This was one of those projects that took a huge amount of work and trial an error to work – but when it actually flew, it was worth all of it.
The Magnus effect is a very strange phenomenon. It’s the force exerted on a rapidly spinning cylinder or sphere moving through air in a direction at an angle to the axis of spin. This force, if angled correctly, can be a lifting or propelling force. In this case, I used the magnus effect as a lift force to replace the wings of an airplane.
But why was my aircraft shaped the way it was? I got a ton of comments saying I should have configured it like a ‘standard’ airplane with a fuselage trailing back to a horizontal and vertical stabilizer. However, my research before getting stuck into building stuff for this project suggested that this addition was probably unnecessary, and I’d be more likely to succeed in seeing a lifting force in action on a para motor type aircraft. I am yet to play around with any other configurations, but I think my final version showed that a very unconventional layout worked very well!
If there’s enough interest I’ll release some files for this, but they were extremely rough and ready when working on this project and I haven’t bothered smoothing them out.
Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it yet.