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Dec7-09, 03:26 PM
Cyrus's Avatar
P: 4,780
Quote Quote by rplatter View Post
Interesting problem.

I would suggest starting with something that already exists, like a gyrocopter.
And yes, I know they require forward momentum to get moving, but they are light and run on low power.
How is a gyrocopter going to hover?

If you could get the blade moving fast enough, you could achieve lift off.
That's fairly obvious...

Stability is another factor. Some Gyrocopters use gravity similar to the way a hanglider does. Shifting the weight of the pilot angles the collective.
Height would be controlled by speed of the blade. Rotation becomes the difficult part here. Both of the blades and of the craft. Possibly a counter rotating blade unit, or an angled fin projecting into the down draft. attaching power to the blade unit becomes touchy if you are using a free hanging pilot compartment. maybe a belt mechanism or a universal joint. I would offset the drive shaft from the blade hub so you could use some type of gearing at that point and to minimize the difficulty of construction.
Err....okay. Try getting a person to pedal around 1 HP and see if they are also able to shift their body weight around (This isnt going to happen).

Another approach would be to use laminar air flow and instead of a bunch of blades just have a saucer. If you spin a smooth plate it will force air out from the center. (Tesla turbine) shape it in a dome shape and the air going out will be directed down also.
The dome/saucer will also provide structural support to the entire structure.
I would imagine that a fairly soft but strong material could be used, a large mylar sheet or something. With a belt around the outside edge to provice rigidity. Just stretch it tight and smooth. You still have to deal with the craft rotation, but that may be simple.

Errr......okay. I'd like to see some calculations as to why you think this would work.