Investigation of a novel vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft concept, the Tilt-PrandtlPlane


This project aims at facing the problem of conceiving and design a machine that can substitute or be complementary to helicopters. This problem has attracted the attention of the aeronautic communities for decades, without finding an effective solution. The present concept makes use of an idea by Prandtl, who defined in his work the so-called "best wing system" as the box-like wing (closed bi-plane), which is able to minimize the induced drag. In the Tilt-PrandtlPlane (Tilt-PP), the best wing system couples the aerodynamic advantages to the structural ones (e.g. much higher stiffness with respect to mono-plane).

The Tilt-PP is an innovative VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft that, thanks to a very effective mechatronic tilting mechanism, will allow hovering as well as fast and efficient cruising flight modes for medium range missions to urban areas usage. In fact, with increasing needs of performance efficiency with low noise and pollution emissions, low altitude urban compatible flight transport systems need to provide ecological solutions. The Tilt-PP concept can be an urban area aircraft solution for taxiing compatible with such constraints based on the “Prandtl-plane” design, optimising the reduction of induced vortex drag, presenting a tiltrotorcraft propulsion and allowing a VTOL aircraft configuration.

MUL2 Investigators

Erasmo Carrera, Maria CinefraAlfonso Pagani, Marco Petrolo

Reference Publications

Carrera E., Pagani A., Cinefra M., Petrolo M.. "Velivolo con Ali Biplano e Sistema Propulsivo Rotanti", Brevetto di Invenzione Industriale n° TO2013A000249, 27 Marzo 2013.