Glowfly is the brainchild of ProAirsport, established in 2013, with the goal of creating a light aircraft that combined a compact turbine and wheel-driving electric assist. The driving goals were to enable simplicity of operation, self-sufficiency, and lower cost.
Small jet turbines cannot accelerate quickly enough to provide a reasonably short take-off. To supplement turbine thrust they are electrically driving the main wheels to provide the initial sprint needed to quickly reach take-off speed. Once at flying speed the turbine can efficiently power the climb away.
Small turbines are compact and light weight with few moving parts and low vibration when compared to reciprocating engines. A fixed engine installation removes all of the weight and complexity inherent in retractable petrol engine and propeller systems.
Turning the engine on (and off) is a simple automated procedure. A small airscoop is all that opens (and closes), the engine itself remains inside the fuselage, so in flight the turbine can be turned on and off easily with glide performance little affeced
The high-torque brushless motor (image of motor at left) is a standard unit customised for the use profile and with a purpose built controller from the motor manufacturer for true technical compatibility.
The motor provides the initial pre take-off sprint, quickly accelerating the aircraft to flying speed. The short peak output for the sprint means required battery capacity is minimised reducing weight and cost.
Electrically driven wheels also provide for taxi capability before take-off and after landing – without running the turbine.
Glowfly technical data
|Type||Planeur à dispositif d'envol incorporé|
|Poussée unitaire||392 N||88.2 lb st|
|Envergure||13,5 m||26.3 ft|
|Longueur||6,3 m||22.0 ft|
|Surface alaire||m²||sq ft|
|A vide||180 kg||397 lb|
|Equipage||80 kg||176 lb|
|Carburant & huile||30 kg||66 lb|
|Maximale||290 kg||639 lb|
|Vitesse de croisière||km/h||mph|
|distance de décollage||m||yds|