An innovative bladeless vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft concept has revealed its ability to reach speeds of 0.8 Mach (614mph) during testing. The figure makes it quicker than a Boeing Dreamliner and twice as fast as tiltrotor designs.
Created by a Seattle-based ariel mobility firm, Jetoptera, the firm explains that, “The technology presents several fundamental advantages over VTOL legacy systems, emitting lower, atonal noise and benign exhaust temperatures while eliminating rotors or propellers.”
According to the firm, its proprietary Fluidic Propulsion System (FPS) enables the airplane to take off and land vertically yet accelerate to jet speeds in forward flight configuration- a High-Speed VTOL (HSVTOL). The firm reported the data after it completed a fourth Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awarded by the US Air Force. Jetoptera has also partnered with Scaled Composites for the “design of the high lift system and test article, as well as the conceptual design of the high-speed VTOL aircraft.”
It a unique technology that makes use of fluid dynamics. Devices that use fluid dynamics have replaced the absence of spinning blades. These devices leverage small amounts of moving air to push through a much larger amount of outside air and generate thrust. A gas generator was used in earlier designs to compress air for the process, owing to its lightweight and being an efficient source of pressurized fluid.
According to the company, “It can be implemented in various geometric shapes, can be embedded with the airframe, and has no propellers or rotating parts. The system is used in all phases of flight.”
A number of firsts have been reported by the firm with its testing for the SBIR project with an electric air compressor feeding the FPS thruster-ejectors, optimization of a high-lift flap system, and demonstration of lift coefficients exceeding 8.0 – up to 40 percent better than propeller-blown wings results. Hence, the design validation is expected in first half of 2023.