Concept The FanWing is a distributed-propulsion aircraft with a trapped vortex inside the rotor cage. A cross-flow fan at the leading edge of the wing transfers the work of the engine to the air along the entire wingspan. The resulting acceleration of the large volume of air offers very short-take off, no stall and efficient short-haul heavy lift capability.
Efficiency Documented efficiencies for the first
prototypes were 20 grams of lift per Watt of shaft power, indicating an initial
lift of 1 –1 ½ tons in the air with 100 hp. 2002 wind-tunnel
optimisation tests indicated 29 g/W. Most recent predictions (July 2011) are that the FanWing will cover more than twice the distance of a helicopter on the same fuel load.
Speed Higher-speed wingshape
modifications and wind-tunnel tests this year have resulted in new speed
estimates for a 15-ton aircraft of 100kt at sea level. and 150kt at 5500 m.*
OHS Development (Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer) The recently developed TwinTail configuration, suggested originally by George Seyfang, avoids the strong downwash flow directly behind the wing and exploits the upwash from the wingtip vortices. The new design has increased the efficiency of the aircraft by between 10 and 15% and also improved pitch stability.
1998 First take-off/proof of concept. Initial wind-tunnel
tests conducted by Pat Peebles at the University of Rome.
2002 UK Government SMART Award and private investment funded wind-tunnel tests completed at Imperial College by Peebles assisted by Klaus Kogler. Data consultation by Professor J M R Graham.
2005-2006 Ultralight Simulation Project: Imperial College funded
project using X-Plane software to establish flight characteristics.See
Flight simulation and testing of the FanWing experimental aircraft; Authors:
O.Ahad, J.M.R. Graham; Journal: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
ISSN: 0002-2667 Year: 2007 Volume: 79 Issue: 2
Simulator files: Simulation
2005 VTOL capability first confirmed on an indoor tethered model. Patents granted 2010, 2011..
2007 A STOL UAV urban surveillance prototype demonstrated
short-take-off of a 1 m roll without payload and 3m on lower power (see
video on this website and Flight Global online archives). Estimations are that
at maximum weight (12kg) the aircraft will take off in three lengths.
Predicted autonomy is close to 80 minutes with a 2 kg payload under electric
2011 Technical collaboration on wingshape and overall design initiated and ongoing between Pat Peebles and George Seyfang, formerly Principal Concept Engineer at BAe Systems.
* New speed predictions based on 2011 wind-tunnel tests and analysis by George Seyfang
Photo: FanWing TwinTail test flight, Italy, July2011
See also FAQ page