We have lifting-body designs which have no wings, we have advanced tail-less fly-by-wire systems, we have drone aircraft with no cockpits, we have thrustless gliders...not the best argument.SpikedHelmet wrote:Not necessarily. If you're looking for a design which couples functionality with extreme simplicity then the helicopter is the way to go. Afterall, 100 years after the invention of the aeroplane, despite the fact that the technology has increased exponentially beyond what anybody could even begin to fathom back then, airplanes still follow the exact same basic principle; airfoil wings for lift, a powerplant which provides propulsion via thrust, horizontal and verticle stabilizers, a cockpit, etc.
A turboprop is basically a turbofan with a propeller on the front, not to be confused with older rotary designs. The advantage of a turboprop is a superior thrust-to-weight ratio, despite a limited top speed. They're not underwhelming, they just a specific performance niche.Afterall, the United States Air Force still uses turboprop aircraft 70 years after the invention of the jet engine despite the obvious and overwhelming advantages jet technology has over a spinning propeller.
More importantly and on topic, ducted fans look just as awesome and more futuristic, so I'd say there's plenty of room for looking cool without something being a straight-up helicopter.