Horizon Aeronautics has started developing a prototype of an eVTOL hovercraft concept. To understand how the company’s propulsion system, called Blainjett, works, we first need to understand how the turntable and the cyclic control work as the helicopter’s upper rotor rotates.
Each blade can change its pitch angle independently, and the height of the baffle plate determines the pitch angle. When the rotor sits flat, pushing the whole thing up and down changes the pitch angle of all the blades simultaneously.
With cyclic control, however, helicopter pilots can tilt the turntable. Pushing the stick forward, for example, tilts the blades gradually as they turn in a circle, becoming flatter as they pass the front of the aircraft and then tilting upwards to develop more lift as they move backwards. The result will be an asymmetry in the buoyancy, accelerating the back of the disc. The cyclic control can do this in any direction; it is part of what makes helicopters virtually dynamic aircraft.
Blainjett calls its innovation “dynamic variable pitch”, which basically means splitting the rotor in two so it works in two parts. The turntable still tilts in the usual way in response to cyclic inputs, but the new system allows one half of the turntable to be pushed higher or lower than the other half.
Horizon could design a jet ski-sized eVTOL aircraft along the lines of the technology already mentioned. The electric-powered vehicle could weigh around 380 kilograms, slightly less than two sports bikes, and have a footprint of roughly 3.58 x 1.27 metres, while accommodating up to three people.