One-winged drones take off

One-winged drones take off

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

The experimental aircrafts were inspired by the one-winged “samara”-type seed of the maple tree, which gracefully spins its way down to the ground when released from the tree


Multirotor drones may get all the glory, but fully rotating “monocopters” are actually much more energy-efficient. A new one distinguishes itself even further, as it can squeeze through narrow spaces or drop like a falcon by reducing its wingspan while in flight.

It’s a well-known fact that fixed-wing drones use less battery power than their multirotor counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that the former’s wings provide a much larger lift surface than the latter’s smaller rotors. Multirotors still have one big advantage, though, in that they can take off and land vertically, and hover on the spot.

Some scientists have set about combining the best features of both designs by creating VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) drones that fly by horizontally spinning their entire body … and that body takes the form of one big wing. 

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