HS-Drone: A novel platform of great possibilities.

Drone technology will transform our world's transportation, help abate global warming, and more. 


HS-Drone's GOAL:  Simple technology that allows vertical-takeoff drones to transition to efficient fixed-wing flight ... that is more efficient and safer than all contemporary aircraft.

WHY:  Copters are slow and fuel hogs at less than 14 passenger-mpg.  A transitioning drone could attain 53 passenger-mpg "as the bird flies", which translates to much lower transit times.




A transforming, disruptive technology would be:

  - simple, but robust, in design (the U.S. Marine's Osprey vehicle is too complex).

  - scalable, so it can be demonstrated at toy-drone size but scaled (for many applications) up to passenger service. 

HS-Drone has a solution; it is the Passively-Adjusting Tiltwing (patent-pending) which progresses past the patents of Baldwin ( US 6783096, US 7059562), making the technology practical and scalable .  The tiltwing is a propeller-wing combination that naturally provides vertical thrust at low to zero velocity and passively transforms to horizontal thrust as velocity increases.  CHECK OUT VIDEO on VIDEO(History/R&D) page.

Poor drone designs (most of today's quadcopters) cruise in nose-down configurations where oncoming air pushes the vehicle downward, countering lift, and further decreasing already terrible copter energy efficiency.

HS-Drone supplements the lift of the tiltwing with lift generated by the fuselage (lifting body technology) as illustrated by the Lifting Body Aerodynamics insert.  Fixed wings may also supplement the lift.  Lifting body and wing aerodynamics are much more efficient than propellers for providing lift. 

Helicopters have fuel economies that are typically one fourth that of fixed-wing aircraft.  The tech-term is a low lift-to-drag (L:D) ratio where helicopters have L:Ds of about 4 compared to passenger airliners at 16-18.  Helicopters are also slower.  Any lift contribution of the fuselage has payoffs in the transition from hovering to cruising.

Operational Prototype - Tiltwing technology was demonstrated in July, 2019.  It works!  The quadcopter version of this patent-pending technology will have about 2X the fuel economy and speed of traditional counterparts--it is controlled by four parameters (four motor speeds).   The tricopter version will have 4X the fuel economy of helicopters and traditional quadcopters. 

Yes, it is possible and within reach, to have vertical takeoff aircraft (no airport needed) that can go more than 300 mph "as the bird flies" to the destination.  Fuel needs will be so low that battery power would be preferred--this provides abatement of global warming.    NOTE:  Images are not copyrighted.

Evolutionary Path

Better designs have:  a) low complexity, b) light weight, c) narrow wingspans (lifting body technology), d) high L:D when cruising, e) stability in flight pitch/yaw/roll, and f) scalability.  Effective designs will have 4X the efficiency and 4X the speed (translating to more than 10X the range)  of traditional quadcopters.  Energy efficiency is critical for battery technology to replace petroleum fuels with electricity from renewable resources along with the GREAT STRIDES toward curtailing global warming.       Do not look to politicians and industry for solutions to today's greatest issues...  look at yourself and good people around you!

It is possible to have aerial open-access (no airports) vehicles that are:

  •  faster, 
  • lighter (per payload), 
  • cleaner (greenhouse-gas-free energy)
  • less expensive, and 
  • safer                                                                                        than today's helicopters and jets!  

How did our technical community miss this?

Most aerial drone and air taxi designs were created in the shadows of paradigms. 

Corrections to those paradigms include:

  • Efficient horizontal cruising requires less than 25% of the thrust of vertical takeoff, and so, transition of most of the takeoff propeller thrust is not necessary.
  • Lifting body technology is critical--early tiltwing aircraft (1950's) relied too much on the "tiltwing" for lift and not enough on the lifting body capabilities of fuselages. 
  • Complexity is counter-productive... avoid hydraulics and step-motors.  

Those simple flight theories are wrong and incomplete; they created these paradigms.  


Read about the corrected Flight Theory

View Example Lifting-Body Designs

Global Warming

Today's debates on global warming are ironic.  These debates seem to ignore the fact that good technology will help abate global warming and strengthen nations and economies.  HS-Drone is one of those technologies.

Battery power taps in to the electrical power grid, and use of grid electricity allows for elimination of greenhouse gas emissions when using energy sources such as nuclear power and wind power.  Of all the major emission sources of greenhouse gas emission, aircraft are the most resistant to transition to fuels of reduced greenhouse gas emissions because of the economic value of high-energy-density petroleum fuels for aircraft.  

Technology that a) increases energy efficiency, 2) allows for more-direct/less-tortuous flights, and 3) reduces excess fuel needs with vertical emergency landing; combine, to GREATLY enable battery power.   Vertical takeoff/landing eliminates the need for airports and reduces  the energy expended going to/from airports.  

HS-Drone enables battery use for most of air transit, and so, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, a faster/better/cheaper alternatives for transit distances greater than 20 miles enhances the value of limited-range electric vehicles and public transit (personal vehicles become less preferred for longer-distant travel).   HS-Drone increases the value of electric cars and electric-powered public transit.