The Challis Heliplane is a unique vehicle which fuses
the versatility and maneuverability of a helicopter, with
the range and speed of a conventional propellor driven
The Challis Heliplane is also safer than a tilt rotor
aircraft due to the fact that in an emergency it can be
landed without power because the blades can autorotate.
This means that as the Heliplane falls to the ground the
air flowing into the rotor blades makes them spin allowing
for a safe landing.
Conceived by Doug Challis, a commercial helicopter pilot
and president of Challis
Heliplanes, the unusual design is currently well into
the prototype and testing phase of development. A commercially
available UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) version could
be on offer by 2010. Due to the complex design and safety
considerations a larger manned version could be available
by 2013 at the earliest.
Some of the jobs for which the Challis Heliplane would
be suited for include, search and rescue, offshore development,
air ambulance, surveillance, military applications and
personal transport. The Challis heliplane has also been
designed as a potential alternative to the Boeing V-22
Osprey, a multi-billion dollar project still deemed too
unsafe for civilian transport.
Amongst the many unique design features of the Challis
Heliplane is a single fixed wing that is located on the
retreating blade side of the aircraft. This wing begins
to produce lift at high airspeed to coincide with when
the retreating blade is starting to loose its ability
to maintain lift.
A smaller wing at the tail of the Heliplane also produces
lift when the vehicle is traveling at speed. This helps
to balance out the Heliplane's center of lift during high
During hover, the flight dynamics are exactly the same
as a conventional helicopter, the center of lift, and
the center of gravity, are in line with the main rotor
To find out more about the Challis Heliplane and see several
video presentations on how the aircraft works visit Challis-Heliplanes.com.