The Personal Tilt-Rotor
By Abe StreepFalx Air owner Simon Scott is designing a hybrid-electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) craft that he believes has the potential to revolutionize medevacs and personal air transportation. Scott envisions a craft that would be capable of zooming across the sky at 230 miles an hour, tilting its wings and rotors up, hovering, and setting down at the scene of an automobile wreck. He has spent the last eight years designing VTOL and currently is bench-testing parts that would make up the aircraft. VTOL boasts a hybrid system that has its engine power two generators and drive the rotors, while a battery pack stores leftover power from the generator and provides a huge burst of power for takeoffs, landings, and the transition to forward flying. The rotors on VTOL, which have a smaller surface area than those on a traditional helicopter, need the power boost for extra lift. The single-passenger version would not have heavy mechanical parts like jet engines and gear boxes, enabling it to weigh under 1,000 pounds. Scott needs an additional $5 million to build the prototype; and the aviation company in Staffordshire, England, wants to have it certified in January by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority.
November 12, 2008