Voting Result: 2.35637730048
Overview for POD-LIFTER
The configuration of the POD-LIFTER was driven completely by the unique and demanding requirements of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge. As interpreted, the primary design requirements are:
A) A very efficient, low specific energy (energy/mass) electrically-driven drone with very demanding load and range performance goals. This requires a very high-efficiency drone design.
B) A heavy emphasis on protecting ground personnel from drone propeller strikes with the drone still operating on the ground. Protecting the ground personnel from a just-landed, still "prop-spinning" drone will allow for quick loading/unloading of cargo.
C) Mechanical and electronic simplicity for low cost, reliability and field durability.
D) Versatility. The ability to carry multiple types of cargo and the possibility of future developments off the same platform architecture.
Therefore, the Pod-Lifter intends to meet the Challenge requirements in the following manner:
1) It uses a "tailsitter" configuration as the simplest answer to the VTOL/STOL requirements.
2) It's good hover performance is based on 4 (the minimum allowed for simplicity) of the largest electric motors available turning the largest propellers for the lowest disc loading (low disc loading = high hover efficiency).
3) It uses a high aspect long wingspan wing for good horizontal flight performance with minimum drag (like sailplanes).
4) The wing is supported by struts for additional strength.
5) Both the wing and struts also perform dual duty as propeller shields to protect ground personnel form turning propellers.
6) The cargo is pod-based for maximum flexibility in loading and cargo variety.
7) The Pod-Lifter will fly with or without the cargo pods.
8) It includes all the drone equipment required and recommended in the Challenge "Ignition Kit."
9) It has complete Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capability. Therefore, it can be flown as a conventional aircraft as needed.
10) It can be disassembled into 13 major sections. Note that the 2 largest sections - the main wing halves - contain and keep most of the mechanical and electrical systems (motors, elevons, elevators) intact to ease assembly/disassembly.
11) The configuration can be developed into future variations.
12) It offers a solution to the conventional tailsitter "cross-wind" problem.
13) It is very simple mechanically.
14) It offers 2 full set of landing gears - one for vertical flight and the other for conventional flight.
15) It can be turned around in a short time due to its modular components and simplicity.