A CYCLOCOPTER drone has successfully flown.

Rendering of cyclocopter drone (Picture source: Press service of the Advanced Research Foundation)

Compared to a helicopter, the cyclocopter features better maneuverability, is considerably smaller in dimensions and has shielded rotors, which helps the vehicle operate close to buildings and other obstacles.

The cyclocopter will be featured at the Army-2020 international military and technical forum, the head of the Advanced Research Foundation said.

The Russian Advanced Research Foundation’s Scientific and Technical Council approved the project of developing a vertical lift and landing drone with cycloidal rotors in late 2018.

The attempts to create aircraft with cyclorotors were made from the early 20th century. The world’s first cyclocopter developed by engineer Yevgeny Sverchkov was built in Russia in 1909. However, flying prototypes have begun to appear only over the past decade in research centers in Austria, China, the United States and South Korea. For example, South Korea built and demonstrated a cyclocopter about 1 meter in size and weighing 20 kg.

Multicopters drones are outperformed by cyclocopters in some key parameter areas. In particular, given the same dimensions and the take-off weight, a cyclocopter needs a smaller engine while its payload mass is almost twice as much.

A full sized passenger version has not yet been successfully operated.

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