Flettner airplane

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Anton Flettner's rotor aircraft

A flettner airplane or rotor airplane is an aircraft on which wings are rotating cylinders using the Magnus effect to create lift.[1] The concept has similarity to Flettner rotors used on a rotor ships. Such airplanes were first built by Anton Flettner.[citation needed] The Flettner airplane should not be confused with the cyclogyro, which uses a different aerodynamic effect, but has a similar configuration of rotors.

Although Flettner constructed at least one aircraft[citation needed] there is no record of successful use. A safety concern intrinsic to the concept is that if power to the rotating drums was lost —even if thrust was maintained— the aircraft would lose its ability to generate lift and remain in flight.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Whirling Spools Lift This Plane". Popular Science Monthly: 26. November 1930. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Ray, Keith (2015). The Strangest Aircraft Of All Time. Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2QG: The History Press. p. 48. ISBN 9780750960977.