The FlyRider Project


The FlyRider Concept

The FlyRider, created by Stefan Hager, is designed to use a three rotor layout to be able it to takeoff and land vertically: "This concept will allow it to perform any translational and rotational movements using only differential thrust. Pitch will be controlled by increasing or decreasing thrust at the front or back rotors. Roll will be controlled by increasing or decreasing thrust at the left or right engine. Two rotors (front and right) produce no free torque since one rotates countwise, the second one clockwise. To be able to eliminate the free torque produced by the left tail rotor and to control yaw , the front rotor can be tilted by the pilot."

"The tilt rotor is also used to compensate the asymmetrical lift. A rotor's advancing blades combine their rotational speed with the helicopter's forward airspeed to produce increased lift on one side of the rotor; the retreating blades, in contrast, subtract their rotational speed from the helicopter's forward airspeed and produce less lift. The resulting asymmetrical lift at high speed produces roll forces that increase with forward airspeed. Once again, these forces can be controlled to the degree needed by the pilot, using the tiller bar."

FlyRider Technology

"FlyRider is low tech when compared to the high tech playground of the aerospace industry in general. Most modern aircraft primary structures are built using composites, mainly for weight savings, corrosion resistance and materials fatigue. But Composites require careful, precise design and can be sensitive to heat and impact. Composite manufacturing also needs specific tooling and special know-how to reduce manufacturing risk and costs. FlyRider uses an aluminium frame to keep the design simple and to keep the manufacturing costs as low as possible."

Intuitive flight control

"It would be nice if we all had the the money to purchase a helicopter. But flying a helicopter needs excellent skills and many expensive hours of flight training. A helicopter pilot needs to control collective pitch,the anti-torque pedals and the cyclic stick. The interaction of these controls is difficult. To make it simpler the FlyRider emulates the upright riding position of a motorcycle. It is perhaps the most natural position for any vehicle. After all, it is the same position mankind has used for thousands of years while riding horses - and still uses when riding a bike. The FlyRider flight control system translates intuitive directional input (forward, backward, roll) into specifc control operations for each engine to make flying as simple as possible."

Ducted fans

"The ducted fans of the FlyRider offer several advantages over helicopter design.

(1)They eliminate the exposed rotor blades of conventional helicopters which can strike trees, power lines, buildings or contact the ground with catastrophic results. Exposed rotor blades also pose a safety hazard to nearby personnel.

(2)By reducing propeller blade tip losses and directing its thrust, the ducted fan is more efficient in producing thrust than a conventional propeller at low speeds.

(3) Ducted fans are quieter than propellers: they shield the blade noise, and reduce the tip speed and intensity of the tip vortices, both of which contribute to noise production."

"Most helicopters use turbines since they offer a perfect thrust to weight ratio. FlyRider is powered by standard combustion engines with high power to weight ration. Since the engines are located in the propeller downwash, no additional cooling is required."



Rotor diameter : 1.3 M Each (3)
Overall length : 3.1 M
Overall width : 2.9 M
Height : 0.9 M (without pilot)
Maximum speed : n.a.
Empty weight : 100 kg
MTOW: : 200 kg
Engine power : 3 x 19 kW (26 HP)
Fuel capacity : 9 L (3 x 3 L)

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VTOL Vehicle
Posted March 2008