Vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts hold all of the hype right now, with big names like Aston Martin and Embraer getting in on the action. While most high-performance fighter aircrafts can accelerate with the aircraft pointing straight up, power-to-weight ratio significantly increases your chances of successfully accelerating vertically. According to Volerian and its new VTOL concept, the trick to reaching a vertical takeoff lies in a revolutionary new propulsion system that seems to be inspired by swimming fish more than the traditional aircraft design.
Volerian doesn’t base its aircraft on large fans or arrays of propellers to provide lift and thrust. Instead, it uses a succession of wing-like flaps set within their own ducts. These flaps oscillate back and forth while driven by a cam system. Imagine a fish whipping its tail back and forth throughout the water. The disruptions in the airflow produce swirling vortices that ultimately result in thrust being generated. By adding a stator wing that is positioned farther down the line, it increases the efficiency of the system even more.
The Volerian system produces very little noise, providing a huge advantage since silent operation is a main goal of nearly every vertical takeoff and landing concept. While even the quietest of fans generate noise, Volerian’s flaps operate much more quietly. The lack of exposed fans or propellers allow a more safe and feasible space to operate among people. The goal is to take all of these features and turn it into a true fly-and-land anywhere design.
Another key feature the company has in mind for the Volerian is to turn the aircraft completely electric. It will rely on banks of batteries and recharging stations to keep airborne. It is so fascinating to see an abundancy of companies starting to turn electric. Aside from the VTOL concept, Volerian is also attempting to develop an aircraft that will use the same technology but require a shorter runway for takeoff. These models will be designed to travel farther and faster than their VTOL counterparts. The company imagines a scenario where a vertical takeoff and landing configured vehicle could pick a passenger up from their home and then fly them to an airport. From there, the aircraft would be reconfigured for longer-range travel.
Volerian says it aims to launch the aircraft in five years. While the idea remains a concept for now, it is an ambitious goal and would definitely change the aircraft game.