This model started off as simply a whim. A colleage of mine had expressed interest in getting a gyrocopter, in particular, an all weather model called the SportCopter2.
I took one look at it's effecient, if not, unattractive egg shape and decided, I could make something sensible but would also double as a road-going vehicle. I did a few weeks of reasearch in regards to basic gyrocopter flight mechancis, designs, weight limits, rotor performance, rotor technology, engines, and if there is other fly/drive vehicles.
After the initial round of research, I found some plans for fly/drive gyros as well as actual aircraft, such as the Transition. I had performance road/air vehicle in mind the whole time when designing this, so there are elements of both from nose to tail.
The Ditalon features a lightweight tube frame for major support areas, and a carbonfiber, or fibreglass canopy/body. Powered by an off the shelf Honda 1300cc motorcycle engine and mated to the Honda HFT (a CVT for motorcycles), it should have car-like performance, along with reliability and easy maintainence. The primary concept behind this vehicle is utilizing existing off-the-shelf components as much as possible to minimise custom parts design.
Onboard GPS and other computing data is run from user-installed GPS software and utilizes off-the shelf GPS aquisition technology, the computer is as powerful as the laptop the user chooses to install or upgrade to. Gauges and Dials are after-market automotive issue for on-road functions, right down to a VDO speedometer. Aeronautical gauges are also simply plug and play units.
The wheels are designed by Dymag and feature an all Carbon Fibre construction, brakes for both front wheels are from a Honda CBR.
In order to make the rotors feasible for on-road use, they needed to be able to conform to a reasonable footprint. I decided a 16' overall vehicle length would be reasonable. The main rotors are a two part system which slides into place simply be pulling on the end of the rotor until it reaches its limit. Once there, it is secured via a lightweight locking nut and recessed pin. I decided to refrain from a prerotator system on this vehicle due to its varied uses and the idea that it should not be given the option of a powered rotor takeoff.
Dual Contra rotating propellers give the craft more sability as well as in-flight effeciency. A planetary gear connected to a clutch driven auxuillary shaft diverts rear-wheel-drive power to the prop-shaft.
Flight control is via centrally mounted flight stick and throttle units. Driving functions occur like a normal car, as it is assumed driving will be more common than flying.