Skyworks Aeronautics Corp.
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Skyworks Aeronautics is the world leader in the science and technology of gyronautics, focusing on the design and development of crewed and uncrewed gyroplanes and gyrocopters with gas-powered, hybrid-electric and fully electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) options depending upon the aircraft. The company's goals are to make air travel safer, more cost-efficient and effective. The company began in 1986 as Groen Brothers Aviation and then became Groen Aeronautics Corporation. On April 24, 2017, Groen Aeronautics became Skyworks Global which eventually lead to its current company name, Skyworks Aeronautics.
Skyworks Aeronautics has possibly one of the most unique and certainly the largest urban air mobility concept design aircraft in the world, it's called the GryoLiner. The GryoLiner is a large compound gyroplane airliner with a capacity of 19-200 passengers in a pressurized cabin with VTOL capability. The aircraft's cruise speed is 240 mph (386 km/h), is a short-range airline with a maximum range of 350 miles (563 km) and is referred to by the company as the world's first runway independent airliner. While the main design of the aircraft calls for a turbine engine power source, the company has confirmed that a conversion to hybrid-electric powertrain would be quite possible.
The aircraft design has it roots from the United Kingdom through a gifted engineer named Charles Richard Fairey, who designed the infamous Fairey Rotodyne compound gyroplane. The Fairey Rotodyne held 40-50 passengers, had a pair of rear loading doors for freight, used a tip-jet powered rotor to turn the four main rotoblades, had two piston engines to turn the two forward flight propellers, one a high wing, a twin tail boom and tricycle wheeled retractable landing gear. The first flight of the Fairey Rotodyne was on Nov. 6, 1957 and the project was cancelled in 1962. Only one full-scale Rotodyne prototype was built.
Question and Answer from a Ars Technica magazine article: If not for social policy, could the Rotodyne have succeeded on a technical and cost-per-seat basis? "Definitely," says Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia, USA-based Vertical Flight Society. "There are companies today who are proposing similar aircraft to the Rotodyne."
From the same article, another quote: "Former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (USA) program manager Don Woodbury told Ars Tehcnica, the Rotodyne inspired its development. "If [the Rotodyne] had made it into commercial use, our whole notion of inter-city transport would be far different than it is today. The Rotodyne would've been a formidable competitor in terms of cost and performance."
For the construction of the GyroLiner, the company will be using state-of-the-art electronics, material and components, including but not limited to a glass cockpit, a man-machine interface, health usage monitoring system (HUMS), a composite structure, silencers for rotorblade tips, an advanced rotorhead, advanced propeller technology, advanced vibration control, light weight gearbox for both forward propellers and more. The aircraft will also have retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear.
The company has not stated any timeline for the GyroLiner project but the compound gyroplane airliner will a project that will a very interesting one to watch.
- Aircraft type: Turbine or hybrid-electric compound gyroplane VTOL aircraft for passengers or cargo
- Piloting: Unknown (possibly 1 to 2 pilots)
- Capacity: 19-100 passengers with a pressurized cabin
- Cruise speed with turbine engine: 240 mph (386 km/h)
- Range with turbine engine: 350 m (563 km)
- Flight time with turbine engine: 1-1/2 hours
- Rotoblades: 4
- Propellers: 2
- Power source: Gas turbine or hybrid-electric
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Airliner type windows for passengers
- Wings: 1 main high wing
- Tail: Twin tail boom
- Landing gear: Retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear
- Safety Features: A gyrocopter is an inherently safe aircraft due to its non-powered rotorblade and stall-free characteristics, complexity is reduced due to no need for a transmission or gearbox for rotorblades
- Autogiro: The original term, trademarked and licensed by Juan de la Cierva (Spain), for an aircraft using an autorotating rotor for lift plus one or more propellers for thrust.
- Autogyro: The general term for a VTOL autorotating aircraft using an unpowered rotor for lift and one or more propellers for forward flight and one that was not a licensed Cierva Autogiro. The US FAA recognizes the name “gyroplane” instead.
- Gyrocopter: This term was trademarked by Igor Bensen and the Bensen Aircraft Corp. for its gyroplanes.
- Gyroglider: A Bensen trademarked name for its towed autorotating gyroplanes.
- Gyrocraft: A general term for all autorotating aircraft.
- Gyrodyne: An autogyro that is capable of VTOL and/or hovering, as well as extended forward flight in autorotation (i.e. a powered gyroplane).
- Gyronautics: A term coined by Skyworks Global for “the science of sustained autorotative flight”
- Gyroplane: A general term for an aircraft that cruises in autorotative flight (aka an “autogyro”).
- Heliplane: A US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program from 2005 to 2009 for a high-speed tip-jet rotor gyrodyne.
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- Skyworks Aeronautics Wikipedia
- Fairey Rotodyne Wikipedia
- Autogyro Wikipedia
- Article: One Step Beyond, Rotor & Wing, Feb. 2007
- Article: Groen Aeronautics Re-Branded As Skyworks Global, PR Newswire, Apr. 24, 2017
- Radio Interview: Retired Brig. General John E. Michel, Director Skyworks Global, National Public Radio, Dec. 4, 2017
- Article: Gyronautics: Airplanes Without Runways, Skyworks, Jun. 5, 2018
- Article: Advantageous Autorotation, Vertiflite, Jul./Aug. 2018
- Article: Transforming Tennis Courts into Airports: How Skyworks Global’s VertiJet™ is Poised to Transform Private Business Travel, Medium.com, Feb. 1, 2019
- Article: GYROPLANES: From Novelty to Mainstream?, Vertiflite, Mar./Apr. 2019
- Article: Skyworks Global Announces Collaboration with Scaled Composites to Develop the VertiJet™ Demonstrator, EIN Presswire, Jul. 8, 2019
- Article: Article: Skyworks Global collaborates with Scaled Composites to develop VertiJet demonstrator, Vertical Magazine, Jul. 9, 2019
- Article: Update: Skyworks Global, Scaled Composites bank on VertiJet’s tip-jet design, Janes, Jul. 12, 2019
- Article: Skyworks to offer U.S. Army new combat gyrodyne aircraft, Defense Blog, Jul. 14, 2019
- Article: Old Gyrocopters Could Be the Funky Flying Cars of the Future, Wired, Aug. 12, 2019
- Article: The Fairey Rotodyne, the vertical takeoff and landing airliner time forgot, Ars Technica, Feb. 15, 2020
- Article: Skyworks Aeronautics Announces $100 Million Investment Commitment from GEM as Company Seeks to Go Public in Coming Months, Business Wire, Feb. 5, 2021
- Article: Skyworks Aeronautics plans to resurrect gyrodynes for the eVTOL age, New Atlas, Feb. 8, 2021
- Article: An Interview With John Michel, Executive Director At Skyworks Aeronautics, Tech Company News, Feb. 12, 2021
- Article: Skyworks Aeronautics: Something Old, Something New, Vertiflite, Jan/Feb 2022