Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Magnus Effect Wing Body UAV

Wingless flying cylinder
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From the outside, the vehicle looks like a horizontal cylinder, with a bicycle wheel at each end, and two circular rows of air ports near each end.

The wheels are used only on takeoff; they're ejected when the vehicle is airborne, and a parachute or two is used for landing.

Each end of the cylinder has a ring of air inlet ports, and a ring of air nozzles.

The air inlet ports are flush with the cylinder's surface, to minimize their drag. A spinning shutter inside of the cylinder ensures that only one air inlet of the ring of ports is open at any time; specifically, the open port would be whichever one is facing in the direction the cylinder is moving towards.

The air nozzles are aimed at a tangent to the cylinders surface, so that a large amount of backspin is produced, relative to the vehicles forward direction. As with the air inlet ports, a spinning shutter is used so that only one nozzle in each ring of nozzles is open at any time. For maximum forward accelleration, this would be the nozzle on the bottom of the vehicle.

There are several controls that can be used to change the overall roll, yaw, and thrust.

The most obvious is that the speed that the air is blown out the nozzles can be increased or decreased. Faster air through both nozzles results in more forward thrust and more backspin, which results in more lift.

Faster air coming out of port or starbord side nozzles will of course result in torque around the yaw axis. Because of the high speed backspin, which makes the vehicle act like a gyroscope, there will be a precessional torque around the roll axis.

Changing the timing of the air coming out of the nozzles can produce downward or upward thrust.

Changing the timing of the air coming out of the nozzles of one side of the vehicle in a different manner than the air out of the other side can produce torque around the roll axis. When this happens, precession will result in a torque around the yaw axis.

goldbb, Aug 10 2009

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       Is the whole surface of the cylinder rotating and the air jets are tiny adjustment thrusts?   

       or   

       Are the two internal shutters spinning enough for the air flow to produce flight thrust?   

       mmm .... rotating cylinder wings.
wjt, Aug 11 2009
  

       [goldbb] Ideas can be deleted if you want. I'm sure that most of the more experienced half-bakers here, are wise not because of what they left posted but rather what they deleted.   

       That' s the thing with thinking and mental modelling no harm done when it doesn't fly. It is not like $50,000 was used to build a shape abhorrent to nature and will need another $10,000 to make it into pieces nature will love.   

       Then again, hopefully that new revolutionary fact comes to light before spending the remedial dosh.
wjt, Aug 12 2009
  

       The whole surface of the cylinder is rotating. Otherwise, you wouldn't get any magnus effect induced lift.   

       The shutters are completely internal, and are not exposed the outside. Furthermore, they're not spinning relative to the earth; they're spinning relative to the plane's outer surface.   

       As for deleting ideas, I only do so if someone convinces me that it's a bad idea: either bad science, or redundant, or widely known to exist, etcetera.
goldbb, Aug 13 2009
  

       It's value is mostly for amusement, but I suppose that it could theoretically carry a camera.
goldbb, Aug 17 2009
  
      
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