or fan wing
is a concept for a type of aircraft
. It is distinct from existing types of aircraft such as airplanes and helicopters in that it uses a fixed wing
with a forced airflow produced by cylindrical fans mounted above the wing
Its makers claim it is the first horizontal-rotored integral lift and propulsion wing in history to sustain flight.
FanWing is also the name of the company created to develop the concept.
developed the FanWing concept in 1997
. He formed the FanWing Company and applied for patents on his idea in several countries where aircraft are manufactured. In July 2005
the company advertised that the first FanWing aircraft was in development in the United Kingdom
. They advertised that the concept has undergone wind tunnel tests and powered model flights, and that the UK government was contributing to its further development.
According to the FanWing company, the concept has several differences from traditional aircraft (airplanes and helicopters), including:
- FanWing is quiet, stable in turbulence, and slow.
- It "nearly achieves" vertical takeoff and landing. (VTOL)
- FanWing cannot stall and is suited to low speed flight.
- Its already established efficiency in lift and thrust makes FanWing highly space and fuel economical.
- The FanWing is simple and requires few high-tech materials, and should therefore have low construction and maintenance costs.
- It has limited glide capability and needs power to remain airborne.
The company gives possible applications of the aircraft concept as air freight, short haul passenger flights, and aerial observation.
In May 2007 the developers announced that a version built for low speed STOL urban surveillance as a drone was at the prototype stage and claimed the following performance.
- Airborne after a ground roll of just 1m (3ft).
- Wing-span 2.4m (7.8ft) UAV,
- Made from composite materials,
- Dry weight of 5.5kg (12.1lb),
- Maximum take-off weight 12kg,
- Payload capability 2kg,
- Powered by a 1.2kW electric motor,
- Flight speed 15.5kt (29km/h),
- Endurance, (development goal) 80min.