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Vertical takeoff done right – by Boeing

July 26, 2011

Boeing has been working on an advanced version of the pulse jet, looking at it as a way to lift aircraft vertically, and then using other engines for horizontal flight.

The PETA engine, for pulse ejector thrust augmentor, is sort of a descendant of the pulse jet engine that the Germans used in World War II in the V1 cruise missile. This far more advanced version has no moving parts and a special chamber that mixes the exhaust with more air to improve thrust.

There was a video on YouTube for the last couple of days. Boeing apparently pulled it today. That’s too bad; it showed some animation of some troop-carrier aircraft taking off and landing vertically using a bundle of these PETA engines. The only thing I could find yet was the image below:

From upper left: German V-1; underside of a notional troop carrier showing rows of pulse jets; Han Solo's ride, for some reason

It’s supposed to be cheap to build and maintain. I assume the video was a promotion for the Pentagon or something. It looks well worth pursuing, and a lot easier to handle than the vectored-thrust chicanery the F-35 uses. There are a lot of uses for such aircraft in the private sector as well, of course – no runways required!

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