Mary Poppins to Replace Helicopter

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A parachute canopy is supported at its central hole by a large ring that contains a centrifugal fan, which is mounted on suitable bearings attached to the ring. The fan is supported on bearings and is arranged for it to rotate about a vertical axis. Intake air is drawn in above the canopy by this fan, creating a low pressure which pulls the canopy upwards. This air is blown out radially below the canopy, The shape of the canopy turns the air-flow downwards, creating higher pressures inside the canopy, which increase its vertical lifting force. The motor that drives the fan is mounted below the canopy, with a vertical drive shaft between the motor and the centrifugal fan.

The outer cords of the parachute pass downwards to the heavier motor and pilot. This person sits on a frame that supports the motor and has vertical struts that support the large ring and fan well above the pilot. But when the lift is being generated, the weight of the fan and its structure is transferred from the struts to the cords from the parachute. These cords are attached to the lower structure that carries the pilot and driving motor.

Vanes inside the canopy direct the air-flow to oppose the torque and rotational air-flow from the fan, and this is used to stop it from rotating freely, whilst allowing the pilot control of it. Suitable lines are arranged so that he/she can also open part of the canopy so that the side component of the lift can send the vehicle in a horizontal direction.


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  • Name:
    David Harold Chester
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  • David Harold's favorite design and analysis tools:
    Various simulation programs for mechanical operation and non-linear motion including landing-impact (and other impact) of aircraft. Stability studies of systems using linearized criteria. Improved way of explaining how macroeconomics works.
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