THE Russian military is building an unusual electric flying vehicle that will look more like a paddle steamer than a conventional aircraft.
In 1909, Russian engineer Evgeny Sverchkov proposed the cyclocopter, which has side-mounted, cylindrical, rotating wings composed of many wing-like blades. Some versions actually flew in the 1930s, but only briefly, as they were unstable due to the lack of electronic flight controls. Russia’s military research wing, the Advanced Research Foundation (FPI), is now reviving the idea.
In principle, cyclocopters are appealing …