How they Fly?

BodyCopter and HoverCopter

Wrote for the Helicopter History Site by Charles Medlock

The BodyCopter is the aircraft you will be able to store in your closet, fly to work, put in your trunk, and take off and land in any 15' open space.

The BodyCopter, designed by Charles Medlock, is unique in several ways, but the most interesting is the use of vertical airfoils to control the reverse torque created by spinning the horizontal rotor blades.

The BodyCopter uses the down draft created by the horizontal rotor to achieve reverse torque and rotational control. Basically, free floating variable and fixed vertical airfoils create "horizontal lift" in the same direction but on opposite sides of the axis of the horizontal rotor. By changing the angle of attack of the vertical airfoils while maintaining balanced "horizontal lift", rotational control is achieved thus eliminating the need for a tail rotor blade.

Used a 20 hp engine to turn a 10 foot blade at around 900 rpms and looking for total lift of about 400 pounds. The horizontal lift, vertical airfoils are fixed and variable pitch and are free floating so they balance any angle of attack. The unit currently weighs around 120 pounds but the production model will have two engines for safety sake and weigh only about 60 pounds. There are also plans for a folding unit with three blades. It will stand on its own on the three blades and conceivably, you could store it in the space of a closet.

On August 2004, the HoverCopter prototype lift off.



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