Washington Patent of the Month – August 2021

Helicopters or other aircrafts that can hover, take off, and land vertically are called Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircrafts. Typically, these are lifted through the use of propulsion systems which often use piston engines or electric motors to power a few propellers. Smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) use the thrust generated by propellers to lift the vehicle. These have limited capacity to swivel the motors and often have inefficient batteries. This means it cannot be scaled to larger vehicles. Jetoptera, Inc. has developed a new fluidic propulsive system that offers better lift force.

The design specifically offers lift for UAVs without the use of large propellers or fans in order to maximize efficiency, autonomy, and range. The design uses ejectors and a tandem system to combine thrust generators and thin airfoil wings (lifting element). The wing mounted engines produce thrust, generate acceleration and speed, and generate lift. The engine creates thrust and jet efflux from the engine which has a higher velocity than the aircraft. This difference means the lift generated by the wing is a result of the airspeed of the aircraft rather than the jet efflux speed. The ejectors are fluidly coupled to conduits with gas flowing between. The airfoil elements have leading edges located downstream from the ejectors. The cold ejectors are placed behind and in front of airfoils, impacting both by increasing the stall margin by creating suction of the airfoil layer and lift force from the airspeed. This method offers an aggressive level flight position of both airfoils, lift and swiveling with vertical take off, hovering, and maneuvering of the aircraft. 

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