Project Summary

Project Objectives

To verify the calculations of the shape and location of the aerodynamic flanges needed to resolve the low stability problem.

To create demonstration models of the aircraft and test them in the wind tube and in radiocontrolled flight in order to verify the calculated characteristics of the ESTOLAS aircraft and validate experimentally the view that the addition of aerodynamic flanges indeed resolved the low stability problem.

To calculate and formulate the characteristics of a) small [< 3 tonnes maximal payload], b) medium [between 10 and 80 tonnes maximal payload], and c) large [> 80 tonnes maximal payload] hybrid aircraft, such as flight parameters, the optimal engine type, power and weight parameters, thermal efficiency, specific fuel consumption (SFC), emissions in general and for cargo transportation (kg of fuel per ton of cargo per km), safety, noise level e. t. c. and to denote a perspective propulsion concepts.

To study the dimensions of the runways, taxiways and parking spaces in the small and medium European airports and estimate how many of them (in percentages and absolute figures) will be able to accept small and medium hybrid aircraft

To compare the ESTOLAS small, medium and large versions with competing air vehicles in terms of the exploitation benefits (i.e. longer range, better fuel economy) versus the drawbacks, and to identify the potential market demand by the European and world markets

To provide safety assessments, risk analysis and JAR/CS Certification support

To draw a conclusion about whether the concept of ESTOLAS in its small, medium or large version is feasible for further development, and, if so, to prepare a business plan for the further development of the hybrid aircraft and to submit it to the investor who has expressed interest in building such aircraft

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Project Goals

The creation of a new type hybrid aircraft combining the best the qualities of an airship, a plane, a helicopter and a hovercraft. This aircraft is an extremely short takeoff and landing on any surface.

The creation of a competitive aircraft, responsible economic and environmental needs of the modern and future world.

Increase efficiency and security for passenger and cargo.

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Project Concept

The concept of the project is to develop and validate the conceptual design of a hybrid aircraft a flying device combining the best qualities of an airship, a plane, a helicopter and a hovercraft. Such hybrid aircraft constitutes a completely novel type of an aircraft extremely short take off and landing on any surface (ESTOLAS).

ESTOLAS aircraft will have the following major advantages compared to the existing air vehicles. This aircraft is a mixed type "flying wing", the basic part of which is the disk shaped centre plane. In general it serves as a receptacle of elevating gas (helium).

In the channel of its centre there are a jacking system and a cargo cabin and on the edges there are a pilot-passenger cabin, cantilevered wings and a tail. The combined takeoff and landing device is placed underneath: wheel and ski bearers and air cushioned landing gear.

Three principles of creating the lifting force: aerostatic, aerodynamic and jet, used on this aircraft, possibility of landing on an all-terrain flat surface, airflow over the systems of control and stabilization generated by the power plant's propellers, rather low specific loading on bearing surfaces with simultaneous use of modern aviation control systems and navigation allow to achieve high reliability and safety of operation.

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Project Backgrounds


In the middle of the ninetieth a reduced guided analogue of the flying device has been constructed and has successfully passed preliminary air tests

The inventor and the main designer, Alexander Filimonov, a Candidate of Technical Sciences was able to find essentially new conceptual scheme of the flying device combining the best qualities of a dirigible balloon, a plane, a helicopter and a hovercraft

The idea has carried away the inventor more than ten years ago.

"- At the end of eightieth I worked in Tyumen Industrial Institute, - Alexander remembers - all the specialists puzzled over one serious and very important problem at that time: how to deliver the equipment, large multiton blocks to the Jamburg gazokondensat field. And we, at our hoisting-and-transport machines department have undertaken its decision. During work the hybrid concept of the flying device was appeared."

Aircraft Features

Availability of the propeller engine along with the propulsion engine ultimately results in shorter takeoff and landing.

Diskshaped centerplane serves not only as a cargo area but creates aerodynamic ascensional force during flight.

The glider is almost totally made of composite materials with the use of three layered wraps with foam and honeycomb fillers, that 1,5-2 times bring down the dead load in comparison with metal structures.

Separate cargo cabin along with pilot-passenger one excludes all costs for converting the latter into cargo cabin.

Availability of the universal takeoff and landing device makes any seasonal changes unnecessary.

Outer cantilevered wing parts can be folded which makes possible its transportation by land or by air.

The needs in the results of the project

A small (payload 1-2 tonnes) ESTOLAS hybrid aircraft is needed for use where light helicopters are currently used but a longer range is required.

A medium (payload 40-60 tonnes) ESTOLAS hybrid aircraft is needed for use where heavy helicopters are currently used but heavier payload is required to carry to perform relevant tasks.

A large (payload 100-200 tonnes) ESTOLAS hybrid aircraft is needed for transportation of cargo, including heavy cargo, using small airports or open areas of land or water close to places of origin and destinations of the cargo.

A super-large (payload 200-400+ tonnes) ESTOLAS hybrid aircraft is needed for special purposes of transportation very heavy cargo using small airports or open areas of land or water close to places of origin and destinations of the cargo.

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Project Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

Grant Agreement: Directorate General for Research and Innovation, SP-1 Cooperation, Collaborative project, Small or Medium-scale focused research project

Grant Agreement Number: 308968

FP7 Programme: Breakthrough and emerging technologies. Radical new concepts for air transport (AAT.2012.6.3-1. AAT.2012.6.3-2.)


(Open call for long term innovation)

Project Title: A novel concept of an extremely short take off and landing all-surface hybrid aircraft: from a light passenger aircraft to a very high payload cargo/ passenger version

Acronym: ESTOLAS

Project Start: 01.May 2012

Project Duration: 24 Month

Total Budget: 708.426 €

Project Coordinator: Alexander Gamaleyev

Rigas Technical University, Riga, Latvia

4 Partners:

Rigas Technical University

Responsibility: Prof. Urbahs

Tasks: Computer simulation, calculation, and formulation of the characteristics of a small version (1 tonne maximal payload), designing, making, and testing of the flying radio-controlled model of the ESTOLAS, wind tunnel testing of physical models


Responsibility: Mr. Zysk

Tasks: Safety assessment, JAR/CS Certification support, Risk analysis

Cranfield University

Responsibility: Prof. Drikakis

Tasks: Evaluation of functional landing and taking off characteristics of the ESTOLAS aircraft in comparison with competing hybrid air vehicles

Agentur Kronstadt GmbH

Responsibility: Mr. Papkov

Tasks: Estimation of the main engine parameters, the engine efficiency, and the emission level Components estimation, Business plan, Management

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