Believe it or not, six engines on a plane are better than two

When you've only got one engine, even a minor problem can have serious consequences. This is why most commercial airplanes have at least two engines, and sometimes three or four. But why stop there? Oliver VTOL's new concept ups the ante with a full six swiveling engine pods.

Here's why Oliver thinks that having six engines (and three wings) on a VTOL aircraft is such a good idea: you can lose any one engine and one entire wing section and not have any serious problems, retaining the ability to get where you need to go even with a fully loaded aircraft. This is not the case with two engines, or even four, but with six, your aircraft becomes much more reliable and survivable.

The six engine concept has been validated on paper, and Oliver VTOL is looking for $12 million to build a fully functional prototype within the next two years, based on an airframe from a Piaggio Avanti. The first customer will likely be the military, since the Oliver VTOL can lift the same amount of cargo as a V-22, and fly further and faster more reliably on less fuel. A civilian model may be forthcoming as well, offering fast and efficient way to travel from your rooftop penthouse to your private island in the Bahamas.

Oliver VTOL, via Aviation Week

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