Ray VTOL Aircraft Ray Research AG Muttenz, Switzerland www.RayAircraft.com Ray Research AG is a Swiss-based engineering company, with an international team of engineers and scientists founded in 2009 and led by David Posva. It develops high tech solutions with a main focus on disruptive vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Its flagship development is the Ray VTOL Aircraft, a 5-seat, long range VIP VTOL aircraft: four passengers plus a single pilot. The lift for vertical take-off and landing is generated by the four wing-fans plus two smaller, vectoring tail-mounted ducted fans. For cruise flight the wing fans are closed over with louvered doors on the top and bottom of the fan ducts, and the aircraft is propelled solely on the thrust of the two rear ducted fans. According to the website: “Each wing encases 2 relatively big fans arranged behind each other, which leads to an exceptional deep wing and a low wing loading. When high enough the two tilt-ducts in the back are tilted to horizontal and accelerate the Ray aircraft. As soon as the wings fully support the aircraft we close them and fly almost as efficient like a conventional aircraft. The Ray has further improvements for control, security, economy and performance….” In a 2012 interview for AeroRevue magazine Posva explained, “The two turbine engines with the generators provide the power for the six electric motors that drive the propellers. The entire drive system is redundant.” He also stated that two Pratt & Whitney PW210 turboshaft engines of 600 kW (800 shp) each would provide sufficient power, obviating even the need for a hydraulic system. The company estimates a cruising speed of 360 km/h (200 kt) and a range of 1,800 km (about 1000 nm). (On June 4, 2018, the company revealed that it had also designed a compact single-person aircraft, the Dart Flyer, for the GoFly competition. GoFly is a Boeing-sponsored competition pushing the boundaries of innovation, engineering, and transportation to create a personal flying device for anyone, anywhere.) Resources Search eVTOL.news for more about Ray Research Ray Research AG website Article: «Ray» – new life for Vertical Takeoff Aircraft, AeroRevue, 12/2012 – 1/2013 (English translation by Ray Research) Article: On Fans and Wings – Switzerland’s VTOL Ray, Aviation Week, Dec. 23, 2010 Technical Paper: Design And Aerodynamic Considerations About The Civil VTOL Aircraft Ray, The Vertical Flight Society International Powered Lift Conference, Oct. 2010 Presentation: Ray: Your Future Door to Door Aircraft, The Vertical Flight Society International Powered Lift Conference, Oct. 2010 Video September 2012 Tags: Ray Research, Lift + Cruise, Scaled Prototype, 5 Passengers, Electric Hybrid, Piloted
Dart Flyer Ray Research AG Muttenz, Switzerland www.DartFlyer.com and www.RayAircraft.com Ray Research AG is a Swiss-based engineering company, with an international team of engineers and scientists, founded in 2009 and led by David Posva. It develops high tech solutions with a main focus on disruptive vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Its flagship development is the Ray VTOL Aircraft, a 5-seater long range VIP VTOL aircraft. On June 4, 2018, the company revealed that it had designed a compact single-person aircraft, the Dart Flyer, for the GoFly competition. GoFly is a Boeing-sponsored competition pushing the boundaries of innovation, engineering, and transportation to create a personal flying device for anyone, anywhere. With a wingspan of 2.4 m (7.9 ft) and a length of 2.0 m (6.6 ft), the Dart uses a hybrid propulsion system with four electric motors and a combustion engine. The company stated in their press release that: “To achieve maximum safety the Dart will use the patent-pending fail-safe electric propulsion system, that Ray Research AG has developed for the long-range VIP Ray aircraft. The pilot will enjoy a maximum freedom adventure when flying headfirst powered by the four electric fans!” According to their website, “It guarantees that each of the 4 motors provides at least 75% power, even after any kind of failure.” Ray also notes that, “In addition to computer simulations we also use UAVs for small scaled prototypes of our manned aircraft designs. The main purpose of the scaled models is to gather real-world experience in controlling the crucial transitions between hover and cruise modes.” Resources Search eVTOL.news for more about Ray Research Ray Research Dart Flyer website Ray Research AG website Article: “The head-first VTOL personal aircraft concept not for the faint of heart,” New Atlas, June 7, 2018 Tags: Ray Research, GoFly, Hover Bikes/Devices, Scaled Prototype, 1 Passenger, Electric/Batteries, Piloted
On Nov. 6, VerdeGo Aero, headquartered in the Research Park at the Daytona Beach campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, announced that it would be providing its Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) technology platform to enable future hybrid and battery-electric variants of the Transcend Air Vy 400 aircraft. “VerdeGo Aero’s IDEP systems are a modular set of battery-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion components that are under development to support a wide array of VTOL aircraft and mission profiles,” the company stated. Later in November, VerdeGo announced a partnership with Seyer Industries to build a world-class supply chain to manufacture VerdeGo’s IDEP hybrid-electric powertrain systems. Seyer is a third-generation family-owned business founded in 1957 that specializes in aerospace structural assemblies. Seyer serves as a supplier to both commercial and defense manufacturers, as well as a supplier directly to the US Department of Defense.
