Perching Autonomous Aircraft Perfects Prop Hang

MIT aerobaticists (if that's a word) have been perfecting the flight maneuver known as the "prop hang," in which the fuselage is completely vertical and the thrust from the propeller balance the entire weight of the aircraft.

In the video shown below, a small model plane takes off and lands from a vertical perch on a pillar; about half-way through, the plane levels out into zippy horizontal flight, completing several quick laps around the pillar.


(Perching aircraft perfects prop hang)

The "prop hang" is particularly challenging because all of the plane's controls come into play and shifting one requires changing the others to compensate. The propeller provides lift, while the flaps on the wings prevent the body from spinning, and the tail controls the aeroplane's horizontal position. "It's like a dolphin standing on its tail," says Jonathan How, MIT.

Personally, this gives me hope that one day spacecraft will be able to take off and land on their tails, just as God and Robert Heinlein intended.


(Artwork by Ed Emshwiller, 1953)

Read more about perching aircraft at NewScientist and MIT.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/24/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Wristify, Your Personal Cooling and Heating Device
'By law [a mandatory cooling unit] had to be strapped to every commuter's back...'- Philip K. Dick

Solar Roadways Could Power USA - Times 3
This would be great if it works - the roads might be better maintained as well.

Spaser-Based Circuits Could Be Printed On Clothing
'Alex rolled his wrist over to check the watch imprinted on his sleeve.'- Niven and Barnes, 1981.

Full-Size Invisibility Cloak Now Possible
'I donned it and drew its hood, and threw on its current.'- Ray Cummings, 1930.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Traffic is everywhere.

Palcohol Powdered Alcohol - Try Or Ban?
'I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder...'

pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'

Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'

Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'

Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'

Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

MIT's Shape-Shifting Robot Materials
The T-100, an advanced prototype, is made of liquid metal. Not quite ready.

LS3 AlphaDog Robot Marine Corps Video
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...'

Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Remotely Operated Gardening Rover - Student's Space Agricultural Robot
'There were things growing all over the place, not just in some domed enclosures blasted some millions of miles out in to space.'

Revisiting A Cloud City On Venus
Lando Calrissian, are you still available?

'Windowless Cockpit' Like Star Trek's Patent Applied For
Mr. Sulu, take us out.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.