March 1998 Issue

Sound Off

Not all ducted fans are duds

I read Bill Kelly’s “Duct Dreams” in the May 1997 issue of Aviation Consumer with interest and sympathy. His disappointment in the performance of the Auriga Phoenix is similar to many tales of dashed ducted-fan expectations I have heard over time.

I think that much of that disappointment is based on an imperfect understanding of ducted-fan design. So, the question is whether a ducted-fan aircraft could be competitive with a conventional design?

While I am not familiar with the Auriga design, I have had the good fortune to be associated with Rhein-Flugzeugbau, GMBH (RFB) in Germany during the development of the Fanstar ducted-fan program during the 1980s.

I was chairman and...

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