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Title:
VERTICAL TAKE-OFF BOX WING AIRCRAFT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/053984
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An aircraft frame includes a fuselage, at least one boom and a wing structure including a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the at least one boom and a first tip portion where at least a portion of the first tip portion is located forwardly from at least a portion of the first root portion, a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the fuselage, and a second tip portion located spaced from the first tip portion where at least a portion of the second tip portion is located rearwardly from at least a portion of the second root portion, and a connector surface extending between the first and second tip portions.

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Inventors:
TAYLOR ALEXANDER JAMES (US)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2021/058223
Publication Date:
March 17, 2022
Filing Date:
September 09, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WIND CRAFT AVIATION INC (US)
International Classes:
B64C3/16; B64C39/06; B64C15/12; B64C29/00; B64C37/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015019255A12015-02-12
WO2020069582A12020-04-09
Foreign References:
US3985317A1976-10-12
US5503352A1996-04-02
US20200140072A12020-05-07
FR3064978A12018-10-12
US20140061367A12014-03-06
US9499266B12016-11-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CALLAGHAN, Terry S. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
8

The invention claimed is:

1. An aircraft frame, comprising: a fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end; at least one boom having a first end coupled to the rearward end of the fuselage and a second end extending rearward from the first end; and a wing structure, comprising: a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the at least one boom, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion, wherein at least a portion of the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located forwardly from at least a portion of the first root portion of the first lifting surface; a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the fuselage, and a second tip portion located distally from the second root portion, wherein at least a portion of the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located rearwardly from at least a portion of the second root portion of the second lifting surface, and wherein the second tip portion is spaced from the first tip portion; and a connector surface extending between the first tip portion and the second tip portion.

2. The aircraft frame of claim 1, wherein the second tip of the second lifting surface is vertically spaced from the first tip portion of the first lifting surface.

3. The aircraft frame of either one of claims 1 and 2, wherein the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located a first height and the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located at a second height which is less than the first height.

4. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-3, wherein a majority of the first lifting surface is located at a greater vertical height than the second lifting surface. 9

5. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the first lifting surface is entirely located at a greater vertical height than the second lifting surface.

6. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the connector surface is substantially vertically oriented.

7. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-6, wherein the at least once boom includes a first boom and a second boom.

8. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-7, wherein the wing structure includes a first filleted transition portion coupling the first lifting surface to the connector surface.

9. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the wing structure includes a second filleted transition portion coupling the second lifting surface to the connector surface.

10. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-9, wherein the wing structure is detachably coupled to the fuselage and the at least one boom.

11. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-10, further comprising: a vertical stabilizer extending from the second end of the at least one boom.

12. The aircraft frame of claim 11, further comprising: a rudder extending from a trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer.

13. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-12, further comprising: a rudder extending from a trailing edge of the connector surface.

14. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-13, further comprising: at least one of an elevon and an aileron extending from a trailing edge of at least one of the first lifting surface and a trailing edge of the second lifting surface. 10

15. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-14, wherein the fuselage is configured to house a passenger within an interior of the fuselage.

16. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-15, further comprising: a mounting section located between the second root portion and the fuselage and configured to support at least one propulsion arrangement.

17. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-16, and further comprising: a propulsion arrangement positioned between the second root portion and the fuselage.

18. The aircraft of claim 17, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes an electric ducted fan.

19. The aircraft of claim 18, wherein the propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the propulsion arrangement is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the propulsion arrangement is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally.

20. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-16, and further comprising: a second propulsion arrangement located rearwardly of the fuselage.

21. The aircraft of claim 19, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes a pushtype propeller.

22. The aircraft of claim 19, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes a pair of contra-rotating propellers. 11

23. The aircraft of claim 19, wherein the propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the propulsion arrangement is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the propulsion arrangement is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally.

24. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of any one of claims 1-16, and further comprising: a first propulsion arrangement positioned between the second root portion and the fuselage; and a second propulsion arrangement located rearwardly of the fuselage.

25. The aircraft of claim 24, wherein the first propulsion arrangement includes an electric ducted fan.

26. The aircraft of either one of claims 24 and 25, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a push-type propeller.

27. The aircraft of claim 26, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a pair of contra-rotating propellers.

28. The aircraft of any one of claims 24-27, wherein at least one of the first propulsion arrangement and the second propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the at least one of the first and second propulsion arrangements is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the at least one of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally. 12

29. The aircraft of any one of claims 24-28, wherein the first propulsion arrangement and the second propulsion arrangement are each operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the first and second propulsion arrangements are each movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of each of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector of each of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially horizontally.

