This video shows the Fanwing unmanned air vehicle flying on the practice day at the ParcAberporth Unmanned Systems 2008 event. Fanwing uses a bladed rotor turning on a horizontal axis that acts like a thick, high-lift wing, giving it a short take-off capability.

More information here.

Found by ECA.




  1. Jägermeister says:

    This VIDEO SHOWS the Fanwing unmanned air vehicle flying ON the practice DAY at the ParcAberporth Unmanned SYSTEMS 2008 event. Fanwing USES a bladed ROTOR TURNING on a horizontal AXIS that ACTS LIKE a thick, high-lift wing, GIVING it a SHORT take-off capability.

    Ah, THAT’S more like IT. Nice INTENTIONS of fixing the CAPS, hhopper.

    What SCARES me IS the 2KG payload… IS IT to terminate DRIVERS WHO drive to FAST?

    Good FIND ECA!

    [Stop it Jäg! – ed.]

  2. BubbaRay says:

    This is great tech for RPV / UAV craft with payloads. Nice lift to weight ratio. Shame there’s no spec for gallons / hour / lb. payload or dB noise level for size. Although not as complicated as a rotorcraft, it could be expensive to maintain.

    I’d hate to see what happens during a bird strike.

    [They just walk in a circle with picket signs. – ed.]

  3. Chris Mac says:

    I’d love to see what happens during a bird strike 😉

  4. Mark Derail says:

    #1 – I can SEE what you DID there Jäg

    In relation to the tech, this is actually more interesting than using ducted fans.

    Scaled up, finally we would get the flying car?

  5. Gasbag says:

    FLYING CAR HA HA HA. I find the idea one big joke.Come you going to take the traffic problems of today and put them in the air. Would give the term “Car Accident” new meaning?

  6. Drunken Duck says:

    Neat plane but couldn’t they have found a gal that didn’t have a crow’s voice or that kept repeating herself with stupid questions…

  7. Paul Camp says:

    This idea pops up from time to time. They’re called Flettner rotors because Anton Flettner stood two of them on end and used them as sails on a ship named Buckau. They depend on the Magnus effect to act as an airfoil.

    They have the same problem Flettner discovered and which there really isn’t any way to get around — you need to spin them to create an airfoil. On top of that, you need energy to propel the craft forward. That makes them intrinsically less efficient than stationary airfoils where you only need energy for propulsion.

  8. Paul Camp says:

    Addendum: Flettner created his rotor airfoil in 1922. Nothing new here. Move along.

  9. BubbaRay says:

    #7,8, Paul Camp, I knew I’d seen this before. Enclosing the rotors does add some efficiency, but your statement re: stationary airfoils is essentially correct. More info on the Magnus effect can be found here. Scroll down to the java simulator.

  10. Jopa says:

    What an extremely cool idea!
    It should be interesting as a payload carrier.
    It’s loitment time is impressive

  11. Maddog says:

    This one might be a bit different as it is a rotation object or fan as part of a fixed airfoil. Would be interesting to use for short take off then cove rover rotating airfoil once in flight and power normally. If you could use a power take off from the standard jet engine to run the foils during take off and landing it would be very interesting.

  12. GigG says:

    Great for small UAVs but I don’t see that scaling up very well. Even to the size of a Cessna 172.

  13. Mr. Fusion says:

    #13, Gig,

    I agree. These things have a tendency to work well in small prototypes but lose their advantage when scaled up to a usable size.

  14. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz says:

    I doubt it will work full size.

    I’ve build small air craft that use wounded up Rubber Bands!!

  15. bruce armstrong says:

    wasn’t that on the cover of popular mechanics in 1948?

  16. okyredneck says:

    In it’s present form,A marble and A good slingshot could bring it down. However scaled up to say, A cesna 150 at 45 mph it would be a great target for A “BOLO” or A lasso tied to A tree! Lousy spy plane, great target plane though!

  17. Southwood says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the first viable use of this type of craft is for surveillance. Very soon there will be no privacy to any of us. I like the tech. but can’t we find a use for something like this that doesn’t include a violation of our freedom?

  18. bearcat says:

    Nice STOL could give the Osprey some competition down the road. Now just imagine with some modifications. Such as servo motors in the wing which could gradually transform wing shape as a more conventional propulsion system internally powers up such as a turbo fan jet speed could be increased..Then you would have the best of both worlds.


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