- Sep 17, 2008
Why does nobody just stick two large diameter co-axial counter-rotating rotors on top and steer the thing hang-glider style by mounting the assembly on a gimbal?
I used to have a link to a video of a Russian effort similar to that. Can't find it now. The machine didn't work. Any crosswind just makes the thing uncontrollable, which means that as soon as you start moving in any direction it goes crazy. The rotors start generating asymmetric lift due to the crossflow affecting the advancing and retreating blades.
There were a lot of attempts at vertical flight in the early days of aviation. It wasn't until guys like Igor Sikorsky developed the articulated rotors, with lead/lag and flapping functions, that such machines became controllable. They had to learn it the hard way so we don't have to. One has to study helicopter theory to see why things are the way they are.