30. An aircraft frame, comprising: an aircraft body, comprising: a fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end; and at least one boom having a first end coupled to the rearward end of the fuselage and a second end extending rearward from the first end; and a wing structure, comprising: a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion; a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a second tip portion located distally from the second root portion, wherein the second tip portion is spaced from the first tip portion; and a connector surface extending between the first tip portion and the second tip portion; wherein the wing structure is detachably coupled to the aircraft body.

31. The aircraft frame of claim 30, wherein at least a portion of the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located forwardly from at least a portion of the first root portion of the first lifting surface. 13

32. The aircraft frame of either one of claims 30 and 31, wherein at least a portion of the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located rearwardly from at least a portion of the second root portion of the second lifting surface.

33. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-32, wherein the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is vertically spaced from the first tip portion of the first lifting surface.

34. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-33, wherein the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located a first height and the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located at a second height which is less than the first height.

35. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-34, wherein a majority of the first lifting surface is located at a greater vertical height than the second lifting surface.

36. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-35, wherein the first lifting surface is entirely located at a greater vertical height than the second lifting surface.

37. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-36, wherein the connector surface is substantially vertically oriented.

38. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-37, wherein the at least one boom includes a first boom and a second boom.

39. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-38, wherein the wing structure includes a first filleted transition portion coupling the first lifting surface to the connector surface.

40. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-39, wherein the wing structure includes a second filleted transition portion coupling the second lifting surface to the connector surface. 14

41. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-40, further comprising: a vertical stabilizer extending from the second end of the at least one boom.

42. The aircraft frame of claim 41, further comprising: a rudder extending from a trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer.

43. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-42, further comprising: a rudder extending from a trailing edge of the connector surface.

44. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-43, further comprising: at least one of an elevon and an aileron extending from a trailing edge of at least one of the first lifting surface and a trailing edge of the second lifting surface.

45. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-44, wherein the fuselage is configured to house a passenger within an interior of the fuselage.

46. The aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-45, further comprising: a mounting section located between the second root portion and the fuselage and configured to support a propulsion arrangement.

47. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of claim 30, and further comprising: a propulsion arrangement positioned between the second root portion and the fuselage.

48. The aircraft of claim 48, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes an electric ducted fan.

49. The aircraft of either one of claims 47 and 48, wherein the propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the propulsion arrangement is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the 15 propulsion arrangement is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally.

50. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of claim 30, and further comprising: a propulsion arrangement located rearwardly of the fuselage.

51. The aircraft of claim 51, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes a pushtype propeller.

52. The aircraft of either one of claims 50 and 51, wherein the propulsion arrangement includes a pair of contra-rotating propellers.

53. The aircraft of any one of claims 50-52, wherein the propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the propulsion arrangement is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the propulsion arrangement is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally.

54. An aircraft comprising the aircraft frame of any one of claims 30-45, and further comprising: a first propulsion arrangement positioned between the second root portion and the fuselage; and a second propulsion arrangement located rearwardly of the fuselage.

55. The aircraft of claim 54, wherein the first propulsion arrangement includes an electric ducted fan.

56. The aircraft of either one of claims 54 and 55, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a push-type propeller. 16

57. The aircraft of any one of claims 54-56, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a pair of contra-rotating propellers.

58. The aircraft of any one of claims 54-57, wherein at least one of the first propulsion arrangement and the second propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that at least one of the first and second propulsion arrangements is movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of the at least one of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector is directed substantially horizontally.

59. The aircraft of any one of claims 54-58, wherein the first propulsion arrangement and the second propulsion arrangement are each operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the first and second propulsion arrangements are each movable between a first configuration where a thrust vector of each of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially vertically, and a second configuration where the thrust vector of each of the first and second propulsion arrangements is directed substantially horizontally.

60. An aircraft, comprising: an aircraft structure, comprising: an aircraft body including a fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end; and a wing structure including a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion; and a first propulsion arrangement positioned between the first root of the first lifting surface, wherein the first propulsion arrangement includes a plurality of propulsion devices substantially aligned with one another long a length of the aircraft structure, and wherein at least one propulsion device of the plurality of propulsion devices is movable between a first configuration wherein a thrust vector of the at least one propulsion device is directed substantially vertically downward and a second configuration wherein 17 the thrust vector of the at least one propulsion device is directed substantially horizontally rearward.

61. The aircraft of claim 60, wherein the at least one propulsion device includes an electric ducted fan.

62. The aircraft of claim 61, wherein the plurality of propulsion devices includes a plurality of electric ducted fans.

63. The aircraft of any one of claims 60-62, further comprising: a second propulsion arrangement located rearwardly of the fuselage.

