage it being used as a hovering platform to load and unload ships.
Right now, the biggest version can only lift a payload of 70kg, although IAT21 is now working with the UK's Cranfield University on a larger, more powerful version.
Originally posted by jude11
Can't seem to find info on what the fuel source would be? Any idea?
Thanks! Very interesting.