VTOL Powered-Lift Vehicles on the Drawing Boards

Inspired by the tragedy of 9/11, aircraft designers create imaginative rescue vehicles. But will they work?


Roy LoPresti, never at a loss for innovative designs, has joined Larry Gordon in forming the LoPresti Gordon VTOL (LoGo) company to help develop a pair of vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, the Guardian and the TurboHawk. The Guardian, an "inclined thrust angle aircraft" (ITAAC-"eye tac"), designed to require no configuration change to transition between vertical and horizontal flight, features a ducted propeller driven by a either a single 500-horsepower turboprop engine or a pair of the engines driving a single propeller through a twin-pack. One of the missions LoPresti envisions for the Guardian is for high-rise rescues. The vehicle will be able to "dock" against the side of a high-rise building and take on passengers. The second VTOL vehicle, the TurboHawk, being developed by LoGo in cooperation with Romeo Yankee Ltd., an Israeli company, is a tandem-fan vehicle that can double as a troop carrier (lifting as many as six combat assault equipped soldiers) and a combat attack vehicle. For more information, contact LoPresti at 561/562-4757; www.LoGoVTOL.com, or Larry Gordon at 281/578-2700.