64. The aircraft of claim 63, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a push-type propeller.

65. The aircraft of either one of claims 63 and 64, wherein the second propulsion arrangement includes a pair of contra-rotating propellers.

66. The aircraft of any one of claims 63-65, wherein the second propulsion arrangement is operably coupled to the aircraft frame such that the second propulsion arrangement is movable between a third configuration where a thrust vector of the second propulsion arrangement is directed substantially vertically, and a fourth configuration where the thrust vector of the second propulsion arrangement is directed substantially horizontally.

67. The aircraft of any one of claims 60-66, wherein the wing structure further includes a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a second tip portion located distally from the second root portion, wherein the second tip portion is spaced from the first tip portion. 18

68. The aircraft of claim 67, wherein the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located at a first height and the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located at a second height which is greater than the first height.

69. The aircraft of either one of claims 67 and 68, wherein a majority of the second lifting surface is located at a greater vertical height than the first lifting surface.

70. The aircraft of any one of claims 67-69, wherein the second lifting surface is entirely located at a greater vertical height than the first lifting surface.

71. The aircraft of any one of claims 67-70, wherein at least a portion of the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located rearward from at least a portion of the first root portion of the first lifting surface.

72. The aircraft of any one of claims 67-71, wherein at least a portion of the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located forward from at least a portion of the second root portion of the second lifting surface.

73. The aircraft of claim 62, wherein the second tip of the second lifting surface is vertically spaced from the first tip of the first lifting surface.

74. The aircraft of any one of claims 67-73, wherein the wing structure further includes a connector surface extending between the first tip and the second tip.

75. The aircraft of claim 74, wherein the connector surface is substantially vertically oriented.

76. The aircraft of any one of claims 60-75, wherein the wing structure is detachably coupled to the aircraft body. 19

77. The aircraft of any one of claims 60-76, wherein the aircraft structure includes a boom having a first end coupled to the rearward end of the fuselage and a second end extending rearward from the first end.

78. The aircraft of claim 77, wherein the at least one boom includes a first boom and a second boom.

79. The aircraft of either one of claims 77 and 78, wherein the first root portion of the first lifting surface is located substantially proximate the fuselage.

80. The aircraft of claim 79, wherein the second root portion of the second lifting surface is located substantially proximate the at least one boom.

81. The aircraft of any one of claims 60-80, wherein the fuselage is configured to house a passenger within an interior of the fuselage.

Description:
VERTICAL TAKE-OFF BOX WING AIRCRAFT

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] Vertical take-off, electric aviation is a quickly developing facet of aerospace with many key players making unique alterations to the design of their airframes to gain an operating advantage. The design of an aircrafts' structure in this field is even more critical due to the interdependent nature of an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) aircrafts' airframe and powerplant positioning for function and stability.

[0002] The design of an airframe is critical to facilitating necessary forward and vertical flight characteristics. In addition the placement of propulsion within the airframe to take off and land vertically is equally critical.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention relates to a vertical take-off and landing aircraft, and in particular to a vertical take-off and landing aircraft comprising box wing airfoils and an electric powerplant.

[0004] One embodiment as shown and described herein may include an aircraft frame than includes a fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end, at least one boom having a first end coupled to the rearward end of the fuselage and a second end extending rearward from the first end, and a wing structure. The wing structure may include a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the at least one boom, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion, wherein at least a portion of the first tip portion of the first lifting surface is located forwardly from at least a portion of the first root portion of the first lifting surface, a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the fuselage, and a second tip portion located distally from the second root portion, wherein at least a portion of the second tip portion of the second lifting surface is located rearwardly from at least a portion of the second root portion of the second lifting surface, and wherein the second tip portion is spaced from the first tip portion, and a connector surface extending between the first tip portion and the second tip portion. [0005] Another embodiment as shown and described herein may further or alternatively include an aircraft frame that includes an aircraft body including a fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end, and at least one boom having a first end coupled to the rearward end of the fuselage and a second end extending rearward from the first end, and a wing structure. The wing structure may include a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion, a second lifting surface having a second root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a second tip portion located distally from the second root portion, wherein the second tip portion is spaced from the first tip portion, and a connector surface extending between the first tip portion and the second tip portion, wherein the wing structure is detachably coupled to the aircraft body.

