#2306: Symmetrotor

If a helicopter sustains damage to its rotor blades, then it is normally time to attempt some kind of forced landing.

Today’s invention offers an alternative.

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If your chopper starts with blades at 90 degrees apart and one is eg partly shot away, then the damaged one would be jettisoned and the remaining blades would automatically reconfigure so as to space themselves out circumferentially at 120 degree intervals.

If an original five blades were suddenly reduced to two (at 180 degrees), there would probably also have to be some increase in engine speed, so that, in the worst case, a gentle landing could be effected.

In this way, your blades need only be controlled by a very simple swarming algorithm that says “maintain equal distance from your two neighbours.”

A similar approach might work for windfarms, since their blades are always breaking off.

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