Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 ")

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.' - Thomas A. Easton, 1990.

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...' - David Brin, 1990.

SolarXOne Solar-Powered Drone Flies (almost) Forever
'It's an Indian Air Force drone; its solar cells could power an entire farm.' - Interstellar.

Experts Decry Planet-Scale Schemes To Limit Global Heating
'Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced.' - Neal Stephenson, 2021.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

Space-Based Solar Power A Priority - European Space Agency
'...vast man-made disk of metal set spinning about the sun to supply the Earth with power.'

Goldilocks Zones Found On The Moon
Hopefully, there are no Mynocks in shadowed lunar craters, chewing on the power cables of spacecraft...

Robotic Surgeons Outperform Human Surgeons
'...the objects moving about so gently and putting their instruments away were not living beings, but robots.'

In Your Orchard, Do You Want Buzzing Suction Drones, OR Dick's Claw Hand Drones?
'Something that gleamed, shiny metal, gleamed and clicked as it turned toward her.'

Microbial Protein Production More Efficient Than Crops
'It's the food situation I'm worried about...'

The Sample Transfer Arm (STA), A Unique Mars Robot
'...a cranelike arm reached out. Grasping steel fingers fished around...'

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.