Issue: Apr 2007


Skyflyer Conducts Experiment Showing Vertical Thrust Potential of Skyflyer VTOL Design



by John Larkin

Skyflyer Technology GmbH, has conducted an experiment indicating that 400 hp of mechanical energy should be sufficient to enable its VTOL prototype to achieve vertical lift-off.

Skyflyer Technology placed two conventional propeller units facing downwards and connected them to a motorcycle engine with a maximum output capacity of approximately 150 hp. The engine's transmission was rotated by 90 degrees so that the drive shaft was able to power the two propellers via a toothed drive belt. The entire apparatus was then placed onto four standing pipes that allowed the propeller apparatus to move up and down. These pipes were then placed on four load cells which indicated the amount of force being exerted.

Measurements were first taken of the overall weight of the propeller apparatus with the engine turned off. The total amount of kilogram-force, or kiloponds, generated by the propellers was then calculated by measuring the decrease in weight with the engine and the propellers turned on, as compared to the weight of the apparatus with the engine turned off. Measurements taken by Skyflyer Technology's team of experts indicated that, with the engine operating at maximum capacity, approximately 300 kp of vertical force was generated. Operating at a decreased output of approximately 100 hp, the propeller apparatus generated approximately 200 kp of force.

Skyflyer Technology's technical experts believe the above experiment indicates that its conceptual design for a VTOL flying unit will be able to achieve lift-off based on current design dimensions. Skyflyer Technology's prototype design calls for four downward facing propellers to be powered by two to four engines with a maximum output capacity of approximately 100 hp per engine. The entire VTOL unit is expected to weigh approximately 400 kg. As a result of the above experiment, Skyflyer Technology expects that three or four engines, generating a total of 300 to 400 hp, should be able to generate approximately 600 kp to 800 kp of vertical force, which would be more than sufficient to allow the prototype to achieve lift-off.

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