ROTORwing drone: when aircraft wings turn into blades

Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drones have some advantages over multicopters and fixed-wing UAVs. However, the specialists of the American aerospace company Dzyne Technologies went further by developing the unusual ROTORwing drone.

Typically VTOL drones have fixed wings with propellers mounted on them. During vertical take-off, they work like the blades of a helicopter, and after climb, they are transferred to a horizontal position, ensuring a correspondingly horizontal flight of the aircraft.

ROTORwing has a completely different layout. The drone has a wing located on top, the halves of which can rotate horizontally relative to each other, thanks to the central hub of the wing unit and the electric motor located in it.

During takeoff, one half of the wing is turned back. With the help of two supports creating thrust in opposite directions, the wing begins to rotate like helicopter blades of a helicopter, creating lift.

To switch to the level flight mode, both wing halves are briefly fixed in the neutral position, facing up. Then a downward turn follows, so that both stops are directed forward, while the wing block is fixed perpendicular to the drone body, and it is transferred to horizontal flight. Landing is carried out in the reverse order.

Dzyne Technologies is reportedly already conducting flight tests of a working prototype. An operational version may be ready in October. Its weight is 9 kg, carrying capacity is 3 kg, energy resource is 4 hours of flight without recharging. The drone can be used for medical and military purposes.