GFS reveals plans for family of coanda-effect aircraft

UK-based GFS Projects has unveiled initial concepts for man-carrying and unmanned cargo-carrying coanda-effect aircrafts, the latter with disc spans reaching up to 30m (100ft).

The initial man-carrying version would be a scout craft with a crew of one to two. It would be capable of dash speeds of 100-150kt (185-277km/h), but also be able to stop in flight to hover above areas of interest.

Scout configurations include a single-seat arrangement with four thrusters integrated into the lower air vehicle disc airframe and a V-tail, and twin seat craft with single tail.

The cargo version would use a large detachable pod suspended beneath the airframe disc. A lead application could be the deployment of mobile medical facilities, says GFS founder and managing director Geoff Hatton.

An adapted configuration could operate as a medical evacuation system: “It would have to be a 30m craft or of that order,” he says.

The company is to lead its shift from research craft to commercially ready vehicles over the next two years through the development of a 1.2m-disc UAV optimised for the civil market.

An internal combustion engine-powered prototype is in preparation and is set to fly in the second half of this year, says Hatton.

The company has already built and flown one electric-powered demonstrator with dual ducted fan thrusters mounted within the disc.

A second demonstrator with twin suspended ducted fans, each generating 1lb thrust, is currently being rig tested to measure the combined effects of the design modifications in improving flight performance against headwinds.

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