Conceptual Design and Wind Tunnel Test of a Disk Shaped, Rotorless, High Speed VTOL Aircraft

Period of Performance: 09/29/1998 - 08/31/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Gordon OW Aircraft Ltd. (goal)
3355 E. Spring Street, Suite 211
Long Beach, CA 90806
Principal Investigator


In view of the establishment of the preliminary feasibility of the unique HSVTOL aircraft concept and its potential to perhaps double the capability of current VTOLs in speed and range, the overall goal of Phase II is to perform work that reduces technical risks and leads to a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) flight test demonstration. A major milestone is to demonstrate that the fan of the PoC HSVTOL can produce adequate thrust to enable takeoff out-of-ground effect. This is in view of the previous 1960's test of the Avro car that failed to develop design vertical thrust. The conceptual design of Phase I of a 45' diameter aircraft is modified with circular planform aerosurfaces and new proprietary features. Detailed design of the pilotless 15' diameter PoC demonstrator is conducted especially at the interface of the fan assembly and the fuselage (bearings, seal and ducting). Further, design is conducted on the demonstrator flight controls and radio control links to reduce the long lead development time of the flight control software and hardware. The fan assembly thrust capability is tested first with roller wheels and then with air bearings using an electric motor to drive the fan assembly.