Welcome To Personal Flight Association
We all are explorers. We need to boldly go where no one has gone before. We need to expand, it's in our genes. The air above us is our next frontier. To conquer this frontier is to provide everyone means to fly; to provide personal vehicles that makes flying easy and fun, relaxing and safe, time saving and ubiquitous as today's driving or riding a bike. It's the next step in our technological evolution.
To provide opportunity for technical data exchange and dissemination; to promote awareness of personal flight capabilities,
challenges and development.
An international organization that advocates, promotes and supports advancement in personal flight technology. Society and environmental benefits are on top of our list.
Definition of Personal Flight
Practical knowledge for development, operation and use of small VTOL aircraft. Typicaly this includes transport UAV and 1-6 passenger aerial vehicles, capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) operation, reduced noise and increased safety so they can be used in urban environment.
The VTOL Conundrum
Designing a VTOL aircraft is very hard. This is proven by more than 50 years of VTOL history - countless failed projects, and only 2 VTOL design configurations evolved to 'life' - to be real aircraft - and those are military aircraft. These are the V22 Osprey - tilt-rotor configuration, and Harrier/F-35 - VTOL jet configuration, the military specification aspect to perform the mission are the reason of their success, the economic cost being secondary. A lot of classical fixed wing aircraft and rotor-craft are performing better in cruise and respectively hover, but fixed wing aircraft cannot hover and the helicopters cannot achieve high speed cruise.
Aircraft cruise - high speed performance and respectively hovering performance are driven by aerodynamic parameters that are mutually exclusive, and this proves to be the conundrum of all VTOL aircraft designs and configurations. Basically, long slender wings are needed for good subsonic cruise performance, but they are ‘dead weight’ and perturb the airflow in hover. Large rotors are needed for good hovering performance, but they don’t perform well at providing high speed thrust and a source of excessive drag.
The electric propulsion is very advantageous for a personal VTOL aircraft, and not for the high efficiency of electric propulsion per se, but for the high efficiency regardless of power setting, as a VTOL aircraft has a large disparity of power required for hover versus cruising. Current electric propulsion has weight challanges, as batteries have relatively low specific energy, but our studies indicates that an electric aircraft designed for short flights might be even lighter than a conventional piston engine aircraft. The weakest link in the efficiency chain proves to be the aerodynamics of VTOL flight, and we believe this is an area that will provide the most benefits.
We are challanging this VTOL conundrum head-on, and are inviting you to help us achive the dream of personal flight.