FanWing: A Revolution in Flight Technology?

This cool site shows an extremely odd airplane.

The FAQs make these claims:

What are the advantages of FanWing over other forms of flight?

FanWing is quiet, stable in turbulence, and slow. It already achieves virtually vertical takeoff. FanWing cannot stall. Its already established efficiency in lift and thrust makes FanWing highly space and fuel economical. The FanWing is also simple, has few high-tech materials requirements and therefore has low maintenance and construction costs.

I don’t know what to make of this, but figure our gang of aircraft afficianados would find it interesting.

11 thoughts on “FanWing: A Revolution in Flight Technology?”

  1. Well, the assembly of blades could be replaced with a smooth cylinder. The Magnus effect would produce similar flight characteristics to what they propose.

  2. Interesting. Slow flying speed appears to be a downside of this technology. Also, the fan has to be invulnerable to jamming (I assume this is why the literature specifically mentions bird impacts as an issue that the developers need to look at). Looks like a promising idea that needs a lot of work.

  3. Maybe it’s a hoax — I haven’t seen it with my own eyes. But the videos look real. And there was some newspaper coverage of it, where the guy said he saw the model flying. So, whether it is worth building a larger version is one question, but it looks like the model at least does get off the ground.

  4. I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think it’s just one of many inventions that are probably more complex to develop than is initially apparent, and whose practical applications aren’t clear.

    What is this technology good for? It’s possible to make slow-flying RPVs using current, simpler, cheaper technology. The inventor envisions a flying truck, but road trucks already exist and are cheap. Maybe you could use flying trucks to build and supply remote dwellings and communities, without having to build roads, but then the slow speed of the vehicle might be an issue, and lots of people like roads. Maybe it would be useful as a helicopter substitute for transportation into and out of cities.

    I’m not saying it won’t be successful. However, it will be difficult to raise substantial development funds unless someone comes up with a reasonably profitable application for this technology, or can demonstrate that it will be cheaper than current technologies that do similar things.

  5. I had a little plastic model plane like that when I was a kid, noisy clacky thing, and it wore out very quickly, but when it was new it flew well.

  6. It’s not a hoax. Anyone who dismisses a strange idea without any investigation isn’t much of a scientist. They have built several flying models, and have done wind tunnel tests in England.

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