For over 100 years, propellers have been the propulsion method of choice for aircraft, helicopter, and boat manufacturers. With the rise of multi-rotor technology, the limitations of this ancient method of propulsion have placed a glass ceiling on emerging industries such as drone delivery and “flying cars.” Besides the obvious safety issues, the faster that a blade rotates the more inefficient it becomes at transferring energy into thrust. A key reason for this upper limit on economies of RPM is that the faster a blade spins, the more prominent the vortex geometry becomes in the mass flow, which is parasitic to propulsion. This constrains both payload and range. Continue reading
While catching up on the news yesterday, I came across an article called “Flying cars get closer to reality.” Of course, I had to check it out. To my delight it described the first test flight of Terrafugia’s The Transition®.
To add a little perspective to my excitement in reading this, back in the summer of 2010 we issued a press release about this very flying car. Continue reading