FlyRider Design Principles

FlyRider is a low altitude, low speed experimental VTOL aircraft which can operate over any ground or obstacles. It is extremely compact, simple and low cost. It is the perfect personal flying gadget!

Compact Layout

FlyRider is extremely compact. It fits into any standard carport, even an bikeport may be sufficient. There is definitely no need to rent an expensive aircraft hangar. Furthermore the small footprint allows to operate FlyRider from very limited areas like parking lots or gardens.

The picture shows the initial FlyRider V1 tricopter layout and the new V2 dualcopter concept in comparison.

Instead of a helicopter main rotor / tail rotor configuration FlyRider uses a two rotor layout, the "Dualcopter". The dualcopter allows to perform any translational and rotational movements with differential thrust and tilting of the front rotor. Pitch will be controlled by increasing / decreasing thrust at the front / back rotors. For yaw - control the front engine can be tilted left / right to generate free torque turning the aircraft to the wanted direction.

There is no active roll control. Roll will be stabilized with by gyroscopic forces in the rotor system. Therefore FlyRider can't move sideways (which limits its hover capabilities compared to a conventional helicopter) and it cannot fly dynamic turns (with loads > 1g).

The coaxial-rotor is required for two important reasons: It generates no free torque which needs to be compensated (one rotor turns clockwise, the other counter-clockwise). The second, even more important issue is to compensate dissymmetry of lift. In forward flight the advancing blade is in a faster relative airflow than the retreating blade. Therefore the advancing blade will produce more lift than the retreating blade - the aircraft starts to roll. The easiest way to compensate dissymmetry of lift is a coaxial-rotor since you have the same amount of lift on both sides - even if the retreating blade stalls.

This little gadget uses the same flight dynamic principles as FlyRider. The only difference is the location of the smaller rotor for pitch control: For FlyRider we chose a position in the front of the aircraft to get a very short fuselage (only 8 feet). Otherwise we'd need same place in the front to get the pilot seated and additional space behind the main rotor for the pitch- control propeller.

Standard Technology

Aerospace in general is a high tech playground. FlyRider is low tech. Most modern aircraft primary structures use composites, mainly for weight savings, fatigue and corrosion resistance. But Composites require careful, precise design and can be sensitive to heat and impact. Composites manufacturing needs specific tooling and know-how to reduce manufacturing risk and costs. FlyRider uses a simple aluminium frame to keep the design simple and the manufacturing costs low.

Most helicopters use turbines since they offer a perfect thrust to weight ratio. FlyRider is powered by standard combustion engines. If you fly low speed at low altitudes there is no real advantage from using a turbine (compared to the costs) or engines with fuel injection.

The rotor of a helicopter is extremely complex - mainly due to the mechanics required for cyclic and collective pitch control. FlyRider uses simple propellers without cyclic and collective pitch control.

FlyRider Specs

Front propeller diameter   :    1.30 M
Main - rotor diameter      :    4.20 M
Overall fuselage length    :    2.4 M
Overall width              :    1.6 M
Overall height             :    2.2 M
Empty weight (dry)         :    120 kg
MTOW:                      :    250 kg
Engine front               :    Simonini Mini 2 Plus , 19 kW (26 hp)
Engine rear                :    Hirth 2703 V , 38 kW  (52 hp)
Fuel capacity              :    max. 15 L
Max. Airspeed              :    unknown