The Concept

The Vikare is a light aircraft concept that uses the magnus effect to fly. It would be equipped with a gas turbine that would provide power to four rotating cylinders to create lift and a rear jet propulsion system.

The Background

A few years ago, I came across the Rotor Aircraft prototype built by Anton Flettner and the Icar 101 flying car concept from Jean-Louis Ligné. Both of these concepts use the Magnus effect phenomenon to lift the aircraft, which is how the Vikare would achieve lift. Jean-Louis helped us calculate a few technical numbers for this revised concept.

How It Works

The Vikare uses a commonly-observed effect in which a spinning cylinder curves away from its principal flight path, just like the curve of a spinning baseball or soccer ball. Instead of wings, the Vikare would be equipped with front lateral cylinders that measure 33 cm in diameter and 3.4 meters long and two smaller rear cylinders (26cm / 2.2m). These four cylinders would spin around their axis and create lift as the rear propeller would push the aircraft forward.

The exact lift generated by each cylinder will depend on the air density. For this purpose, we estimated an air density of 1.2 (ASL, OAT of 20°C). The centrifugally deployable Magnus effect spinning wings of the Vikare are compact and would generate, in theory, enough lift to get the 950 kg aircraft off the ground. A compact 500 hp gas turbine would propel the 4 motorized wings. Another option would be to use lithium-air battery packs combined with electric motors.

Each rotating cylinder would be composed of a rigid axis surrounded by a flexible envelope made of Zylon, which is 1.6x stronger than Kevlar. The flexible envelope would be deployed by the centrifugal force generated by the cylinder’s rotation. As the lift generated by each wing depends on its rotation speed, a high-speed clutch will make it possible for the pilot to control the aircraft’s flight attitude and lift properties.

To fly, the Vikare would need to spin its cylinders at 6,000rpm and accelerate to a speed of 105 kph by using its rear turbofan. These parameters all change if you modify the cylinder speed.

The Vikare is an early-stage concept idea. Engineers will need to define how the rudder, ailerons, and the fuselage will interact with the cylinders and the airflow. The friction of the cylinders with the air also needs to be studied because it changes based on many variables like the material used, the rotating speed, the cylinder’s dimensions, etc.

The Market

The Vikare could have some use in cities as a flying taxi. The rollers might be quieter than helicopter blades rotating at supersonic speed. You would hop on it with a friend from an elevated platform like uber elevate proposes and fly to the suburbs.


I would like to thank Jean Louis-Ligné, who helped us put some numbers on the Vikare. Jean Louis has been studying the Magnus effect for a long time, and he is working on a new type of flying car.

The Vikare concept was imagined in September 2018 by Charles Bombardier and designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer.