Could a helicopter support a detachable wing with no controls on top of the rotor head in place of a radar dome? Could the rotor head be made to support more weight? Would it be more fuel efficient at higher speeds, add a level of redundancy, or increase speed?

I did consider clearance and the drawn pictures is not to scale. The wing may need to be drawn longer, further back or placed higher. This would be a payload in itself for extending the range of the helicopter under lighter loads.

A second feature is that the wing could be made to catch the vortex left by the rotor blades in flight increasing air pressure under both the rotor blades and rotor wing.

Similar to the way ducks fly in a v formation the wings would also take this advantage from other helicopters with this extra wing for extra lift.

Could extra lift be created from the rotor wing, the vortex ring redirection and /or flight in a V formation?

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    $\begingroup$ Why though? This looks like a solution in search of a problem. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2019 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ It's difficult to see how you'd maintain sufficient rigidity in this wing arrangement to keep it clear of the rotor disk. By the time you've added sufficient structure to do that you've added so much weight that the helicopter's payload is reduced to uneconomic levels. Since the principal reason for having a helicopter is its VTOL capability, and your wing only impedes that, why would anyone bother? $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2019 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ @AEhere why is included now thanks. VTOL would not be affected. $\endgroup$
    – Muze
    Jul 21, 2019 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ It seems like you're trying to get a free lunch by extracting work from the vortices. It feels like blocking them should increase the pressure below the rotor disk, making it harder for the rotors to generate lift by forcing air downwards. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2019 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ @Muze Right, so given that lunch isn't free, the question becomes how much lunch costs and whether you'd be better spending your lunch money on something else. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2019 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


There is no need to attach the wing to the rotor head - simply attach it to the top of the fuselage. You could run the rotor through a hollow tube and attach the wings to that - the inner uncovered section of the wing is an interesting idea.

If you are looking for VTOL, a tilt rotor with two electric motors driven by the gas turbine may be a better option.

  • $\begingroup$ I thought this as well but as the bottom picture show if it was attached lower the wing would not take advantage of the vortex redirection. $\endgroup$
    – Muze
    Jul 21, 2019 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ Surely a generator, two electric motors and wiring would be heavier than gearboxes and shafts. $\endgroup$ Jul 21, 2019 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe not so heavy: as this prototype shows: evtol.news/2019/02/25/electric-vtol-for-organs-on-demand $\endgroup$
    – stackex555
    Jul 22, 2019 at 1:42
  • $\begingroup$ @stackex555 the prototype electric R44 referenced in your link traveled 1/10th of the typical range for the type and set a record doing it. $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2019 at 9:46

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