Attempting to succeed where early pioneers like the Wright Brothers failed, experts are working on a design that is derived from the most evolved form of flight on earth: flapping.
In nature, flapping consists of a heaving and pitching motion, which is mechanically complex and would add considerable weight and complexity to any design.
One company has streamlined this process to design a transport system that can take off and land anywhere.
Design firm Volerian recently displayed its concept for a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle at the recent Farnborough International Airshow 2018.
Volerian says its propulsion system can be used in most situations where a propeller or fan would normally be used.
This applies to both conventional and VTOL propulsion and to large and small aircraft.
In addition the system can be used for domestic and industrial fan applications and may have uses for water based propulsion.
In a written statement, a company spokesman said: 'Volerian has created a propulsion system that is cheap to manufacture and is much quieter and safer than any fan or propeller technology.