D-Dalus is a completely new aerial vehicle (it is neither a helicopter nor a fixed wing aircraft). It was shown publically for the first time at the Paris Air Show in 2011. D-Dalus combines the advantages of helicopters with those of fixed wing aircraft. It remains stable in the air, rotates up to 360 degrees about all three axes and has the ability to land on moving platforms, such as boats in rough seas, thanks to three dimensional synchronization and 'glue-down' by reversed thrust. D-Dalus requires in forward flight 30% to 60% less power compared to helicopters because its vertical thrust is created by its high lift and low drag from the winged body design.
At the heart of the D-Dalus aircraft propulsion system lies a cyclogyro rotor assembly that converts power from a conventional motor into a forced airflow across aerodynamic blades.
The propulsion consists of 4 sets of contra-rotating disks, each set driven at the same rpm by a conventional aero-engine. The disks are surrounded by blades whose angle of attack can be altered by moving an offset point located inside the hollow axis of the rotating disks. As each blade can be given a different angle of attack, the resulting main thrust can be in any required direction in 360° around any axis. This allows the aircraft to launch vertically, remain in a fixed position in the air, fly in any direction, rotate in any direction like a football, and thrust upwards thereby 'gluing down' on landing.
The basic idea was the development of an aircraft that combines the positive flight characteristics of both rotorcraft and fixed wing air vehicles and has the potential to operate in environments denied to conventional air platforms.
D-Dalus Features at a Glance
- unmatched manoeuvrability
- vertical takeoff and landing
- nearly unrestricted manoeuvrability
- rotation about all three axis in hovering and in flight
- can make contact with vertical obstacles without damaging its rotors
- much quieter than a helicopter
- 30% to 60% more fuel efficient in forward flight than a helicopter
- can hover inches above bucking platforms such as small boats in rough seas and land vehicles crossing rough terrain