Technology

The Propulsive Wing replaces the conventional fuselage with an extremely thick wing with partially embedded, distributed cross-flow fans for both thrust and flow control. This configuration maintains smooth airflow, increasing lift, decreasing drag, and preventing stall. The cross-flow fan propulsive wing is essentially a modular technology, which can be integrated into a wide array of aircraft, in both size and mission specifications. It is fully scalable and easily reconfigured to meet changing requirements. CFF advantages are applicable to many sizes of aircraft ranging from small UAVs to large unmanned and manned military, experimental, private and commercial passenger, and cargo planes. Propulsive Wing, LLC holds an exclusive license to the patented technology, which was originally developed at Syracuse University under NASA funding.

Cross-flow fans, partially embedded within the airfoil section, draw the flow in from the suction surface and exhaust the flow out at the trailing edge. The fans can be powered by any motor or engine. The propulsive airfoil has the ability to draw in substantial amounts of air and maintain attached flow regardless of angle of attack, allowing operation at angles of attack over 45 degrees and lift coefficients of more than 10 at takeoff and landing for extremely short ground roll. In cruise, the combination of distributed boundary-layer ingestion and wake filling increase propulsive efficiency, while distributed vectored thrust provides substantial improvements in pressure drag. A combined propulsor, flow control device, and cargo-carrying platform with 34% thickness-to-chord ratio cross-section (and the potential to increase to 50% or more), the Propulsive Wing provides a compact, cost-effective STOL solution for cargo-transport. With its unique thick-wing design, Propulsive Wings can carry 3 times the payload weight and 10 times the internal payload volume of conventional systems. For this reason, the aircraft is considered an aerial utility vehicle, or AUV. The platform is also highly maneuverable, generates low noise, and offers a high degree of user safety due to the elimination of external rotating propellers.


A schematic of the Propulsive Wing


The streamlines at low angle of attack, showing the wake-filling aspect of the design. The chart on the right shows that the total pressure deficit in the wake is almost completely eliminated due to the propulsive airfoil design. This results in greatly improved propulsive efficiency.


The streamlines at high angle of attack, showing boundary-layer reattachment when the fan is rotating. The diagram on the right shows static pressure distribution with the fan both on and off. It is clear that the airfoil lift is dramatically increased with the fan on.


Full 3D simulations of the PW-4 prototype at high angle of attack in a landing configuration. With the fan on (bottom), the lift is increased by 9 times compared with the fully stalled case when the fan is off (top).

Propulsive Wing LLC - 321 Route 5 West - Elbridge - New York - 13060 - 315.252.2559