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Rotor aeroplanes

steelpillow

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A rotor aeroplane has a spinning horizontal-axis rotor which acts like a fixed wing to provide lift in forward flight. It may have additional wing and/or control surfaces, or may or may not have some VTOL abilities. The type has long been studied, but few experimental examples have - or might have - flown. A Magnus rotor is a spinning cylinder or similar, a wing rotor is a symmetrical wing which spins around an axis along its span. This thread is for all of them. Please add anything you can.

J W Dunne was one of the first, though I am repeating a little of what I have posted about him elsewhere. At some point between 1900 and 1904 he began methodical experiments on them and kept notes. Some of these notes survive, torn from an exercise book. About a dozen concern various Magnus and wing rotors, the next batch all kinds of weird wing planforms, some curled up at the back. Most are sketched. One Science Museum curator described them as "rotor aeroplanes", Dunne took out a couple of provisional patents and one of these survives in the Science Museum's archives. They are the design that he left with HG Wells when he went back to the Boer War in 1902. If you have an illustrated copy of HG Wells' The War in the Air you can see the general kind of thing, based loosely on materials Dunne had sent to Wells, "fluttering round Nelson's column". One was the first stable aeroplane he discovered, in 1904, and wrote about - he has oft been quoted out of place on the mistaken assumption that his words applied to his later, and also stable, tailless swept wing. He abandoned his rotors on the advice of Lord Rayleigh, who thought they would be unreliable in practice. I tell a little more about them here:
http://www.steelpillow.com/blocki/dunne/Dunne-aero.html#rotor

Next up, Charles Gligorin
 

steelpillow

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Charles Gligorin was an Austrian who came to England in the Summer of 1925 to promote his design for a rotor aeroplane. What follows is a composite taken from:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/2133165
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/53313716/
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/35582071/
http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/maltribune19250818-1.2.77
http://alternathistory.livejournal.com/1331333.html (Russian)

SPACE KILLER: A ROTOR AEROPLANE
A young aeronautical engineer named Charles Gligorin has arrived in London with the plans of an entirely new kind of aeroplane. The "space killer" is a new monoplane on the rotor principle, but he was unable to gain funding in his Austrian homeland or in Germany. The Air Ministry has offered to build an experimental model on his specifications.
The new monoplane is based on an application of the rotor principle used in the Flettner Rotor ships.
Among remarkable claims made for the machine are:— It can rise almost vertically from the ground like a helicopter; its speed is three times greater than the fastest 'plane of a similar size at present; economy would be effected up to 33 per cent. It rotor, which takes the place of the wings. At the axis ot the rotor is an ordinary 240-h.p. engine driving a propeller on the ordinary principle. A speed of anything over 300 miles an hour is claimed, which would bring Battery Point, New York, within 12 hours of London!
If his claims are borne out by tests, then such a journey will no longer be a "flight of fancy."
Gligorin claims that its speed is three times that of the fastest existing machine of its own size; and that its use will involve an economy of 33 per cent. The British Air Ministry offered to build an experimental model on his specifications.
Gligorin has been helped in his work by the competition of nations to secure his invention. The French Government has taken enormous interest in his experiments and he has received offers from private interests in New York.
Also, if the claim for vertical take-off and landing can be sustained, it would be possible to erect landing stages in the very heart of great cities, so that a passenger would only have to ascend in an elevator in one city and similarly descend in another a few hours later.
Although the principle used in the Flettner ships has been applied, the new monoplane does not depend solely for its power on its rotor, which takes the place of the wings. At the axis of the rotor is an ordinary 240 horsepower engine driving a propeller on the ordinary principle.
The fuselage itself is of metal construction with a stream-line body. The pilot's scat is forward of his engine, behind a transparent shield, because of the terrific wind pressure.
At the present time it now takes over seven minutes for a monoplane to rise to the height of 1,000 feet. Gligorin claims that his machine will take only ninety seconds.
He also claims that the machine possesses "safety" properties in respect of engine failure which would materially minimize the risks of flying.
It is stated that there is no limit to the size to which the machine may be developed from the present dimensions of the model, and the actual shape of the fuselage is particularly well suited to passenger carrying.
 

steelpillow

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Some bedtime reading:

Sigurd J. Savonius; The Wing rotor: In Theory and Practice, self-published, 1925. http://kho.unis.no/doc/savonius_kirja.pdf

Foshag, W.F. and Boehler, G.D.; "Review and Preliminary Evaluation of Lifting Horizontal-Axis Rotating-Wing Aeronautical Systems (HARWAS)", Aerophysics Co., 1969. http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/857462.pdf

Seifert, Jost; "A Review of the Magnus Effect in Aeronautics", Progress in Aerospace Sciences Vol. 55, Elsevier, 2012, pages 17–45. http://students.iitk.ac.in/projects/wiki/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=2014:seifert_flettner_apps.pdf
 

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