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) Aeromechanics Branch hosted more than 60 interns this summer and focused their energies on studying the future of vertical flight. This is the second of two reports from this past year’s summer interns. By Nicholas Peters Vertiflite Jan/Feb 2019 During my ten-week NASA Aeromechanics Branch internship, I focused on what is considered by some as the most ambitious and ground-breaking new market of the modern aviation industry: urban air mobility (UAM). Even before The Jetsons’ first appearance on TV in the early 1960s, the world has hungered for a possible future of commuting to work by sky. Yet, what started out as a fantasy has slowly turned into an increasingly urgent need. The world traffic issues faced in megacities is one that results in the loss of billions of dollars a year of productivity and one that only continues to worsen with time (see for instance, “Traffic Congestion Costs Americans $124 Billion A Year, Report Says,” Forbes, Jan. 25, 2015). It is this impending megacity gridlock that has led to the business case for not only the UAM field but an overarching goal across the industry to establish alternative forms of transportation for the modern urban environment. Yet, with each of these plans, there are selective enabling technologies that act as limiters to their mass market application, and the UAM market is no different. Currently, eVTOL.news — the VFS website on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft — lists more than 125 proposed UAM-styled aircraft established by companies ranging from startups to the largest players of aviation (e.g. Airbus, Bell, Boeing and Embraer). Nearly all of these concepts propose using enabling technologies such as fly-by-wire-based control laws, electric hybrid propulsion, and advanced structures and manufacturing techniques. With a large array of technologies still needing to be studied, there is a clear need for a financial incentive to speed the practical application of these technologies. Here is where the GoFly Prize enters the UAM field. The GoFly competition requires that selected teams design and fly minimally-small “personal flying devices” that can incorporate VTOL technologies into their design (see “GoFly Enters Phase II,” Vertiflite, July/Aug 2018 or www.goflyprize.com). While each team is competing for $2M in prizes and the hopes of developing a marketable product, the collective information provided by the teams will form the foundation on which a future UAM market for individual transportation could grow.To date, the competition has completed its first phase and has selected 10 winners. It is clear that these teams were selected both because their proposed aircraft represented a practical demonstrator and because they appeared capable of seeing their project to completion. However, what may not be so clear is the feasibility of each aircraft selected. With new proposals for eVTOL aircraft being posted on the eVTOL.news directory on almost a daily basis, the rotorcraft community has the opportunity to consider the feasibility of these aircraft. In his Sept/Oct Vertiflite Commentary, “Beware the Hyper-Hype Cycle,” VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg warned of …
Astro’s Elroy Blasts Off The exclusive story of the origins and progress of the PassengerDrone By Kenneth I. Swartz Vertiflite Nov/Dec 2018 Astro Aerospace holds the distinction of being one of a handful of electric aircraft developers in the world to have successfully flown a piloted electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. (More details on Astro and links to more resources are available at www.eVTOL.news/passenger-drone.) Although the Texas-based company is new to the aerospace business, in March 2018 it completed the strategic acquisition of all rights to PassengerDrone. The aircraft first came to international attention with the team’s YouTube video release on July 16, 2017, which revealed that the 16-rotor eVTOL aircraft had made successful autonomous flights, followed by an actual passenger flight that September. Astro Aerospace was founded