A range of vehicle designs work with our propulsion system to deliver the best options for range, speed, convenience, comfort and price.
Vertical take-off (VTOL) requires considerably more power than short take-off (STOL). This inevitably translates to greater cost both for vehicle acquisition and cost per kilo per kilometre.
VTOL capability also limits range and speed, relative to a STOL alternative.
Volerian's cost effective solution is to build a number aircraft types with a spectrum of take-off capabilities ranging from efficient VTOL to efficient cruise. Those in the middle have an acceptable combination, but with greater versatility.
Volerian's aircraft concepts centre around the idea of a 'propulsive wing'; an array of flapping wing ducts which form both the powered thrust for forward, or vertical flight, as well as the lift required to completely or partially support the aircraft in cruise.
Lattice-like construction of the propulsive wing helps distribute loads and stresses across a larger area. Lift and thrust are spread evenly throughout the array and such a structure can match the points of support more closely with the points of force and stress. This helps reduce both weight and cost.
STOL (Short Take-off and Landing)
Journeys requiring greater range and speed are best achieved economically by using a short take off run. For longer journeys VTOL aircraft can deliver people to a small runway, or open space, where aircraft better optimised for cruising flight can take off, thereby increasing the overall performance, and reducing the cost, of a journey.
Both the motors and wings are sized more closely for cruise with little extra cost or weight necessary for take-off. The shape of the aircraft can be better formed for drag reduction since less additional thrust area is needed for take-off.
In broader economical and convenience terms; wherever STOL is capable of operating, it can always beat VTOL on cost and range.
VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing)
Short journeys, such as a commute or urban trip, need to use vertical take-off so that both the take-off and landing sites are within easy waking distance of the final destination.
This creates the considerable problem of designing an aircraft quiet, small and safe enough to land very close to people, animals and objects.
The extent to which we can replace ground cars will be roughly proportional to the extent we can land and take-off where a car can park. Over time, spaces will adapt to aircraft needs, as they did for ground cars when we changed from horses more than 100 years ago.
To replace cars we need good economy and for vertical take-off that means low weight.
Integrating the propulsion, wings, and cabin into a more unified structure helps us reach acceptable range and cost in an aircraft that is sized and safe enough to e be used by people everyday.
The concept pictured here has a bubble canopy to provide great views and its short wings contain 8 removable battery packs.
Spars run uninterrupted across the span of the aircraft, effectively fixing the whole assemblage together with a single beam on which rest the batteries and cabin.
High Performance VTOL
Cost per kilo per kilometre will decide what technology, and which companies, come to the fore in air transport.
However, there is a market for versatile performance, for example with the emergency services or for recreation.
The narrow ducted array nacelles of the Volerian high performance VTOL have a higher velocity jet and are positioned away from the aircraft centre of gravity for better control. This helps broaden the viable weather conditions for flight and allows greater manoeuvrability as well as excellent views from the cockpit.
Special moving vanes within the array and on the duct adjust the airflow to help achieve good take-off and cruise performance. The central wing can take most of the aircraft weight so more thrust can be used for cruise.
Wing in Ground Effect (WIG) Craft
Transport over the sea is slow, even with hydrofoil equipped boats. Volerian WIG craft will travel at least twice as fast as a hydrofoil and several times faster than a normal boat.
Our concept solves a number of problems, including improvements in take-off performance and a robust system for controlling pitch.
A huge number of sea channels around the world could benefit from faster transport; a Volerian WIG craft that can take-off and cruise in a range of weather conditions will allow reliable, regular travel across these routes.
Larger craft will carry between ten and twenty passengers to help spread the cost of the crew members.
A craft like the design shown here is being considered as a WIG/STOL combination for private use.
Transport over the sea and under the sea can be made quieter and more efficient.
Since the cost savings for ships using this system could be considerable, Volerian are starting a program of marine propulsion development, starting with a simple out-board motor prototype and water channel tests.
Quiet propulsion for submarines is vital for their effective operation and survival. For diesel submarines any improvement in propulsive efficiency translates directly to greater range and the ability to remain submerged for longer.
Stealthy underwater weapon delivery has recently made headlines with Russia's 'Poseidon' torpedo. The unfortunate reality made clear by such news is that better defence systems must continue to be developed.