First Stable Cyclocopter Flight

Watch stable forward flight of a novel Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft -- the Cyclocopter, developed at the University of Maryland. This demonstrates the first ever stable flight of a cyclocopter micro-air vehicle with two side by side 1-inch diameter rotors with pitch stability controlled via a tail rotor.

The forward flight control strategies were developed and implemented by Ms. Elena Shrestha, Dr. Moble Benedict, Dr. Vikram Hrishikeshavan and Prof. Inderjit Chopra.

A cyclocopter utilizes cycloidal-rotors (cyclorotors), a revolutionary horizontal axis propulsion concept which has many advantages such as higher aerodynamic efficiency, maneuverability, and high gust tolerance. In addition, the cyclocopter is capable of maintaining steady, level flight in a power efficient manner. Unlike a conventional helicopter, the forward flight of a cyclocopter is performed purely utilizing thrust vectoring (varying cyclic pitch phasing) and not by pitching the entire vehicle forward. This is the first time the forward flight capability of a cyclocopter is demonstrated by purely thrust vectoring and not pitching the vehicle forward.