“…Moble Benedict, associate professor at the aerospace engineering department at Texas A&M University, and his student Carl Runco is working toward his doctorate degree. Moble and Carl have dedicated a good tranche of their academic research to the cyclocopter aircraft concept Unlike a helicopter rotor, in a cycloidal rotor, the blades rotate around a horizontal axis and are cyclically pitched in a once-per-revolution fashion to produce thrust. By changing the phase of the cyclic pitching, the thrust can be vectored instantaneously, making the aircraft more agile. It can also respond more rapidly to wind gusts — a crucial advantage over conventional helicopter rotors.
The concept is not new and has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. However, these early designs were ungainly and fragile, which kept their development and commercialization out of reach. Today, with improved scientific understanding and improvements in materials with better strength-to-mass ratios, researchers like Moble and Carl are taking another look at this technology.