Sony's VTOL Drone Prototype

Interesting prototype drone from the partnership company between Sony and Japanese robotics firm ZMP, Aerosense.

It looks like counter-rotating blades on a transverse axle that can transform between rear-facing and vertical modes for level flight and takeoff/landing.

A couple aerodynamic things it would be interesting to know more about: In vertical mode, it looks like the body provides half a duct for the fan but possibly not for both propellers and definitely not on the back side of the drone. I wonder if the asymmetric ducting gives a slight forward push in this configuration?

And for level flight, the body clearly blocks the middle portion of the fan. On smaller scales like this it’s obviously not an issue but I wonder if the efficiency hit from this configuration would prevent scaling to higher weights.

Tue, Aug 25, 2015