School of Aeronautics
Magnus effect, Flettner, alternative-lift, rotorcraft, flight, prototype
Cook, Benjamin, "Design Considerations of a Magnus Effect Flettner Rotorcraft" (2022). Senior Honors Theses. 1175.
Airfoils have dominated the development of aircraft since the Wright brothers’ first flight. There are very few (if any) functional alternative mechanisms for heavier-than-air flight. However, in exploring the Magnus effect phenomenon applied to Flettner rotors in a rotorcraft configuration, a new and significantly underdeveloped method of heavier-than-air flight may be accomplished. Considering the aerodynamic context of the Magnus effect and its implementation in existing applications, this research principally concerns a single proposed mechanism and its design, viability, and lift-surface optimization. The proposed mechanism employs at least two 180o offset rotating cylinders rotating about a central vertical axis, like a helicopter rotor, with the backspin of the cylinders generating lift according to Bernoulli’s principle, Newton’s third law, and the Magnus effect.