The Orb Hopper
The Hopper is a VTOL flying craft that can be made to land on water, land or both. The Hopper does not have exterior moving rotor blades like a helicopter. The Hopper's rotor blades are enclosed in the center fan chamber. With no exterior moving parts like a helicopter, a parachute for the entire craft can be safely deployed.
The Hopper can use a contra rotating fan blade system in the center fan chamber or a turbofan jet engine. Having the fan blades concealed in the center fan chamber will make the Hopper quieter, then craft with their rotor blades exposed to the atmosphere. Sound echoing noise cancellation can be used in the 4 thrust arms, to give the craft a lower noise signature.
A loudspeaker could be used inside each of the 4 thrust arms. Recording the noise made by the rotor blades and playing it back with loudspeakers, will help reduce the noise signature.
The contra rotating fan system force the air flow up into the 4 thrust arms, which bends the air flow 180* to create lift. The air flow is going up and not down like helicopters and multi rotor craft. The airflow is split into the four thrust arms, spreading out the thrust force to four points, to give good balance like a quadcopter. Balance and steering are achieved from this configuration. Installing swivel nozzles at the 4 thrust arm exit ports will give the craft forward and reverse flight. The center diverter flap splits the air flow in half. This allows control of the roll of the craft. The center diverter will let the craft turn right or left. A gyro used with the center diverter flap will help keep the craft balanced while in hover. A gyro will be used with the swivel nozzles to keep the balance of the craft in check while in hover.
Preliminary test show that the Hopper will get over 3lbs of thrust force per horsepower. Using the GE T901 is a 3,000shp engine that will give the craft over 9,000lbs of thrust. The estimated craft weight is 5,000lbs, so that leaves 4,000lbs for the payload. With further testing the Hopper could get 4lbs of thrust per HP. This would give the Orb Hopper a MTOW of 12,000lbs. The cargo capacity would be 6,000 to 7,000lbs. The Orb Hopper is in the heavy lift category.
Hydrogen fuel cells could be the source to power the electric motors and fan system. This will allow 2 to 3 times the endurance, then relying only on batteries, to power the craft.
A generator using diesel fuel could power the Orb Hopper's electric motors and fan system.
Using an 8' in dia. Center fan chamber the size of the 4 ducts exit ports would be right at a 3' x 4' oval shape. This allows for high mass air flow volume exiting the 4 exit ports. The 4 exit ports should be 13% less than the, 8' dia. of the center fan chamber, to be most efficient. The ducting is slightly funneled to get maximum efficiency.
The bottom of the craft can be a solid surface. The air intake can be around the perimeter of the center fan chamber. (see drawing)
If you only want to use the craft for land use, this would be the best design. This design allows the cargo to be attached to the bottom of the craft. The landing gear would have to be tall enough, to hold the craft high enough, to accept the cargo.
Airbags that are used in cars will help with the survivability of passengers. A newer style airbag system can be developed, that does not have to deploy on impact. Car crashes happen instantaneously. Airplane crashes have a few more second to deploy the air bag system. The craft could automatically turn on airbag system before the craft hits the ground.
Airborne Parachute Systems has inflatable airbag cushions for the bottom of the craft. Several airbag cushions are used to absorb the impact of a crash landing.
AmSafe has an airbag system that is sewn onto the passenger's seatbelt. This system deploys on impact, like a car airbag system.
Having the fan blades enclosed in the center fan chamber will make the craft quieter, then a craft with their rotor blades exposed to the atmosphere. Fan blades exposed to the atmosphere cause drag in forward flight. The Hopper's air intake pulls the air past the electric motors, helping to keep them cool. Traditional aircraft do not use the air intake for anything. The heat from the electric motors automatically de-ice the blended thrust arm wings of the craft. Most aircraft use chemicals that are sprayed on to de-ice the airplane.
The thrust arm exit ports are located at the wing tips. This will give the craft quick response to the pilots control stick movement.
The Hopper's thrust air flow can mix with wing tip vortices to give the craft an extra boost.
A blended wing will attach to the top of the 4 thrust arms for a faster and more efficient forward flight.
Using a turbofan jet engine, in the center fan chamber, would have enough heat to melt snow and ice on the blended wing attached to the top of the four thrust arms. You would just start the engine to de-ice the Orb Hopper.
The Orb Hopper would be able to carry a water bucket to help fight forest fires. The Orb Hopper could be used on high rise building fires. The Hopper could bump right up to a window of a building, to evacuate people trapped, with no other way to escape. The Hopper with no exterior moving rotor blades, allows the craft to touch obstacles, without catastrophic failure.
The Orb Hopper can be used for natural disaster relief. The Hopper can deliver nurses and doctors to help with the injured. The Hopper could bring supplies, to the civil and the military, when disaster relief is needed.
The Hopper could be used for ship to shore transportation.
The Hopper could be used for border patrol and for security purposes.
The Hopper could be used for search and rescue and humanitarian operations.
The Hopper can be used in snow and ice storms in mountain rescue missions
The Hopper with a boat bottom can land near the flood victim and use the electric boat motor to get close enough to extract the victim.
The Mother Orb Hopper could have smaller Drone Hoppers that can distribute the supplies.
The Drone Hoppers would come back to the Mother Orb Hopper to re-fuel and get more supplies.
There can be Killer Drones with weapons to secure the area and to keep the enemy at bay.
The main components of the Orb Hopper:
1. A center fan chamber with contra rotating fans. 2. Four thrust arms with easy attachment to the perimeter of the center fan chamber. 3. Blended wing that attaches to the top of the four thrust arms. 4. The center diverter flap attaches to the top of the center fan chamber. 5. Swivel nozzles. 6. pilot cabin area 7. cargo area and 8. boat bottom. The boat bottom is made to land on water or land.
The Orb Hopper can help save lives and bring relief to disaster areas>