The LIFT Hexa is a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) all-electric one passenger wingless multicopter aimed primarily at tourism and short distance travel. It completed its first manned test flight in November 2018.
The Hexa is battery powered and has motor strut assembly resembles a web of six inward pointing diamonds with twelve perimeter and six inner Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) motors which allows an aircraft to be controlled simply by varying individual motor speed. The motors and propellers are the only moving parts needed for stable flight. The vehicle can fly with up to six motors disabled but is also equipped with an autonomous ballistic parachute. There are four perimeter floats with a large central float under the open cockpit allowing for safe water landings. The airframe is constructed entirely of carbon fiber and weighs only 196 kgs. It is capable of carrying a 113 kg passenger for 15 minutes plus reserves.
LIFT’s Hexa qualifies as a Powered Ultralight by the FAA so no pilot’s license is required to fly. It is semi-autonomous and its stability is accomplished by flight control computers. After training in LIFT’s virtual reality simulators the pilot/passenger may use the single, 3-axis joystick or can engage an auto-pilot mode using a small touchscreen. The triple redundant flight computer system continuously calculates the energy required to return to home so regardless of the pilot’s actions the Hexa will automatically return and land while the battery still has a sufficient return charge. It can also automatically land in designated safe landing areas or be controlled remotely by LIFT trained safety pilots.
LIFT plans to set up numerous locations where anyone will be able to rent aircraft. They are currently relying on input by interested customers to determine its first locations in scenic, uncongested areas near major cities, tourist destinations and entertainment hubs.
The Hexa completed its first manned test flight in November 2018 and the company was unveiled on December 11, 2018.
- LIFT Aircraft website
- LIFT Press Release, December 11, 2018
- Article: LIFT Aircraft unveils new eVTOL aircraft , Aerospace Technology, December 13, 2018
- Article: Lift Aircraft’s Hexa may be your first multirotor drone ride, TechCrunch, December 11, 2018
- LIFT Video