Hummingbird tailsitter aircraft


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26 May 2006
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Sorry to dig up an old thread. But this isnt a tail sitter. In fact the designer goes into reasons specifically for why this isnt a tail sitter IIRC.
Its supposed to be 'the last word' in aerobatic aircraft.

A VTOL Hummingbird?
I have considered this VTOL variation of the Hummingbird configuration for some time, in response to the question: “Well, if it can hover, why not make it vertical takeoff!” In the case of Hummingbird, this would involve simply shortening the tail (increasing its area in the process) and placing a landing gear there. Voila, a personal VTOL airplane!

While feasible, the idea does have its problems. The configuration would be very unstable on the ground—a high wind might topple you over. Landing ass-backwards would be a trick; you would have to learn to use mirrors or be prepared for a big crick in your neck. And as for climbing in. . .

In short, other configurations are probably better for VTOL. Let’s just let Hummingbird takeoff and land on a runway and leave its tail alone.
This raises some questions for me....

When you think about it, many roles fulfilled by a helicopter do not, in fact, usually require off-airport vertical take-off and landing, just the ability to hover or perform a low-speed orbit around a point on the ground.

Are there any other examples of aircraft that can hover, or nearly so, but still take-off and land horizontally? Are there any projects or prototypes of aircraft which have proposed that kind of operation?

Off the top of my head I can only think of the Vought XF5U-1 Flying Flapjack, which was expected to be able to hover as well as perform super-STOL operations with those big radial engines powering enormous, flapping variable pitch props. Any more?


Most helicopters with wheeled undercarriage and a bit of runway/tarmac take the opportunity for a rolling takeoff. Burns a lot less fuel and engine high RPM hours.
Now this really IS a hummingbird tailsitter (Nano air vehicle from Aerovironment)


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