Date:14 April 2010
Meet the Puffin, a concept design that's part plane, part helicopter and that stands upright on the ground. Its tail splits into four "legs" that serve as landing gear. It lifts off like a helicopter, hovers and then leans forward to fly horizontally with the pilot lying down like in a hang-glider.
This conceptual design focuses on the ability of a redundant electric propulsion system to provide new capabilities for Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft. Specifically utilising electric motor variable r/m to accomplish a low tipspeed prop-rotor (120 m/sec tip speed at hover and 60 m/sec at cruise) to accomplish an order of magnitude reduction in community noise for close proximity operations (30-40 dB reduction). The variable r/m capability also achieves a 25 per cent improvement in prop-rotor efficiency through operation at optimal advance ratios.
Video credit: Nasa
Read related story: The Puffin – a passion for personal flight