Can also be found here - Project T
Currently version 2 has been designed but a lack of financial resources has postponed building the UAV
World 1st - Asymmetric propulsion system for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Enabling efficient Vertical Take-Off & Landing for future aircraft
This project aims to demonstrate the novelty, feasibility, benefits, and potential applications of asymmetric propulsion for aerial vehicles
This involves a quad rotor UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) with a large coaxial rotor for VTOL (vertical take off and landing) combined with 2 small rotors for balance as well as forward flight capability
Some of the chassis design requires tailored hardware, the software will also require modification to account for thrust differentials
Stability can be analysed through simulation and testing
Ultimately the asymmetric quad rotor can be encapsulated in a blended body fixed wing airfoil to fully demonstrate a hybrid asymmetric propulsion system
This is where the large coaxial rotor provides the majority of thrust for VTOL and the UAV quickly transitions to forward flight by tilting the smaller rotors forwards and utilising the airfoils to generate lift and allow the UAV to fly as a fixed wing aircraft.
Fixed wing aircraft are more efficient than rotary wing (quadcopters, helicopters, etc) in forward flight but are less agile and therefore not capable of landing without suitable infrastructure such as runways. This lack of agility in fixed wing aircraft limits their applications.
Combing both propulsion methods into a hybrid propulsion system results in one or both systems to be inefficient to a degree where the aircraft becomes unfeasible.
This is known through some basic physics relating to airfoils, for instance;
A large diameter, low pitch, slow rotating, 2-blade, hummingbird shaped propeller is optimal for hovered flight.
For forward flight, greater velocity correlates to more blades per propeller, more aggressively pitched blades, faster rotating blades.
Optimising efficiency can allow for a feasible novel VTOL aircraft by combining and optimising both propulsions systems.
The main concern is a resulting increase in complexity with regards to the issue of having different propulsion systems working together.