Never have I been so stunned. The fixed-wing aircraft is not designed for VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing). However, this law will soon beforepast. The Sydney-based company StopRotor Technology has been working on its prototype Hybrid Rotor Wing – an aircraft that has both rotary and fixed wing flight modes. This will make it the first ever fixed-wing aircraft capable of VTOL.

Concept Representation of the Hybrid RotorWing | Credit: StopRotor Technology

Since it’s the UAV concept (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), it can also be used for tactical reconnaissance. Rowan Watkins, founder of StopRotor, called the first in-flight transition from fixed wing to rotary wing a “key milestone” in the development of the aircraft.

The project was started in an attempt to win the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency’s (DARPA) vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) X-Plane Program. The manufacturer believe if the Hybrid RotorWing could execute all the features below, then it could be of big role in the UAV market.

  • Flexible take off and landing requirements (CSVTOL)
  • Runway independent operations
  • Sustained hover & vertical lift capability
  • Efficient, high speed, high altitude and extended range operations
  • Mission responsive, multi-role operations

StopRotor is currently seeking collaborator to help with their development, on the off-chance that they are not approved for DARPA’s X-Plane program. They believe it could also be reputed for rapidly expanding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.