Scaled Composites Model 367 BiPod
|Scaled Composites Model 367 BiPod|
|National origin||United States of America|
|First flight||30 March 2011|
The Bipod was originally designed to be an electric propulsion testbed, later evolving into the flying car concept. The vehicle was constructed for market evaluation and testing only. No flight testing was planned, or done, on the single prototype built.
The BiPod uses twin fuselages with tandem wheels joined together by a wing surface. The wings, stabilizers and tail tips are removable for road operations. The left cockpit is configured for road operations (i.e. it is driven as a car from the left-hand station), the right cockpit is configured for air operations (i.e. it is flown from the right-hand station). The wingspan of nearly 32 feet (9.7 m) is reduced to 7.9 feet (2.4 m) when the wings are removed (they can be carried between the two fuselage sections during road operation). Thus the vehicle can be parked in a regular-sized garage stall when the wings and tail surfaces have been removed.
Each fuselage section has a 450cc gasoline engine, which drives an electric generator. The generators power 15 kW electric motors; two such motors drive the rear wheels for land use, and four such motors drive four propellers (two on the horizontal stabilizer and two on the wings). Although not installed to date (July 2011), the testbed configuration will eventually incorporate rechargeable lithium batteries for additional power during takeoff or for extra climb performance. In addition, as of the first flight the propellers and propeller drive motors had not been installed; the "flights" consisted of brief hops above a runway after the drive wheels had been used to accelerate the vehicle to 80 mph (130 km/h).
The prototype was built in a four-month period. Test hops have been performed with the prototype at Mojave Air and Space Port using propulsion from the wheels. The vehicle has been ground tested up to 80 mph. No flight testing is planned.
Specifications (Scaled Composites Model 367 BiPod)
Data from Aviation Week and Space Technology
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 2
- Wingspan: 31 ft 10 in (9.70 m) 7ft 11inches in roadable configuration.
- Gross weight: 1,430 lb (649 kg)1.2kwh lithium battery
- Maximum speed: 174 kn; 322 km/h (200 mph)
- Aviation Week and Space Technology. 18 July 2011. Missing or empty
- "Rutan's Final Design". Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "The use of electric power transmission decouples engine location from propeller location without the need for mechanical shafts and gear boxes, enabling BiPod's unique geometry." (Scaled Composites press release, reported in Flying)
- Pia Bergqvist, Rutan's Swan Song: A Flying Car, Flying, September 2011, p. 20
- "In anticipation of Rutan's retirement, Scaled Composite employees scrambled to get the new design flying in March of this year, only four months after its preliminary design phase." Flying