by Bruce Bent, a Canadian technology investor and the chief financial officer of Matthews Southwest, a large Dallas area-based private real-estate development company with major projects in the US, Canada, the UK and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In late March 2018, the prototype PassengerDrone was shipped from Europe to North America to begin a new life as the Astro “AA360,” though that name was replaced with “Elroy” in September 2018. With the tagline “Flight Made Easy,” Astro’s goal is to “make self-flying unmanned and manned vehicles available to anyone, at any time, from anywhere, and to turn this new and exciting aircraft into a mainstream mode of transportation.” In the Beginning PassengerDrone was the brainchild of Boyan Zhelev and Ivaylo Nikolov, two Bulgaria-born electronics and software experts who spent many years working on security solutions before turning their attention to the development of drones in 2004. “At that time, only a couple of companies and teams were developing multi-rotor aircraft … [and our] initial development target was a completely autonomous system mainly for surveillance applications. Our team soon realized that there were no existing, ready-to-use electronics modules or software solutions for such applications, so we started developing these from scratch,” recalled Zhelev. The partners began “designing and building the necessary electronics modules and hardware, and developing the advanced software algorithms. Then after three years of efforts, our multi-rotor prototypes began performing completely autonomous flights in 2007.” These efforts led to a successful business partnership with some industry-leading German companies in the emerging consumer drone market, as well as work developing military applications that utilized the team’s know-how in advanced motor control and radio communications. Work on a manned eVTOL aircraft began in 2015, with the goal of “developing a passenger drone aircraft that is intuitive to fly, even for an inexperienced pilot, and that can be operated completely autonomously,” recalled Zhelev. “Our aim was developing flight control systems which can assist human operators or pilots in handling flying, with ease — much like the challenging development of automobile autopilots, but adding a third dimension.” The next three years were spent “developing a completely new system architecture to provide this desired ease of flight, with a strong focus on safety, redundancy, flight …
Florida-based VerdeGo Aero has refocused its efforts from developing its PAT200 tandem tiltwing eVTOL aircraft towards developing powertrain and controls solutions. The company announced on Aug. 1 that it was launching its Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) systems to be a supplier for other eVTOL developers. VerdeGo President Erik Lindbergh said that “As our customers focus on designing, developing, and producing more than 20,000 aircraft by 2035, VerdeGo will be helping them open up this $30B+ transportation market”. In the press release, the company said: More than 100 aircraft companies around the world are now competing for a share of the Urban Air Mobility ‘Flying car’ market. Many of these new aircraft concepts were inspired by small-scale consumer drone designs. There are critical differences in propulsion systems, aircraft control, and safety that make developing a 2,000+ lb [1 t] aircraft far more challenging than a lightweight drone. VerdeGo Aero’s IDEP systems “are designed as end-to-end solutions with integrated hardware and software to provide energy, redundancy, power distribution, propulsion, and attitude control for a wide array of vertical takeoff (VTOL) and distributed electric propulsion (DEP) aircraft platforms.” The first generation IDEP systems are sized for 2–3 seat (200–350 hp/150–260 kW) and 5–7 seat (500–800 hp/375–600 kW) aircraft and contain hybrid generators to enable eVTOL “to be viable with technologies available today.” As battery technologies mature, VerdeGo’s modular IDEP systems will also be configured with rechargeable battery packs providing the primary power.
