Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

RC-Blimp propulsion system on larger a larger scale

  1. Mar 5, 2013 #1
    Hi everyone, and thanks for reading my very first post in Physics Forums! I have been researching a way to construct a single person aircraft with vertical take-off and landing using a propulsion system similar to that of an RC-blimp. I found a video on youtube that illustrates the principle of how I would like the system to work, but on a much larger scale. Please view the following video before reading on:

    As you can see in the video, it is a "ducted fan" system with a motor underneath each prop. My question is, how large (hp/torque/displacement) of a motor and what type would I need to fit under a prop that would be able to lift not only the relatively small (<=300lb) aircraft body/frame, but also the pilot (<=250lb)?

    I look forward to hearing your input!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    In lighter than air craft such as blimps, the ducted fans do not provide the lift for the craft. They are used for propulsion and maneuvering. The envelope of the blimp contains a gas (usually helium) which is lighter than air. The principle of buoyancy is what enables the craft to stay aloft.
  4. Mar 6, 2013 #3
    I am aware that a blimp uses those ducted fans simply for directing is travel through the air. I am trying to see if it is possible to create a system that can both lift and direct. The Martin Jet Pack as seen in the link below uses ducted fans for lift, but the system is static. My ultimate question I guess is can this be done where the system is dynamic?

  5. Mar 6, 2013 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Why do you call that jetpack static? It would appear to have the mobility that you are looking for.

    And "jetpack" is a bit of a misnomer anyway, isn't it? It's powered by a V-4 engine, not jet combustion...
  6. Mar 6, 2013 #5
    When I say static, I mean that the ducted fans ON the jet pack are in a fixed position unlike the blimps ducted fans that rotate. Yes, the jet pack does have the ability to move around in the same manner I am looking for, but I am also not trying to copy their design. That's why I posted on this forum to see if this alternate concept with movable ducts with motors underneath each prop was even possible.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook