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Kenyan Passenger Drone manned flight test

Kenyan Passenger Drone

Kenyan Passenger Drone Morris Mbetsa Kenya The Kenyan Passenger Drone is a Vertical Take-Off and Landing prototype created by Morris Mbetsa, a self-taught inventor and electrical engineer. This drone uses four vertical propellers and is flown either autonomously, remotely, or manually with a joystick. The prototype used in the flight tests is not the final design, as the final Kenyan Passenger Drone will have an enclosed cabin. The drones can be used to transport tourists over and around Nairobi, as well as for search and rescue missions. In May 2018, Mbetsa began the unmanned flight tests of the Kenyan Passenger Drone, which proved successful, allowing for manned flight tests to begin in June 2018. With this project, Mbetsa wants to prove to the world Africa can be home to technological innovation instead of waiting for what is done elsewhere. The drones will be specialized to the African urban and wild environment rather than western or far eastern cities. Resources: Search posts Article: Kenya: experimentation of the first passenger drone in Africa,, August 4, 2018 Video: Kenya’s first passenger drone, K24 Tv Kenya, July 6, 2018 Video: Power Breakfast: Passenger drone, Kenyan CitizenTV, June 10, 2018 Video: Full: Passenger drone, a KENYAN Innovation by Morris Mbetsa, Samuel Maina, June 7, 2018 Video: Passenger drone takes off in Kenya, James Ratemo, June 6, 2018 Video: First passenger drone Africa, Kenya | tests, Stiv M, May 28, 2018 Video: First passenger drone in Africa | Kenya, Stiv M, May 7, 2018 Tags: Mbetsa, Wingless (Multicopter), Flight Testing, 1 Passenger, Electric/Batteries, Autonomous, Piloted

Passenger Drone Now ASTRO AA360

Ft. Worth, Texas-based ASTRO Aerospace announced on May 8th that it had acquired Passenger Drone, which had made manned flights last year of its two-seat 16-propeller wingless eVTOL aircraft, now dubbed the AA360. [Note: the company renamed the aircraft “Elroy” in four months later.] In June, ASTRO announced that it had forged a partnership with composite manufacturer Paterson Composites: “Specializing in carbon fiber, Paterson Composites will work with ASTRO Aerospace to construct the entire airframe of the Passenger Drone including the cockpit, frame, and propeller blades.”

Passenger Drone first manned flight

Manned Passenger Drone

On Aug 28, the company Passenger Drone announced that it had been working in “stealth mode” on a two-seat distributed electric VTOL aircraft: “For the past three years, Passenger Drone has been developing a zero-emissions, easy-to-use passenger drone that has the potential to eliminate stressful commutes. With 16 electric engines, the drone can travel up to 80 km/h [43 kt] while barely making a noise.” Unmanned flights began in early May 2017, including testing with different simulated payload weights, simulated engine failures and different control modes. In August 2017, the first manned flights with passengers onboard took place.

Elroy (Passenger Drone)

Elroy (originally “Passenger Drone”) Astro Aerospace 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) Resources Search …

Pipistrel hybrid-electric Cargo Drone - Solvania origin. Announced in November 2019

Pipistrel Cargo Drone

Cargo DronePipistrel d.o.o.Ajdovščina, Pipistrel is a Slovenia light aircraft manufacturer founded in 1989. Pipistrel originally began manufacturing powered hang gliders. The hang gliders were discontinued in the early 2000s. In 2007, Pipistrel introduced the world’s first 100% electric powered two (2) seat glider and the first to achieve production. In 2015, Pipistrel developed the Alapha Electro, an all-electric plane or electric Conventional Take-Off and Landing (eCTOL) aircraft for training with a 1 hour flight duration with an energy reserve. According to one article, electricity for their aircraft costs are about 1/10 of gasoline. Pipistrel has been making batteries in-house to ensure the quality of batteries are up to their strict standards. The batteries charge fairly quickly and they can be changed-out in (five) 5 minutes or less. Pipistrel publicly announced its 801 eVTOL passenger aircraft at the Uber Elevate Summit in Washington, D.C., USA, in June 2019, made specifically for Uber Air and that it meets Uber’s requirements for aircraft manufacturers, to produce all electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. However, as of November 26, 2019, as reported in eVTOL Magazine, Pipistrel is not going to be working on their UAM eVTOL right now but instead focusing on a hybrid-electric cargo drone. “Pipistrel is not “neglecting” its eVTOL air taxi, just shifting focus to take advantage of near-term business opportunities. The company expects to be able to apply insights from its cargo drone program to further development of the 801.” The Pipestril Cargo Drone pictures and most features are not available for the public at this time but we know that it is similar to the 801 eVTOL passenger aircraft. The Cargo Drone has as a hybrid-electric power source, a tandem-wing design (instead of one main wing), has a pusher propeller, has four (4) shrouded electric VTOL fans on each side of the fuselage (for a total of eight (8) electric fans). The range of the Cargo Drone currently has about 300 km (186 miles), which might be extended) and has a maximum payload weight of 300 kilograms (661 lbs). The company expects to have a 20,000 hour service life for the aircraft. Their goal is to have it flying in 2020 and begin production in 2022. Pipistrel feels their cargo drone will be very suited for cargo and humanitarian aid delivery. Then after the public sees the value of cargo drones and the public sees it’s importance, Pipistrel will then begin to manufacture passenger eVTOL aircraft. Specifications: Aircraft type: Hybrid-electic VTOL cargo aircraft Piloting: Unknown Passengers: 0 Range: 300 km (186 miles) Maximum payload weight of 300 kilograms (661 lbs) Forward flight propulsion: Pusher propeller VTOL flight: 8 electric shrouded fans (4 shrouded electric VTOL fans on each side of the fuselage) Power source: Hybrid-electric Service life: 20,000 hours …

