The Romanian creators of ADIFO or the All-Directional Flying Object say that it can operate as a quadcopter at low speeds and at high-speed doubles up as a jet-propelled and super-efficient supersonic aircraft with its entire body working as a low-drag wing. ADIFO has been designed for the sake of providing unparalleled aerial agility at various speeds.
According to the inventor and engineer Razvan Sabie, the ADIFO has been designed ‘to change the actual paradigm of flight’. Sabie worked in collaboration with the famous aerodynamicist Iosif Taposu (Senior Scientist at Romani’s National Institute for Aerospatial Research, and former Head of Theoretical Aerodynamics at the National Aviation Institute) for developing the concept. Sabie has built a working prototype already with a diameter of 1.2 meters and is all set for testing.
In simple terms, ADIFO is an aircraft that is disc-shaped with its entire body working as a wing. Particularly speaking, it has been designed to mimic the back half of a dolphin airfoil, radiating from the center towards all directions. The outer edge tapers to a thin ring thus making ADIFO very slippery during horizontal flight.
ADIFO features four ducted fans that are responsible for handling VTOL and slow speed maneuvers. It makes use of electric fans for the horizontal thrust. These electric fans can vector individual as well thus enabling the ADIFO to achieve a higher degree of agility during level flight. At high speeds, the quadcopter fans are covered with small discs that can come out on their own and make for a smoother profile.
ADIFO also has a set of two lateral thrust nozzles that are pointed out to each side. They operate similarly to the reaction control system thrusters on a spacecraft. During the horizontal flight, they can be engaged so that ADIFO can push itself rapidly sideways in any direction that it needs to go or even to rotate itself quickly. As per Sabie, this provides ADIFO with maneuvering capabilities that are unmatched by anything else that takes flight.
Furthermore, ADIFO can fly upside down regardless of whether it is in quadcopter mode or in horizontal flight. In fact, with the right jets, it will also prove to be highly efficient as it goes transonic and supersonic. Sabie has stated that thanks to the team’s , there will be no conventional sonic boom when it breaks the sound barrier. The team has plans for incorporating a pilot into the unmanned and radio-controlled disc.
As of right now, Sabie and Taposu are looking for partners that can help them to take the contraption into the next stage of development.