Tuesday, August 22, 2017
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Vertical Take-Off and Landing Robot Advance!

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Aerial Robot Breakthrough!  In a recent NASA study, “Benefits of Hybrid-Electric Propulsion to Achieve 4x Increase in Cruise Efficiency for a VTOL Aircraft,” fascinating new VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft designs were revealed that are now being tested as UAVs.  Electric propulsion is ideal because of the mismatch between the huge power requirement to take-off or land vertically, versus sustaining horizontal flight.  A key aspect of the design is the distributed power systems, i.e., multiple motors mounted at many points across the airframe, which simplifies the mechanics. This configuration is said to be 4X more aerodynamically efficient than a conventional helicopter design, and it permits a 4X increase in range and endurance. For details, visit

www.ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20140001088

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