#2282: SpinWings

It seems that DARPA have identified a requirement to fly high-payload UAV missions from ships too small to accommodate normal takeoffs.

Today’s invention attempts to address that requirement (but without having to fill in their million pages of paperwork).


A cylindrical UAV fuselage has wings attached with variable pitch.

This machine is loaded into a mast (grey) which is then hoisted into a vertical position on the deck somewhere.

A cable around the cylinder is withdrawn, by a deck motor, very fast so that the entire drone spins out of the mast and into the sky. (Sensitive equipment would be located along the cylinder axis to minimise rotational acceleration effects).

At this point, one of the wings rotates about its axis into the same aerofoil configuration as the other and the red tailfins extend from the fuselage.

The internal jet engine fires up, the cylinder aligns itself horizontally, like a plane, and the system then does whatever democracy requires.

On return to the ship, the UAV reverts to helicopter mode and undertakes a remotely controlled descent into the conical mast collector.