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Fri, Oct 06, 2023

CycloTech Conducts First Flight of Bumblebee 2.0 UAS Platform

Rise of the Cyclorotor

Headquartered in Linz, Austria, CycloTech is an aerospace concern about the business of “making individual air mobility as normal as driving a car.” The company’s mission statement sets forth: “We re-invent flying. With our 360° thrust-vectoring cyclorotors, we develop a new, sustainable, highly-maneuverable and environmentally-accepted propulsion solution for the 21st Century. We enable simple and comfortable VTOL operations to be part of everyday life.”

In late-September 2023, CycloTech released video footage of the first flight of the company’s Bumblebee 2.0 concept aircraft. The flight, which had taken place a month prior, showcased the machine’s unusual configuration, which features four CR42 cyclorotors and an advanced flight-control system. The commencement of the Bumblebee 2.0 platform’s flight-testing campaign speaks to the ongoing evolution of CycloTech’s unique aero-propulsion scheme.

Broadly, a cyclorotor is a fluid propulsion device that converts shaft-power into the acceleration of a fluid by means of a rotating axis perpendicular to the direction of fluid motion. Known also as cycloidal rotors, cycloidal propellers, or cyclogyros, cyclorotors comprise blades characterized by spanwise axes parallel to their axes of rotation and perpendicular to the direction of fluid motion. Subject blades are cyclically-pitched twice-per-revolution to produce force (thrust or lift) in any direction normal to their axes of rotation. Aircraft powered by cyclorotors are capable of changing the magnitude and direction of produced thrust in the absence of tilting structures.

Over the coming months, CycloTech intends to comprehensively demonstrate the capabilities of its 360° thrust-vectoring cyclorotors, which are based on a one-hundred-year-old design and challenge conventional propulsion architectures. For purpose of demonstrating the stability, maneuverability, and efficiency inherent cyclorotors, CycloTech will systematically expand the flight-envelope of its Bumblebee 2.0 platform, thereby further exploring and garnering data germane thereto.

While the debut of Bumblebee 2.0 represents a unique application of a novel propulsion and lifting concept, CycloTech stresses the configuration is apt to initially see limited acceptance by the larger Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) industry. Widespread adoption of any disruptive technology is a gradual process, often spanning decades—an axiom by which CycloTech remains undeterred.

Confident in the actualization of its mission statement, CycloTech invites aviation enthusiasts, industry stakeholders, and the public to remain on the lookout for future updates pertaining to the company’s efforts to advance the frontiers of aerial mobility.



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