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Narrated overview of PteroDynamics' Transwing aircraft design (transcript below)

Published on 13 Dec 2021 / In Aircraft Design

PteroDynamics is a US-based aircraft manufacturer headquartered in Southern California. We have developed a radically different vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, aircraft design that we call Transwing because it folds its wings during flight to transition between rotorcraft and fixed-wing configurations.

Our Transwing design is unlike any other aircraft design and protected by several US and international patents and has many critical advantages, the greatest being several times longer range and endurance for any given energy source, payload, and operating ground footprint. Incorporating variable-pitch props increases range further by a factor of at least two.

Transwing aircraft generally have a 75% smaller operating ground footprint versus other VTOL designs with a comparable size in cruise flight. This gives Transwing aircraft helicopter-like controllability in takeoff, landing, and hover flight and permits operations in more compact touchdown and liftoff areas.

Transwing aircraft have up to 70% of the range of a comparably sized conventional fixed wing airplane that requires a runway to takeoff and land and has the same speed capability as a fixed wing with a comparably-sized propulsion system.

The Transwing design is relatively simple with propulsors that are fixed to the wings, a joint attaching each outer wing to the center wing on the fuselage, and an articulation mechanism that folds and unfolds the wings during flight.

Almost immediately after takeoff, Transwing aircraft can begin their outbound transition, and within just a few seconds, can complete their transition to fixed-wing mode for cruise flight where its flight efficiency is about 5 times greater than in its VTOL configuration. The inbound transition can be just as fast, minimizing the time the aircraft spends in the less-efficient VTOL mode. Both outbound and inbound transitions are benign, permitting complete control authority of the aircraft, which can even be flown for prolonged periods in any stage of transition.

Transwing aircraft are the ideal solutions for ISR and cargo transport missions where long range and high endurance are mission requirements but runways are not available and you want to avoid using launch and recovery infrastructures.

Transwing aircraft can be transported in their ready-to-fly configuration without requiring assembly because they are already inherently compact in their takeoff and landing configuration, with the majority of their wings folded along the fuselage.

Transwing aircraft can scale in size from something that fits in a backpack to the ability to carry thousands of pounds, whether that is cargo and/or passengers. There is nothing in the Transwing design that restricts the choice of propulsors, from electric motors with props to jet engines, or the source of power, from batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to hybrid-electric power systems. We believe that Transwing aircraft can be designed to exceed 400 mph.

We are in advanced flight testing of our 6.6 and 12.3 ft wingspan all-electric models and are building a 36 ft wingspan ultra-long-range and high endurance, hybrid-electric Transwing demonstrator. These aircraft can be piloted or operated autonomously.

We have proven with flying aircraft at least twice the cargo carrying efficiency, which is an aircraft’s range multiplied by its payload weight fraction over that range, compared to all other VTOL aircraft designs.

PteroDynamics has secured venture investment and Dept of Defense funding across several projects and customers with more projects pending. We are registered with the U.S. Department of State for exports that would be controlled by ITAR restrictions.

We are looking to connect with prospective customers who have a need for the mission capabilities of our Transwing aircraft and other solution providers that have technology that could improve our aircraft.

More details are available at PteroDynamics.com, including plenty of video of real aircraft flights.

Transwing® is a registered trademark of PteroDynamics Inc.

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