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Fly like a bird with flapping-wings is always commuter's dream. Artificial wing matters, only shutter or umbrella wings can do heavy duty!



The flapping wing aka ornithopter is still not yet commercialized, well, when the 500+ years old Da Vinci dream come true?

Wait a moment, veni, vidi, vici !

This invention is a new kind of aerial propeller, good for vertical take-off aerial vehicle.

It is 4-umbrella or 4-shutter bridge-mode driving system, as illustrated in below figure.

It converts reciprocal driving motion aka AC into unidirectional flying motion aka DC, just like a mimic of following 4-diode bridge rectifier.

Single propeller can be used for light duty one, just like single diode half-wave rectifier, as illustrated below:

The driving force is exerted by electromagnetic induction launchers via high voltage capacitor pulse discharge.

Powerful ? 

For heavy duty aerial vehicle, umbrella/shutter array or matrix can be conveniently deployed because easy to distribute electric energy by flexible wires, as showed below.

Shutter propeller can lower chassis height and be more efficient, although toggling shutters need air compressor.

According to aerodynamics, for 50m/s umbrella/shutter speed, the pressure on facing surface can reach about 150kg/m^2, hence such a design can far outperform the regular rotary propeller.

In contrast, a modern chic drone with many rotary propellers is just a toy or light duty tool, e.g. for hanging a camera, but same size with pulse linear propeller can have more payloads!

What if umbrella replaced by shutter?

If replacing the umbrella with controllable shutter, the ornithopter airplane still works, just there are a few of differences:

1. an air compressor is needed to toggle the shutter for open or close;

2. the airplane height will significantly be lowered down, because of the narrow shutter slices or vanes.

3. energy efficiency will be improved, but cost & self-weight may slightly increase.

For whichever variety, the power supply all need to work in pulse mode for firing induction launcher, because the umbrella or shutter must runs very fast, even at the sound speed.

... to be continued

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?

Not sure

What actions do you propose?

...continuing the summary section...

Work principle

I borrow the animation from my other proposal of marine propeller, because the work principle therein reflects the same mechanism abstract with herein except the different driving power supply: pulse mode here; continuous mode there.

In fact, pulse mode should drive shutters or umbrella more quicker than the illustrated effect in above borrowed animation, just like as a boxer's fast snap punch, the transient speed can be as high as sound speed.

The duty cycle is an important parameter for pulse mode, the smaller, the sharper the pulse.

Calculation: duty_cycle = pulse_width / period

For example: bellow figure shows the duty cycle = 25%.

In subject invention, during the pulse width time slot, aircraft is being propelled, and during non-pulse time slot, it is the inertia that keeps aircraft flying.

During the non-pulse time slot, or say idling time, all shutters are open so as to reduce dragging resistance to almost zero.

Below figure is also borrowed from my marine propeller proposal to illustrate the idling transient configuration:

As to the design of pulse power supply, for heavy duty application, rechargeable battery can not be competent to cope with, thus, we need efficiently convert smooth mechanic energy of internal combustion engine into electrical pulse energy

Although it is not difficult to build a heavy & low efficient module based on classic physics, however every kg of tare matters for airplane, thus, to reduce the tare equals to increase payload; also every % of efficiency matters

Luckily I find a perfect method based on new physics, and the special built pulse power supply system can outperform any other design, more lighter and more efficient, really good for ornithopter aviation application!

High power pulse generator based on new physics: Dielectrodynamics.

During the adventure, I have laid down foundation for a new science: Dielectrodynamics, yes, not typo, not electrodynamics, and I coined the new word dielectrodynamics, its definition is here:

In near future, I will publish a textbook to teach students how to convert rotary or reciprocal motion into high voltage pulse power supply, or vice versa (high voltage pulse powerful dielectric motor).

Below is its sketch, not by triboelectricity, not by piezoelectricity, but by dielectrodynamics:

The regular gas or diesel engine can only output torque, therefore, in above setting, there should be a mechanism to convert rotary into reciprocal motion.

For its work principle, please read the quasi-textbook: Dielectrodynamics and Applications, part I, 

Of course, for light duty drone application, lithium rechargeable battery can be used to generate pulse power.

Why flapping-wing plane commercialization unsuccessful until nowadays?

Humankind has been misunderstanding how a bird fly, and wrongly assuming birds spending energy linearly when flapping wings. 