Piloted All eVTOL aircraft that operate with a pilot Aeroxo LV ERA Aviabike AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus Alauda Airspeeder Aquinea Volta Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Avianovations Hepard Bay Zoltán Flike Carter Aviation Air Taxi chAIR Multicopter CollaborativeBee Mini-Bee Dekatone Flying Car Dufour aEro 2 EAC Whisper ElectraFly ElectraFlyer Electric Jet EJ-1 Embraer DreamMaker Flexcraft FlytCycle Georgia Tech HummingBuzz Gravity X Hero Flyer Hi-Lite Lynx-us HopFlyt Venturi Hoversurf Scorpion JAXA Hornisse Jetpack Aviation Joby Aviation S4 Kalashnikov (unnamed) Kármán XK-1 Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Leap Vantage Malloy Hoverbike ManDrone Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 Napoleon Aero VTOL NASA Puffin Neva AirQuadOne NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly Penn State University Blue Sparrow Ray Research Dart Flyer Ray VTOL Aircraft Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Silverwing S1 Scoop Pegasus 1 Sky-Hopper Solution F Supervolant Pegasus Swarm Multicopter Talaria Hermes I Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony Tier 1 Robinson R44 Transcend Air Vy 400 Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 University of Kansas Mamba Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Varon V200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Voyzon Aerospace e-VOTO Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Piloted”
Electric Hybrid All eVTOL aircraft that utilize both electricity and fossil fuels Aergility ATLIS aeroG Aviation aG-4 Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) AutoFlightX BAT600 Axix SkyRider SuvA Bell Air Taxi Davinci ZeroG Dufour aEro 2 ElectraFly ElectraFlyer Flexcraft Jetoptera J2000 Joby Aviation Lotus (defunct) Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 PAV-X PAV-X Ultralight PFV Personal Flying Device Ray VTOL Aircraft Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Samad Starling Jet Talaria Hermes I Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Vimana AAV Volerian VTOL Aviation Abhiyaan Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Electric Hybrid”
Electric/Batteries All eVTOL aircraft that utilize electric batteries A³ Vahana AeroMobil 5.0 Aeroxo LV ERA Aviabike AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus AirisOne AirspaceX MOBi Alauda Airspeeder Aquinea Volta Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Aurora eVTOL AutoFlightX BAT600 Autonomous Flight Y6S Avianovations Hepard Bartini Flying Car Bay Zoltán Flike Boeing Cargo Aerial Vehicle Carter Air Taxi Cartivator SkyDrive chAIR Multicopter CollaborativeBee Mini-Bee Dekatone Flying Car DeLorean Aerospace DR-7 Digi Robotics DroFire Digi Robotics Droxi EAC Whisper EHang 184 EHang 216 Electric Jet EJ-1 Embraer DreamMaker EVA X01 FlytCycle Georgia Tech HummingBuzz Gravity X Hero Flyer Hi-Lite Lynx-us HopFlyt Venturi Hoversurf Drone Taxi R-1 Hoversurf Formula Hoversurf Scorpion JAXA Hornisse Jetpack Aviation Joby Aviation S2 (defunct) Joby Aviation S4 Kalashnikov (unnamed) Karem Butterfly KARI Optionally Piloted PAV Kármán XK-1 Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Cora Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Leap Vantage LIFT Hexa Lilium Jet Malloy Hoverbike ManDrone Napoleon Aero VTOL NASA Puffin Neoptera eOpter Neva AirQuadOne NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly Penn State University Blue Sparrow Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel (unnamed) Pop.Up Next PteroDynamics Transwing Ray Research Dart Flyer Scoop Pegasus 1 Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Silverwing S1 Sky-Hopper SKYLYS Aircraft AO Solution F Swarm Multicopter teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony Tier 1 Robinson R44 Transcend Air Vy 400 Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 University of Kansas Mamba Varon V200 Vertical Aerospace Vertiia Vision VTOL Volocopter 2X Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Volocopter VC200 Voyzon Aerospace e-VOTO VRCO NeoXCraft Zee Aero Z-P2 Zenith Altitude EOPA View all pages with the tag “Electric/Batteries”
5 Passengers All eVTOL aircraft that carry five passengers AirisOne Axix SkyRider SuvA Embraer DreamMaker Hi-Lite Lynx-us Hoversurf Formula Neoptera eOpter Ray VTOL Aircraft Rolls-Royce EVTOL Samad Starling Jet Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Volerian View all pages with the tag “5 Passengers”