A team of researchers at Virginia Tech ESM kicked off the idea for the DiscRotor craft back in 2006, and now today, DARPA and Boeing give us a glimpse of what a future helicopter/airplane hybrid craft can look like.
The VTOL (vertical takeoff/landing) vehicle has a disc on top which propellors retract and extend from the rotor. This can be used in rough terrains or places where a long runway isn’t available, allowing the pilot to take off and land vertically. The design allows for the DiscRotor copterjet to reach theoretical speeds of 360 knots, a range of 400 nautical miles, all the while carrying a payload of around 2,400 pounds. This is all theoretical of course. Aviation Week reports that Boeing will test the CSAR DiscRotor next year, a 20-percent scale model destined for a wind tunnel.
SOURCE: Aviation Week