Vortex

The concept

The Vortex concept is a flying car propelled with four bladeless engines.

The background

The idea for the Vortex came to me when I was a teenager and read my two favourite magazines: Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Inevitably every 2-3 years they would publish in those magazines a flying car concept like the Moller M400 Skycar. Of course, while reading it, you’d start dreaming about building or piloting these flying machines … Flying out on a cool adventure to explore and discover new territories!

How it works

The Vortex concept looks a little like the ‘ Icejet ‘ that also uses fans with no visible blades to propel itself on ice. The Vortex could be powered by a turbine which would rotate a series of fan blades that would suck air into the aircraft. This air would be directed to the four circular diffusers (nacelles) at each corner of the aircraft.

The principle that I imagined, to push air under the Vortex, is similar to how a Dyson fan works. The air is ejected on the rim (leading edge ) so there is no blade in the centre of the nacelles and the volume of air exiting the nacelles will be higher than what is coming in the turbine intake. (Because additional air is also engulfed in through the nacelles). This principle works well at low speed for residential fan, but it will not probably be enough to lift the whole aircraft. Therefore, I think we should consider using 4 independent fans or a configuration similar to the F-35 (see video).

For the engine I would use something like the engine on the Bell 412 helicopter (Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3D Twin Pac ) with air compressors. The cabin of the Vortex is roomy, it has a huge bay window and two to four comfortable seats. The Vortex can take off vertically and then make a transition with its swivelling nacelles, a portion of the thrust would be maintained under the vehicle

What it’s used for

Is this concept ready to fly? Of course not! This is an idea that needs to be revised and improved (Fans, Engines, Dimensions, Aerodynamics ) I find the idea interesting and would like to have your opinions.

The designer

I would like to thank Brian Miller who made all the concept drawings and worked on several variations. Brian is a freelance product designer based in Denver, Colorado. Brian also created the renderings of the TrailTrike enduro trike concept and the Fireliner firefighting tractor-loader.