#2334: FanLander

Flying fixed-wing aircraft from ships is fraught with difficulties.

The pressure is on to create aircraft carriers which do not require a huge runway (since it makes them costly and vulnerable).


VTOL aircraft are hyper expensive (especially if you’ve decided to ditch, rather than upgrade, the superb Harrier), so how to equip one’s comparatively bog-standard fast jets with seagoing abilities?

Today’s invention is a new concept in aircraft carrier.

This is based on having a small ship, packed with planes and with several enormous Dyson-esque ring fans on deck.

These would be capable of creating such an airflow that an aircraft placed in front would rise vertically and fly through the hoop to take off.

To land, approach the hoop with a high airspeed but zero deckspeed and, by reducing the fan airflow, touch down gently.