Paddle-Wing Plane Takes Flight


A small robotic aircraft powered by rotating “paddle-wheel” wings could yet rule the skies, if renewed interest in an antique design bears fruit.

Several international research groups are working on prototype “cyclogyros”, a design first proposed more than 100 years ago.

A cyclogyro flies using “cycloidal propellers” – several wings positioned around the edge of a rotating cylindrical framework, a bit like a paddle-wheel. As each wing rotates, its blades move through the air generating lift and thrust.

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