Many sci-fi books or pictures mention personal flying vehicles. This might soon be a reality with Xplorair, a revolutionary vertical take-off aircraft based on the Coanda effect. Discover how Dassault Systèmes solutions helped this idea to take off!
Xplorair is a revolutionary flying vehicle. It's a vertical take-off and landing airplane based on the Coanda effect. Xplorair will first come in two versions : a four-seated one and a personal, one-seated Xplorair nicknamed "Colibri" (hummingbird in French). More versions might come later for specific usages.
What is the Coanda effect? To put it briefly, it’s the ability of a fluid flow (liquid or gas) to “stick” to a convex surface and to attract it. It has been studied by the engineer Henri Coanda, therefore its name. A simple demonstration of this effect can be done by holding a sheet of paper by one of its ends, with one hand on each corner of that end. Blow on the piece of paper while aiming your breath between your hands, and you will see the free end of the paper rise up.
Congratulations! You have shown that upper surface blowing creates a bearing strength. This is what Xplorair is based on. If you blow on a wing’s upper surface, you will take off. If the wing is in fact made of two articulated parts with the jet engine blowing somewhere in the middle, it’s enough to change the angle between the two wing parts to make the transition between vertical take-off, and regular, horizontal flight.
The Coanda effect has already been used on some aircrafts to bring additional bearing strength and reduce take-off distances. However, Xplorair is definitely a breakthrough as it is the first aircraft entirely relying on this effect for both take-off and flight.
Xplorair will also be concerned with greener mobility. The engine will use second generation biofuels (i.e. non threatening for food nor biodiversity), and some cabin elements such as control panel and seats will be made of agro-materials.
Michel Aguilar set up a non-for-profit association to develop Xplorair. The association groups enthusiasts from all horizons: students from his former engineer school, professionals from the local aero industry and even a professor from the local business school. The Xplorair association then applied to the Passion for Innovation Program and became one of its most exciting projects .
Through Passion for Innovation, an aerodynamic study of the aircraft has been completed. This study proved the concept to be valid: Xplorair can take off using the Coanda effect, and the study computed the key aero coefficients ( lift coefficient: Cz and drag coefficient: Cx). It took six months to complete this study, due to numerous computing iterations and the need for high computing power.
The Dassault Systèmes sponsoring caught an important aeronautic and space Group’s attention regarding the Xplorair association. This prestigious Group is seriously considering to support the Xplorair challenge. Our CAA partner CD-Adapco is involved as well.
Dassault Systèmes is delighted that its Passion for Innovation Program allowed Michel Aguilar to develop Xplorair to the point that one of the most important aeronautical and space groups in the world considers to partner with him.
Our sponsorship mission is now complete and has succeeded well above expectations with a passionate sponsoree about to find an ideal strategic partner. One of the Passion for Innovation missions is to make it possible for our sponsorees to find industrial partners to complete their projects and hand it over to them.
Xplorair is one of the best examples of such a success.
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