A levopter is a wind-powered aircraft.
A levopter is not a glider. Gliders rely upon vertical wind currents that vary with seasons, time of day, and geography making gliders impractical for long range transportation. Levopters, on the other hand, derive their lift and power from the much more consistent horizontal wind currents present in the atmosphere. The figure depicts the unique method employed by a levopter to derive lift and power from wind currents at different altitudes.
Levopters have two flexible wings connected by cables to the body of the levopter. These wings are made of nylon fabric and they look a lot like the parachutes used by skydivers. One of the wings is situated close to the body of the levopter. The other wing is situated at a much higher altitude.
In the Earth’s atmosphere, the wind at higher altitudes is stronger than the wind nearer to the Earth’s surface. The difference between these wind strengths provides the power to create lift and propulsion for the levopter.
Key characteristics of levopters
• Levopters will require no fuel making them inexpensive to operate.
• Levopters will fly autonomously like drones. Eliminating the need for a pilot further reduces the cost of operating a levopter.
• Levopters will produce no greenhouse gases, making them environmentally friendly.
• The fuselage of the levopter will remain at low altitudes avoiding the cost and weight of a pressurized fuselage.
• The levopter’s wings will be made of fabric reducing the cost to build.
• Levopters will be able to fly slowly, allowing them to operate from any open area without the need for runways.
• Levopters will be slower than conventional aircraft but typically much faster than ground transportation.