The Canadian startup Corliois g has demonstrated a novel design solution to achieve the maneuverability and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a traditional quadcopter with the efficiency of a traditional winged aircraft.
The Vogi 1 is touted as a “passively coupled VTOL tiltrotor” which means it is able to transition from vertical flight or hovering to winged horizontal flight. Most impressively, the team at Coriolis g in Toronto, Canada – with members specializing in topics such as dynamics and control, airframe design, and PX4 autopilots – has designed the vehicle in a way that allows a completely passive switch. Without any active logic, the rotors pivot and swing from parallel to the ground to perpendicular, located above and below the wing.
With increased efficiency from the complementary use of a wing, the Vogi is able to fly a longer range. While adding a winged surface to an already functional traditional quadcopter increases weight, it’s evident that Coriolis g has discovered this trade to be more beneficial for the efficiency of the aircraft. This especially pays off during longer flights, where takeoff is an increasingly small percentage of the total flight, thereby taking advantage of the lifting surface for a greater fraction of the flight time. Other VTOL original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Volocopter and others designing wingless vehicles have found that their intended missions would be most effectively and efficiently completed by a vehicle without the addition of any winged surface.
Lastly, by enabling the propulsion system itself to pivot and achieve the desired thrust vector, the fuselage does not rotate. This is highly beneficial for passenger transport, where human factors become a consideration – passengers would not tilt forward or backward as the vehicle speeds up or transitions between vertical and horizontal flight. In this way, the Vogi 1 most closely mimics the air travel to which we are most accustomed.
Why its important: Vogi has made effective use of the aerodynamics involved to create a highly maneuverable VTOL with increased efficiency from the winged design. It will be interesting to see how the Vogi and its excellent maneuverability at small scale translate to a full-scale prototype in the future.
Sources // Coriolis g Corporation