We recently performed a study for a client, in which we explored technology to extend the speed and range of a tandem-duct platform. Several of the technologies assessed in that study would enable specific applications for the Aero-X.
One of those developments involved the addition of two thruster fans located between the tandem-ducts, on each side of the pilot. The thrusters are driven by the same drivetrain powering the Aero-X primary lift fans. They utilize a unique power management system, enabling speeds over 90 mph without sacrificing fail-safe. Their position on the vehicle helps keep the nose down at higher speeds – a constant battle with vehicles of this type.
The addition of the thrusters – and some extra fuel instead of a passenger, would make an exciting platform for fast, low-altitude air racing. The added complexity of the machines could easily be handled by trained flyers. The racecourse could include flight between buildings or trees, under overpasses or through canyons, and even indoors in stadiums. If the vehicles were electric instead of petrol, pit crews could swap battery packs much like they do tires today.
An exciting twist is how these vehicles might react when flying in close formation – particularly against a front-runner aggressively defending his position.