Paddle Wheels Drive Wingless Plane (Nov, 1934)

Paddle Wheels Drive Wingless Plane

PADDLE wheels take the place of wings, stabilizers, and propeller on a new airplane designed by a University of Washington scientist to permit hovering in the air and slower landing speeds. Revolving vanes in these wheels would propel the plane and control its vertical movements. Two paddle wheels are attached to the fuselage in the position ordinarily occupied by the wings, and two smaller ones replace the stabilizers and elevators near the tail. The larger wheels, or cycloidal propellers as the inventor calls them, have six vanes attached to a revolving disk. Only four vanes are carried by the smaller wheels. In addition to its ability to hover and land at low speed, the new craft, its inventor says, possesses unusual advantages as a fighting ship, having nothing to obstruct gun fire.

  1. Tom says: January 12, 201110:35 am

    Perhaps similar to the Fan Wing project in some ways? Though I think the Fan Wing works by drawing air over an aerofoil, using a cylindrical fan.…

  2. Stephen Edwards says: January 13, 20118:00 pm

    This looks like it’s based on the Voith Schneider propeller, which works fine for tugboats…

    I’d think they have to move preposterously fast to work in air, and what about their reliability?

  3. Kosher Ham says: January 14, 20113:49 pm

    The plane does have wings– they’re just rotary (but in a different plane of rotation than a helicopter.)

  4. S O says: January 17, 20113:38 am

    I saw something like that only a few ears ago (2006?) at the aerospace trade fair in Farnborough…

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