AeroCopter is to develop a scale-model flight demonstrator prototype for its mono tiltrotor (MTR) vertical lift-off and landing aircraft following the completion of a detailed design.
Seeking funding to support the work, the Boston, Massachusetts-based-AeroCopter's MTR vehicle has a single turbine driving a ducted fan pusher propeller and the electromagnetically driven 8.2m (27ft)-diameter ring that encircles the fuselage. Lift is generated by the rotor blades of the ring, which has counter-rotating upper and lower halves. A driveshaft linking the ring to the turbine uses permanent magnets to turn the ring, which has many more magnets located at short intervals around its circumference. Once at 1,000ft (305m) altitude the ring is tilted through 87° and locked in place.
AeroCopter has designed a 1,320kg (2,900lb) two-seat personal air vehicle with a cruise speed of at least 220kt (405km/h) and a range of 555km (300nm). There is also an unmanned air vehicle version.
AeroCopter's work has been supported by YAS Ventures with "a few millions of dollars" of investment, according to Siamak Yassini, who founded AeroCopter in 2000. A static model was built with a 2.1m-diameter ring to test alternate technologies for turning it and a structural engineering analysis was carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology three years ago.