back to article DARPA seeks Transformer helicopters

Pentagon crazytech researchers look to be revisiting a long-speculated-upon idea: that of helicopter blades which could extend or shorten in length during flight. This would offer major performance benefits, and such options as whisper mode or easier operations in confined spaces. The latest development in the telescoping …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. David Austin
    Thumb Up


    I don’t know much, but I do know this:

    I want to work for DARPA, presumably with the reassuring supervision of Dick Dastardly, Doc Brown, and mind-expanding drugs

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Bring me...

    ...that CUBE, boy!

  3. Eddy Ito
    Black Helicopters

    No pilots at Darpa?

    Have they ever flown a helicopter? Both feet are busy with pedals, the left hand works the collective and throttle and the right hand works the cyclic. Where do they intend to put the dial to "morph" the blades? Where is the manual override to free the one blade that fails to morph? Have these guys never had their landing gear stick? I'm beginning to think the motto at DARPA is "KISS less."

    Can we finally get that Optimus Prime icon? How about the T-3 chick then?

  4. Mike Moyle

    Just for fun...

    Let's all imagine what happens when one rotor blade gets stuck at full extension when all of the others retract.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    multibarrelled autohowitzer

    So where do I buy one for the car? Most useful for 'educating' BMW 3-series/Audi A4 repman on the motorway.

    Paris - cause she'd know where to find a set of long tubes shooting a hot load...

  6. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Smaller rotor for landing in confined spaces?

    Erm...? Maybe not such a good idea. It would probably then not generate enough lift for take off with a load. A simpler idea would be to make the blades partially fold midlength into an L-shape, reducing the rotor diameter without as much of a reduction in lift.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    @Eddy Ito

    "Optimus Prime"

    Frankly, I don't believe any of it without the playmobil mockup.

  8. Walking Turtle
    Gates Horns

    Fine physics in theory,

    but perhaps a tad bit socipolitically inexpedient, methinks.

    @ Matt Bryant: "A simpler idea would be to make the blades partially fold midlength into an L-shape, reducing the rotor diameter without as much of a reduction in lift."

    Faultless theoretical design physics no doubt, although the thought of the aggregate mechanical leverage that would inescapably emerge at the mid-rotor swivel joints scares me even more than the idea of those extensible blades (and all those gun-thingies) already do.

    But even so, some of us merkin kids of my oddly-indoctrinated youth's day indeed would pencil-draw choppers like that (fighter plane props too) as diversion in the classroom. But as an entirely acceptable MIL-spec craft, to any of us who live this side of WWII, all recent merkin+Judah reversions to type notwithstanding? Of that, this one is not so sure. (Sure ain't cohen nor kasrut' neither imho per recent Strip-regional assault+BBC-denial nudge nudge saynomore.)

    Mebbe a "Magen David" rotor design with axially variable angular relation 'tween the twin-opposed interlaced triangles? ("Best see that Holy Thing set right once you touch her down, Soldier!") Might indeed sound a bit different in the air. Might whine distinctively...

    Either way, though: What with all four of the pilot's limbs being kept quite busy as they non-avoidably are in flight, I for one would not be so very surprised if one handheld control or the other in any such fell beast of the skies ends up resembling a lovely manhand-sized MIL-spec menorah nudge-nudge saynomore...

    So many unfulfilled nakbahs, so little unbooked time... Oi crikety veh. (Urk. Gah.)

    Better now.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022