’Copter For You?
A ROCKET-POWERED HELICOPTER that uses hydrogen peroxide for
fuel and provides up to 50 minutes of flight time will be on the
market this year. The rocket motors on Swisscopter’s Dragonfly
DF1 contain a catalyst that transforms the hydrogen peroxide into
high-pressure steam to drive the rotor blades. The Dragonfly DF1
is slated to fly at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010, using a 50 percent
H2O2 mixture. It is capable of a cruise speed of 40 mph, top speed
of 115 mph, and a 2,300 feet per minute rate of climb. A two-seat
version is under development by the Tucson-based company. To
learn more, visit www.SportAviation.org.
For more information and direct links to all the AeroInnovations stories, visit www.SportAviation.org.
AEROINNOVATIONS highlights developments that have potential to impact the future of aviation. EAA does not necessarily endorse the ideas, products, services, or views stated.
THREE-TIME WORLD CHAMPION
hang glider Manfred Ruhmer has
designed a motorized trike for
the laminar wing under which he
has flown to world champion sta-tus. The Icaro 2000 electric trike
can be powered by the Geiger/
Eck electric motor-controller-folding propeller combination.
Depending on battery pack, endurance is up to 40 minutes (plus
thermals); pricing is from $11,000
SHOOTING FOR MACH 6
The U.S. Air Force is planning
test flights of its X- 51 Waverider,
the first U.S. hypersonic
aircraft to fly in six years. In
development since 2003, the
missile-shaped X- 51 may lead
to applications for hypersonic
technology such as superfast
airplanes, missiles, and reusable
space launch vehicles. When
tests are carried out, the Boeing-built X- 51 with Pratt & Whitney
Rocketdyne scramjet engine will
rocket to Mach 6, or more than
7,400 kilometers per hour.
AURORA FLIGHT SCIENCES, the
company behind the solar
version of the 1989 Daedalus
aircraft, has completed the
fabrication and initial tests
of an advanced wing design.
The wing section, with 22-foot
span, is constructed entirely
of composites and lightweight
plastics. Its upper surface
is covered with advanced
solar cells that ae designed to
power aircraft with potential
wingspans of hundreds of feet.
ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS LIKE a flying
saucer, the shape of the Russian
Locomoskayner is designed to
minimize drag. The helium-filled airship, already in use
for geographical surveys, has
a crew of two to eight people,
but the company is hoping to
build a super-size model with a
capacity of 600 metric tons, or
about four times as much as an
Anotov AN- 124.