Elroy (originally “Passenger Drone”)
Lewisville, Texas, USA
The Astro Elroy was originally announced in July 2017 after autonomous flights had been conducted, under the company and vehicle name, “Passenger Drone” (see Astro’s Elroy Blasts Off, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2018). According to the announcement, the aircraft commenced flight testing in early May 2017 and then spent several months performing intensive testing with different simulated payload weights, simulated engine failures and different control modes. In August 2017, the first manned flights with passengers aboard took place. Photos of the aircraft show versions with landing gear and skids. The company was originally based in Europe.
After flying the aircraft manned, the founders commenced efforts to sell the technology. On May 8, 2018, Astro Aerospace announced that it had acquired the company; the CEO is Bruce Bent. It was initially renamed the “AA360” but that was replaced with “Elroy” in September 2018.
The Elroy is an autonomous eVTOL transport vehicle which can transport 2 passengers. It’s designed to be quiet, with zero emissions and very little vibration. The Elroy has adaptive flight control for automatic compensation in most weather conditions. 16 individual rotors ensure outstanding performance and safety. Fiber optics throughout the craft offers reduced weight over traditional wires, with zero magnetic interference. A touchscreen interface allows passengers to input their destination quickly, and to fly there without the use of manual controls.
Astro announced in July 2018 that it had forged a relationship with composite manufacturer Paterson Composites: “Specializing in carbon fiber, Paterson Composites will work with Astro Aerospace to construct the entire airframe of the [Elroy, version 2] Passenger Drone including the cockpit, frame, and propeller blades.”
In August 2018, Astro announced a partnership with Kasaero GmbH, based in Stuttgart, Germany, saying that “Kasaero is an aviation R&D company specializing in lightweight design, composite technology and certification.” In addition, Astro announced that it soon would unveil its PassengerDrone [now Elroy] Version 2.0 and CargoDrone [Orbit] Version 1.0 models.
In September 2018, the company announced that Transport Canada had “granted a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), a permit for the operation of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system, for its passenger drone project,” which it announced was now called “Elroy” (furthering the Jetson’s theme of the company name). Elroy was flight tested at the Toronto Markham Airport (CNU8) and video posted of it on Sept. 19, 2018.
In early March, 2019, after their successful 2018 test flight, the company announced some improvements slatted for the third quarter of the year. Improvements include a new “industrial” patented design concept with a modular fold-able design, significantly improved payload and flight time capabilities, a triple redundant flight control system architecture, new motor controller design and battery management systems, improved flight information displays, and larger customized propellers.
Passenger Drone [Elroy Version 1] Characteristics (updated November 2017)
|Empty Weight (including batteries)||240 kg||520 lbs|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight||360 kg||800 lbs|
|Maximum Thrust||560 kg||1230 lbs|
|Maximum Payload||120 kg||270 lbs|
|Maximum Speed||60-70 km/h||~45 MPH|
|Flight time||20-25 mins (without range extender)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||4200 mm x 2300 mm x 1800 mm||165″ x 90″ x 70″|
- Search eVTOL news posts for “Passenger Drone”
- Search eVTOL news posts for “Elroy”
- Astro Website
- Astro Facebook page
- Passenger Drone Twitter feed (defunct)
- Press Release: Passenger Drone launches two-seater electric manned aircraft!, Sept. 29, 2017
- Article: Astro Sets Industry Standard With New Upgrades Before Anticipated Q3 eVTOL Launch, Global Newswire, March 4, 2019
- Article: Astro’s Elroy Blasts Off, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2018
- Article: Astro’s Passenger Drone Proves Its Chops in the Air, Robb Report, Oct. 10, 2018
- Article: Astro Aerospace enhances development team with hiring of Kasaero, Vertical Magazine, August 10, 2018
- Article: ‘Passenger Drone’ completes its first manned flight, Daily Mail, Oct. 3, 2017
- Press Release: Astro Aerospace acquires VTOL industry leader Passenger Drone, May 2018
- Video: Elroy Takes Flight, September 19, 2018