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The dominant reaction by the Facebook crew was

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j5mith   Tuesday, 05/05/20 09:59:42 AM
Re: Po3sHare post# 2373
Post # of 2382 
The dominant reaction by the Facebook crew was that the Sabrewing craft (essentially a drone) somehow "stole" Moller's design.

Well, if Sabrewing "stole" Moller's design, then Moller "stole" his design from the Bell X-22. The only resemblance that the two craft have is that they are both lifted/propelled by ducted fans at the four corners. (As was the Bell X-22). Otherwise, I don't see any of Moller's hallmarks -- no vanes to redirect the thrust, no foldy wings, and most important of all, no rotary engines. (Ed de Reyes has gone over to the dark side and embraced <gasp> electric propulsion!)

Ed does state that the Sabrewing design was "influenced by his earlier work as an engineer and test pilot on the Moller 400". It also states that the design was influenced by the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk.

Sabrewing seems to have evolved out of Elytron/Converticopter, with Ed and Oliver Garrow being closely connected with both. The Converticopter web site is now returning a 404 error, so perhaps the company is defunct. There also appears to be a connection with Thorntail (remember them?). The mailing address for Sabrewing on the company's web site (www.sabrewingaircraft.com) is identical to the mailing address that Thorntail was using back in 2014.

The VTOL industry does seem to be shifting more in the direction of cargo drones, rather than passenger craft (see https://evtol.news/2020/03/06/cargo-evtol-matures/). It might be a matter of scale -- Passenger VTOL probably requires a craft with a minimum payload of 250 kg or so to be useful, while drones can do useful work at much smaller sizes, which can be scaled up as the state of the art improves. Also, if your cargo drone crashes, it's far less likely to generate headlines (and lawsuits) than a passenger carrying craft.

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