By long time watching & studying the video made by high speed camera, in slow replay frame by frame, I find that birds never smoothly or averagely spend energy while flapping wings, or say not fly in linear mode, but in pulse mode.

At the moment that wings are pushing down, the down velocity is very high, then wings are to gently retract up by turning circa 90° first, so as to reduce retraction resistance, and to prepare for next pushing down.

The above process is just similar with the pulse power driven shutter propeller system that I have illustrated in previous description!

All prior arts just use linear energy to drive ornithopter wings for flapping, therefore, the velocity of work-stroke of flapping cycle is hardly fast enough to product decent propulsion force, and system runs in very low efficiency.

Perhaps, it is the great success of jet-plane technology that has misguided humankind to output energy linearly in prior prototype of ornithopter, so that there is still no hope of enabling commercial payload.


Who will take these actions?

Kiwaho chief scientist Yanming Wei will lead the research and development of this prototyping project.

Where will these actions be taken?

Prototype & test & debug all in Kiwaho Lab rented hobby farm.

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

No country selected

Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

As long as this future electric powered personal aerocar will not be expensive to general public, or say affordable to working class, it can fix the headache congest road condition, and reduce large amount of carbon dioxide emission.

What are other key benefits?

Provided I validate the feasibility by a prototype small duty ornithoper with shutter propellers powered by electric pulse power supply, then it is easy to scale up design for coping with many applications, especially the most wanted heavy duty app.

This experimental small duty prototype is supposed of 200 kg payload, aka at least carrying 2 guys.

Challenging your imagination

Dare you imagine that it is possible for a well designed cargo ornithopter with a large array of umbrella or shutter propellers to replace following monster crane in yard heavy duty application?

Of course, no problem. Let me show you the required shutter area:

Assuming the punch speed of shutter is mediocre 100 m/s, then as per aerodynamics, the pressure on facing surface, or lift pressure can reach about 600kg/m^2.

A 40', i.e. 12 meter container max weight 30 tons, then the minimal shutter area = 30/0.6 = 50 m^2, it is also minimal requirement of the aero-crane chassis area.

To match the container size, the chassis dimension can be 5 meters width by 10 meters length. If every cell shutter is 1x1 m^2, the array of shutters can be 5 rows by 10 columns.

If the punch speed of shutter can reach 200 m/s, above required area will discount 75% off.

In fact, above estimation ignores the tare, therefore doubling it may be more reasonable.

Its mobility or flexibility is just the desired advantage over stationed crane!

Challenging in light duty applications

As to light duty applications, the hottest prospect is for e-commerce shipping. Recently, Amazon disclosed an UAV prototype:

No big idea, still conventional rotary propellers, just little bit better than a toy. If my shutter propeller used, it will overperform it many folds, carry more heavier package with same tare and size, and even excellent shutter-steering ability.

The steering ability of all stylish drones is not good, even very difficult for desired reasonable turn radius, and the demerit is intrinsic & inevitable for all rotary propellers.

Shutter-steering principle:

Because the 4 solenoids that open or close shutters, can be controlled individually by computer software, if shutters in the one half of propellant tract always fully open, then, only toggling the shutters in other half of the tract, can turn aircraft left or right, because this half-driving mode can exert torque.

Below animation illustrates a method of left turn that works in simplex mode.

In above setting, only the right bottom shutter is used, and of course, by using both shutters in right side, more effective duplex steering method is also workable if programmed.

Generally speaking, simplex steering method is good for big turn radius, as well as, duplex steering method for small turn radius, i.e. sharp & emergent turn.

If I were not frustrated by short of fund, my equivalent prototype with Amazon shipping-drone would be ready for show, though I am still struggling to reduce the annoying noise of shutter punch, however noise issue will be fixed soon as per current progress. 


What are the proposal’s projected costs?


About the author(s)

Related Proposals

This proposal is tightly associated with my other 2 similar proposals:

1. High efficient shutter propeller for marine or aerocraft application

2. Shutter-like turbine for low head shallow river/canal/sewer hydropower system

this is a counter application that generates electricity. Interestingly, its working animation no big difference with here flapping shutter propeller.


1. Dielectrodynamics and Applications

Comments: 41 Pages, 11 figures. Part one: Dielectric blade comb piston mechanic-electric bi-direction converter. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29374.69448

2. Innovative Flapping Umbrella or Flapping Shutter Ornithopter

Comments: 10 pages, 6 figures. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.33349.45285

4. Can you image how strong the induction launcher? Just serve youself by googling the Youtube.

For example: