Date of Award

Fall 12-6-2023

Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Kyle Collins

Committee Advisor

Kyle Collins

First Committee Member

Richard Anderson

Second Committee Member

Alberto Mello

College Dean

James Gregory


Designing High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) cargo aircraft capable of both low downwash velocity hovering and high subsonic speed cruising presents a significant engineering challenge. This challenge, stemming from conflicting design requirements, has been substantially influenced by recent technological advancements, which have offered greater flexibility in rotor placement. Consequently, this has led to the emergence of innovative mission-specific designs that hold the potential to outperform traditional concepts. The central objective of this study is to evaluate the benefits of modern technologies for VTOL cargo aircraft and assess their performance relative to baseline VTOL aircraft. The results of this comparative analysis provide valuable insights into the strengths and limitations of propulsive power traditional and advanced transmission for HSVTOL aircraft. Additionally, the study provides a comprehensive methodology for transmission sizing and weight estimation, ultimately revealing the most suitable transmission type for HSVTOL applications across varying weight ranges, thereby offering valuable guidance for future design endeavors. Within this technical scope, the weight of hydraulic propulsive power transmission with a turbine-speed pump, and electric transmission featuring state-of-the-art industrial and high-temperature superconductive (HTS) components is evaluated. In comparison to traditional mechanical transmission, it is evident that implementing HTS cables is effective in reducing HSVTOL propulsive power transmission weight across all takeoff weight ranges. Additionally, non-cryogenically cooled electrical power transmission demonstrates advantages, particularly for takeoff weights below 50,000 pounds.

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Defense form