[0006] Yet another embodiment as shown and described herein may further or alternatively include an aircraft that includes an aircraft structure including an aircraft body including fuselage having a forward end and a rearward end, and a wing structure including a first lifting surface having a first root portion located proximate the aircraft body, and a first tip portion located distally from the first root portion, and a first propulsion arrangement positioned between the first root of the first lifting surface, wherein the first propulsion arrangement includes a plurality of propulsion devices substantially aligned with one another along a length of the aircraft structure, and wherein at least one propulsion device of the plurality of propulsion devices is movable between a first configuration wherein a thrust vector of the at least one propulsion device is directed substantially vertically downward and a second configuration wherein the thrust vector of the at least one propulsion device is directed substantially horizontally rearward.

[0007] These and other features, advantages, and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] Fig. 1 is a front elevation view of a vertical take-off box wing aircraft;

[0009] Fig. 2 is a side elevation view of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft; [0010] Fig. 3 is a rear perspective view of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft;

[0011] Fig. 4 is an exploded, front elevation view of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft;

[0012] Fig. 5 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft;

[0013] Fig. 6 is a top plan view of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft;

[0014] Fig. 7 is a front elevation view of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft; and

[0015] Figs. 8-15 are top perspective, bottom perspective, front elevation, rear elevation, first side elevation, second side elevation, top plan and bottom plan views of an embodiment of the vertical take-off box wing aircraft.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] For purposes of description herein, the terms "upper," "lower," "right," "left," "rear," "front," "vertical," "horizontal," and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as oriented in FIGs. 1 and 2. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

[0017] Reference numeral 10 (Figs. 1-5) generally represents an electric, vertical take-off, horizontal flight aircraft including an aircraft body 9 and hybrid box wings 12 that include two horizontally separated lifting surfaces including an upper lifting surface or wing 14 and a lower lifting surface or wing 16 with opposite sweep and which converge at the wing tips 18, 20 and are connected by a rearward swept vertical connector surface 22. In the illustrated example, the aircraft body 9 incudes a fuselage 11 and a pair of extending tail booms 50. Smooth filleted geometry transitions 24, 26 are positioned between the fuselage 11 and the upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16 while additional smooth filleted geometry transitions 28, 30 are positioned between the vertical connector surface 22 and the respective upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16. In the illustrated example, the overall structure and configuration of the aircraft 10 facilitates the positioning of propulsion in the form of lower propulsion arrangements 32 that may include a singular propulsion device or a plurality of propulsion devices such as a plurality of electric ducted fans (EDF's) 33 (Figs. 6 and 7) located at the lower wing roots 34 of the lower lifting surfaces 16 and an upper propulsion arrangement 38 which includes two contra-rotating open bladed pusher propellers 40, 42 powered by electric motors 44 located between the rear tail booms 50 where the upper lifting surface 14 terminates into the fuselage 11. The tail booms 50 each terminate into an inverted rudder 52 that also functions to support or house the tailwheel 54 for the overall landing gear arrangement. The overall configuration of the aircraft 10 decreases the required wingspan for a light aircraft to achieve similar lift, and increases the aerodynamic efficiency of the aircraft when compared to one of relatively similar size.

[0018] Each box wing 12 includes a respective one of the upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16, the lower lifting surface 16 being positioned in front and ahead of the upper lifting surface 14 and swept rearward from the root 53 to the tip 57, while the upper lifting surface 14 is swept forward from the root 51 to the tip 55. The upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16 are connected by the vertical surface 22 with varying degrees of rearward sweep. As noted above, between all perpendicular and connected surfaces may be rounded, filleted geometry transitions, including the transition 24 between the respective tail boom 50 and the root 51 of the upper lifting surface 14; the transition 26 between the fuselage 11 and the root 53 of the lower lifting surface 16; the transition 28 between the vertical surface and the tip 55 of the upper lifting surface 14; and the transition 30 between the vertical surface 22 and the tip 57 of the lower lifting surface 16. The upper lifting surfaces 14 respectively terminate into the right and left tail booms 50, while the lower lifting surfaces 16 terminate in to the fuselage 11. Both the upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16 include airfoils having shapes that may vary in plan view and cross-section. For example, the lifting surfaces 14, 16 may vary in sweep from about 0 degrees to about 60 degrees, where one of lifting surfaces 14, 16 may sweep to match the other in the region of the tips 55, 57. The overall wingspan can be increased or decreased, scaled to any size, affecting the sweep angles, while still maintaining its unique function and advantages. [0019] Control surfaces acting as elevons 60 and/or ailerons may reside on all lifting surfaces of the hybrid box wing 12, such as within the upper and lower lifting surfaces 14, 16. The controls in the horizontal plane can be "mixed" to act as both elevators for pitch control and ailerons for roll control because of the unique, "off center" effect of the hybrid box wings 12. Rudder control surfaces 62, 64 for yaw control may be placed on the vertical surface of the box wings 12 and the inverted rudders for unique flight characteristic and increased safety.

