Real Flying Saucer
Researchers have built an unmanned aerial vehicle that looks and acts just like a flying saucer.
The disc-shaped device can take off vertically from any surface, land practically anywhere, and if it accidentally contacts a building or cliff, it won't explode into a fireball.
The vehicle looks something like an upside-down bowl with a propeller on top. When the propeller spins, air gets pushed down over the outer surface of the bowl. That action creates lower air pressure on top of the craft and higher air pressure below, giving the vehicle lift.
According to Steel, director of GFS Projects in Peterborough, England, the saucer is more stable and easier to fly than a helicopter and because it has fewer moving parts than a helicopter, it's easier to build and maintain.
But fuel efficiency could be an issue, said Holger. "That is the number one killer," he said. The reason is that the fan is relatively small and in a confined space and needs to produce high volumes of air. "The batteries don't last as long because the amount of power you convert into thrust is not so great because the efficiency is low," he said.
Tags: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle | Flying Saucer