The SOAR open-fan wing technology at the focus of this project is a new concept that distributes the thrust and powered-lift over the entire span of the wing resulting in a model-proven lift efficiency three times that of helicopters as well as truly quiet U-STOL performance and safe autorotation landing.
Wind tunnel testing augmented by CFD simulations during the SOAR programme are expected to bring improvements in lift efficiency, flight speed and cruise economy on the order of 10% to 20% relative to those seen on small-scale wind tunnel and flight models.
The experimental data collected in this programme will be incorporated in a common aircraft design study targeting a certain mission range. The aircraft is developed in two versions - one passenger and one freight aircraft. The passenger version carries about 60-70 passenger. The freighter version is able to carry up to eight tons of freight. These two aircraft projections, based on the same wing and propulsion system, will subsequently be evaluated in terms of their direct operating cost in comparison with competing types such as conventional STOL aircraft, helicopters and Tilt-rotor aircraft.
It is believed that the SOAR open-fan wing technology, to be developed during this programme, will provide significant technical data at a much larger scale than previously; and this will eventually lead to a new class of aircraft with attractive operational and economic features.
FanWing Ltd, United Kingdom
Institut Von Karman de Dynamique des Fluides, Belgium