[0020] The fuselage 11 of the aircraft 10 fluidly transitions from a low-profile nose section 64, into the wing root 34, cockpit 68, eventually diverging behind the cockpit 68 into the twin tail booms 50. The booms 50 may connect at a mounting point the radius of the propeller away from the end of the cockpit 68 for the mounting of the rear assembly, an assembly of counter-rotating propellers used for main horizontal propulsion. Further aft, the tail booms 50 may transition into and terminate into the large inverted rudders 52 which feature the integrated retractable or non-retractable tailwheel 54 as a part of the landing and ground handing assembly.

[0021] The landing gear arrangement of the aircraft 10 may include a forward section and an aft section, the aft section having been previously defined in the description of the inverted rudders 52 and the tailwheels 54 integrated therewith. The forward section 68 of the landing gear may be integrated into the fuselage 11, driven by a linear actuator (not shown), and suspended by shocks 70 mounted to a screw driven carriage (not shown) and a lever arm (not shown) of the landing gear.

[0022] The propulsion, as discussed above, may be provided in the form of the EDF's (electric ducted fans) 33 and the aforementioned rear assembly, allowing the aircraft 10 to take off and land vertically, while flying horizontally en route. In the illustrated example, the EDF's 33 are positioned at the lower wing roots 34 where the wings 12 connect to the fuselage 11 using a load spar pass-through system 76. The EDF's 33 are operably coupled with the fuselage 11 such that the EDF's may be rotated between a vertical takeoff configuration where the relative thrust vector of one or more of the EDF's is directed substantially downward, and an in-flight configuration where the relative thrust vector of one or more of the EDF's is about 90┬░ from the first configuration and is directed substantially horizontally rearward. It is noted that the EDF's may also be configured to direct the relative thrust vectors that exceed the preferred approximate 90┬░range as discussed above. Bays of the EDF's 33 may include a plurality of EDF's 33 placed one behind the other in a "series" to form a low drag profile in forward flight or in-flight configuration while rotating 90 degrees to provide vertical lift in the vertical takeoff configuration. Preferably, all propulsion integrated into the airframe of the aircraft 10 may rotate to provide both vertical lift and horizontal thrust. The upper propulsion arrangement 38 may include brushless direct current DC motors (BLDC's) fitted with a traditional propeller or propellers 40, 42, mounted to contra-rotate and provide forward thrust. The upper propulsion unit 38 is positioned between the twin tail booms 50 and likewise rotates around a central axis for both forward and vertical flight. It is noted that while EDF's 33 are preferred, alternative propulsion arrangements may be utilized, including but not limited to, jet engines/turbine engines, turbo fans, normally aspirated engines, and the like.

[0023] The process of transitioning from vertical flight to forward flight is dependent on mechanisms found at the wing roots 34 and inside the twin tail booms 50 which manipulate the EDF's 33 and BLDC's around their central axes respectively. As the aircraft 10 transitions, the rear assembly as well as the EDF's 33 slowly rotate forward, gaining airspeed and becoming parallel with the flight path of the aircraft 10 when the wings have become fully effective at producing the necessary lift to sustain flight.

[0024] Modular wings 12, as best illustrated in Fig. 4, may be used to outfit the aircraft 10, in the same general configuration, for improving certain flight characteristics and performance depending on specific requirements. In order to change flight characteristics the aircraft 10 is designed with modular wing functionality, where the spar pass through system 76 may allow a wing 12 to be mechanically disengaged and removed from the aircraft overall 10.

[0025] The aircraft 10 may also be configured to house and operate a ballistic recovery parachute 80, integrated into the composite shell 82 of the aircraft 10 and which penetrates through the composite shell 82 on activation, deploy the parachute, and which may suspend the aircraft 10 from hard points on the four upper and lower wing roots (not shown). [0026] The aircraft 10 may also include a cowling arrangement 90 (Figs. 6 and 7) including a plurality of upper cowling members 92 and a plurality of lower cowling members 94 each movable between an open position as shown in Figs. 6 and 7, and a closed position as shown in Figs. 1-5, where the cowling members 92, 94 are moved to the open position allowing movement of the propulsion devices 33 into the vertical takeoff position, and to the closed position to improve overall aerodynamics during horizontal flight.

[0027] In the foregoing description, it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention without departing when the concept is disclosed. Such modifications are to be considered as included in the following claims, unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.