We’ve seen some oddball drones over the years. But it looks as though this one couldn’t possibly fly. At least, not until you learn the secret behind the cyclocopter drone.
Clearly, a drone that uses two egg beaters on its sides could never actually leave the ground. And yet that’s what Nicholas Rehm’s remote-controlled cyclocopter manages to accomplish, in quite a startling way. The first part of the secret is that the fins on the rotors aren’t just paddles, they’re airfoils.
Still, you’d expect that the airfoils would cancel one another during rotation. But that’s the second part of the secret. There’s a little mechanism on the hub that keeps adjusting the pitch of the blades.
The secret behind the cyclocopter drone
As Rehm explains it:
The cyclorotor generates thrust by pitching the blades once per revolution so that they always have a positive angle of attack with respect to the incoming airflow. The position that this…