Copyright FanWing Ltd.

 

The FanWing Ultra-Short Takeoff and Landing (USTOL) vehicle is designed with a radical new approach to aircraft lift and propulsion. The novel horizontal-axis open-rotor configuration, or the open-fan wing configuration, achieves the long sought after improved efficiencies of distributed propulsion, generating thrust over the entire span of the wing by means of a full-span cross-flow fan. A large, low-pressure vortex trapped inside the rotating fan cage “pumps” the air through the fan, generating a lift force as well as forward thrust by means of the airflow accelerated over the trailing edge.

This aircraft design configuration is effective in combining many of the advantages offered by both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. When compared to conventional fixed-wing turboprop aircraft, the open-fan wing concept still guarantees substantially shorter approach profiles and runway requirements.  When compared to helicopters, the open fan wing offers a lower drag profile in cruise leading to lower fuel burn and carbon emissions.

 

Copyright FanWing Ltd.

The open-fan wing configuration has the potential to make important contributions to the EU goals of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger, and reducing external noise production by 10 EPNdB per operation. The fan’s tip speed is considerably lower than a conventional aircraft propeller or a helicopter rotor, offering unique opportunities for improved propulsive efficiency and a reduced noise footprint. This study represents an important step in developing future open-fan wing configurations that are significantly quieter and more fuel efficient alternative to today’s large helicopters.