29 April 2012

Not Safety and Simplicity, Too Many Parts

So someone has decided that it might be a good thing to add even more moving parts to a rotorcraft:
A strange, 16-propeller vertical take-off and landing craft has been awarded the Lindberg Prize for Innovation at the Aero-Friedrichshafen 2012 airshow in Germany. It is an example of the unusual configurations made possible by distributed electric propulsion.
This is true. It is unusual.

It's also completely impractical.

There is not a single multi-engine aircraft that takes off with an engine out, and in this case, there are 16 engines that might fail.

If you lose an engine, you either don't take off, or, if you are in flight, you set down as soon as you can.

While this aircraft may (according to its inventors) be able to land safely with "several props failed", it won't make its destination with even one of the props failing.


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