Transwing – a revolutionary VTOL?

Not much seems genuinely new in the current drone age. Most things we have seen before. But the Pterodynamics team with whom we spoke with last night on Drone Stuff This Week seem to be onto something.

The wings of their eVTOL fold, and the method seems to make for really smooth transitions into an efficient fixed wing platform.

There are many points to take away from last nights chat, the bit I still have to get my head around is the weight distribution and benefits of it. All explained, but I will have to watch again. Its batteries are in the wings to achieve it’s unusual CG requirements and of course free up space in the fuselage for sensors or cargo.

Transitions do look effortless and the platform is currently flown with a KK board but is moving to Ardupilot code.

Pterodynamics are absolutely on my ones to watch list.

Our patented aircraft design has the highest performance metrics of any VTOL aircraft. Given any aircraft footprint size and payload requirements, Transwing aircraft will fly several times as far as any VTOL competitor

The secret is that our patented Transwing aircraft design is a pure rotor wing when taking off and landing and transitions by folding and rotating its wings into a fixed-wing aircraft for forward flight. A rotor wing configuration is an optimal design for stable takeoff, landing, and hover, and a fixed wing configuration is the optimal design for flying long distances very fast carrying a heavy payload using the least amount of energy possible. Transwing is the only aircraft design that transitions between these two optimal configurations.

The Transwing will have a profound and positive impact on the entire aviation industry and will make possible whole industry segments, including drone delivery, air taxis and personal flying transport.

Our Transwing design provides many key advantages:

  • Most importantly, they are as stable and efficient during takeoff, landing and hover as a helicopter or multicopter,
  • Yet as efficient for horizontal flight as any fixed wing aircraft, permitting significantly higher speeds, flight efficiency and lift-to-drag ratios than a helicopter or multicopter. Transwing aircrafts can easily have lift-to-drag ratios greater than 20 because they have the advantage of having their wings folded back when taking off and landing and while on the ground, so the wings can be significantly longer than other VTOL aircraft designs.
  • The in-flight transition of the folding wings enabled by our proprietary wing joint is extremely rapid and seamless due to uniquely benign aerodynamics of all the intermediate configurations during transition. The large dihedral and swept back angle of the wings during transition results in an angle of attack that never exceeds 20 degrees while flying horizontally, which reduces buffeting and flow separation, making the transitions smooth and natural.
  • Because of their folded wing configuration, Transwing aircraft designs are extremely compact for ground storage and during takeoff, landing and hover, with a full-scale four-passenger vehicle being just 18 feet wide by 23 feet long.
  • Payload capacities can be as much as 40% or even more of maximum takeoff weight. Quadcopters are famous for their ability to lift multiples of their own weight. Because Transwing aircrafts fold to a fully functioning quadcopter (or other multicopter) configuration for takeoff and landing, its payload can be as high as that of any other quadcopter, minus the weight of its wings and empennage.
  • Transwing aircrafts can use either wet fuel or distributed electric propulsion, which offers redundancies, is very reliable, much more quiet and efficient than internal combustion engines and are less expensive to build, maintain and operate, not to mention that they are much better for the environment with zero emission.
  • Transwing aircraft have the same cruise and maximum speed profiles as conventional fixed wing aircraft.
  • It’s possible to have Transwing configurations where all the motors are used for both takeoff and landing as well as forward flight so that there is no superfluous motor in either configuration causing unnecessary weight or drag.
  • Fuselage always stays parallel to the ground. This is critical when carrying people and other payloads that should not be shifted significantly during flight as well as for vehicles whose primary missions include carrying first-person-view (FPV) and other cameras and sensors that must be kept in a fixed orientation throughout the flight profile, from takeoff through cruise to landing, including transitioning to hover in mid-flight if that is part of the mission requirement (e.g., for conducting inspections where the aircraft must convert to hover for an extended inspection before transitioning back to forward flight to the next inspection location).
  • Vehicles can range in size from <5 lbs to 75,000 lbs.

Our patented design is truly a breakthrough for distance VTOL aircraft. As an example, our all-electric VTOL aircraft designed to carry a 5 lb payload (Parus5c™) is 18% smaller, flies more than 6x as long (100 minutes vs 13 minutes) and more than 12x as far (80 miles vs 6 miles) than the otherwise most performant VTOL aircraft of a similar size and payload capacity, the DJI Matrice 200 with their highest capacity TB50 battery pack.

Comparison of performance metrics of the Transwing Parus5c as compared to the otherwise most performant VTOL aircraft in the world with a similar size and payload, the DJI Matrice 200 with its highest capacity TB50 battery pack.

Comparison of performance metrics of the Transwing Parus5c as compared to the otherwise most performant VTOL aircraft in the world with a similar size and payload, the DJI Matrice 200 with its highest capacity TB50 battery pack.

Vehicle Specifications for Various Transwing Aircraft Models

Specifications for some of our Transwing aircraft. Note that the Transwing aircraft design can be optimized to balance payload, range, duration/endurance, and/or speed requirements. We can design Transwing aircraft that range in weight from less than 5 lbs to over 75,000 lbs and can be all-electric, hybrid electric with turboshaft engines or even all conventional wet fuel engines, which may be the most practical for much larger vehicles (i.e., greater than 10,000 lbs). Transwing can be ruggedized for harsh conditions such as for combat and for maritime and/or desert conditions in a wide range of operating climates. Transwing aircraft can be fitted with a range of communications and payload packages.

Our claims are not just theoretical. We have a working prototype with a four-foot wingspan (Parus4) that we’ve flown 100+ times that proves our assertions, and we have hovered the first of our two Parus12 aircraft with 12-foot wingspans, which are 1/4 scale of our 2-passenger vehicle (see video). Soon we will have our Parus12 aircraft in full flight, complete with in-flight wing transitions.

Our aircraft design is so much more performant than any other that it will literally be impossible to be competitive in any business that requires aircraft to takeoff and land without a runway and fly long distances unless you use one of our aircraft.

It’s like introducing a car that gets 500 mpg and cruises at 200 mph in a world where the most efficient cars get only 50 mpg and have a max speed of 100 mph. We’re not counting on better batteries, motors, controllers or software; it’s all in our novel aircraft design.

Variations of the design are possible depending on the particular application, including additional props and protected props.