Austrian research and development company CycloTech is transforming the Voith Schneider propeller (VSP) into a revolutionary, superior propulsion system (“Cyclogyro rotor”) for the aviation industry.
The company’s vision is to combine the benefits of rotary and fixed-wing concepts, by bringing together vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), fast and efficient forward flight, and extremely high maneuverability.
CycloTech’s patented technology is currently the only Cyclogyro rotor concept in the world delivering high rotation speed, sufficient thrust, and efficient energy consumption for a truly competitive alternative system for aircraft propulsion.
A statement from the company said, “It combines the advantages of vertical take-off and landing with those of efficient forward flight, without having to rely on airfoils. The propulsion system thus permits a compact design of the aircraft and offers an alternative for air taxis and drones when greater distances are involved.”
A Cyclogyro rotor consists of multiple blades which rotate about a central axis and which are connected to a rotatably-mounted hub. A shift of this hub from the rotation centre of the rotor leads to a cyclical movement of the blades. This accelerates the air flow through the rotor and generates thrust. The power and direction of the thrust can be controlled directly by positioning the hub. For a constant speed and rotation direction, the direction and magnitude of the thrust can be changed 360 degrees about the rotation axis within fractions of a second. Each propulsion system can also be controlled separately if three or more Cyclogyro rotors are used in aircraft. Vertical take-off and landing and a stable transition to forward flight are thus possible.
CycloTech, with ts 15 employees, expect to have an 80 kg flying demonstration model by the end of 2020 to highlight the technology, and demonstrate the ability to customize the Cyclogyro rotors for specific applications such as urban air mobility.