Teledrone mock-up wingless multicopter from the United Kingdom


TeledroneTeledrone Ltd.Skelmersdale, Lancashire, United The TELEDRONE project was one of 31 to qualify for the second phase of the GoFly Challenge, having been established to investigate the potential for an airframe designed to ‘teleport’ passengers by the simplest means or nearly as simple as making a phone call. Leading the project is Colin Hilton, with 15,000 hours flight experience and over 10,000 command hours on Boeing and Airbus types. He is a qualified trainer participating in flight safety programs. His previous designs attracted the interest of the British Technology Group and demonstrated to Margaret Thatcher’s minister of technology beside the National Physical Laboratory. He works with an accountant, electrical engineer, IP associate and executive director to steer the development of this simplest embodiment of the outline and the prototype will be beta-tested as a ground-effect vehicle for reconnaissance, minefield maneuver and ‘over-water’ leisure market. The powered prototype will use under-slung motors and propellers in line with the pilot’s midriff, which will be protected by a reinforced shroud. The enclosure is tailored by 3-D scanning to the individual and supported by a shoulder harness on the ground, and crotch-strap when airborne. The flight-deck is 50 cm (19.7 in) square and the rotor-arms 100 cm (39 in) in length. They will support a 101.6 cm (40 in) carbon-fibre propeller and the largest of ‘T-motor’ power-units. The layout has been specifically adapted to the GoFly Challenge, and the cross-span dimension is therefore under 2.60 m (8.5 ft). Batteries are worn by the operator and the vehicle will be autonomous for medevac operations. Draft flight controls feature dual sidestick, one for pitch/roll and the other a collective. Without input from rudder pedals, yaw will be controlled by push-buttons on either side-stick, though ‘radio-control’ modes will also be available. The target thrust for each power-unit is in the order of 40 kg (88 lb) and the dry weight of the airframe unladen with motors, rotors or operator is 9 kg (20 lb). Conventional riveted aluminium is used for construction, beside an expanded-foam insert. The arms will eventually be telescopic in order to facilitate the very highest level of portability and practicality. There are no plans yet for ducted fans to replace propellers, which provide maximum efficiency. References: Search eVTOL news posts Teledrone website Article: Meet the Teams: Get to Know Team Teledrone, From the United Kingdom, Go Fly Prize, Jan. 15, 2019 Tags:Teledrone, Mock-Up, eVTOL, Electric/Batteries, Autonomous, Piloted, Wingless Multicopter, 1 Passenger, Concept eVTOL Aircraft

Flying Solo: GoFly Advances Single-Passenger Air Mobility Solutions

Flying Solo: GoFly Advances Single-Passenger Air Mobility Solutions By Nicolas Zart Vertiflite, May/June 2019 GoFly has awarded five teams $50,000 each toward their efforts to develop personal flying devices. The $2M GoFly Prize competition has completed its second phase and has so far received more interest than ever imagined. The idea to fund safe and innovative designs for a personal flying machine was a longtime dream for Gwen Lighter and she worked for years to get it started, including getting help from the Vertical Flight Society and other experts (see “AHS Supports GoFly!,” Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017). Lighter admits she was also the kind of kid who would make crazy contraptions and jump out of trees to see if they could fly. After working on the idea with interested parties (she presented the competition at the VFS Second Annual Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop in August 2015), she finally found the grand sponsor in The Boeing Company — as well as the support of 21 international aerospace and engineering organizations — to make the GoFly Prize a reality. Phase I was announced on Sept. 26, 2017. In the end, this two-year, three-phase, $2M competition sponsored by Boeing has attracted more than 3,500 innovators and 824 teams from 103 countries across the globe. From this, 31 teams across 16 countries submitted entries for Phase II and the GoFly Prize announced the winners on March 26. The aim of GoFly is to push the safety envelope for an urban air mobility (UAM) flying device by rethinking vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which must be designed to carry a single rider 20 miles (32 km) without refueling or recharging at 30 kt (56 km/h) or faster. GoFly chose to limit the aircraft design with a maximum dimension of no more than 8.5 ft (2.6 m) with a noise level less than 85 dBA, measured 50 ft (15 m) away. Phase I emphasized the design and technical capabilities, while Phase II and III are the actual building phases. The development of and better access to technologies for stability and control, propulsion, lightweight materials, energy storage, and rapid prototyping are making this a closer reality than previously thought. GoFly announced its 10 Phase I award recipients on June 14, 2018, with each winning team receiving $20,000 to support their efforts and encourage others to invest (see “GoFly Enters Phase II,” Vertiflite, July/August 2018). Four of the Phase I awardees and one new entrant were selected to receive $50,000 awards to provide funding and encouragement toward a final fly-off scheduled for February 2020, though anyone who meets the requirements is allowed to compete, whether they were prior winners or not. But if the goal is to foster the development of a safe, quiet, compact, near-VTOL, personal flying …

One man drone Featured Image

ManDrone (defunct)

ManDrone Voorthuizen, Netherlands (webpage defunct) ManDrone is an eight-rotor multicopter that is capable of carrying one passenger. It was created by Winfried Rijssenbeek, and is based on his earlier Humming Man Project. A scaled prototype is currently being tested, which allows for a 100 kg (220.46 lb) payload. The company aims to have a full-scale prototype working soon, in order to complete manned flight tests. Additionally, the aircraft has eight motors in four groups to ensure that if two motors fail, the aircraft can still fly. Just in case of emergency, a ballistic parachute is also onboard the vehicle. The ManDrone is not autonomous, but its fly-by-wire control system is assisted by automatic control adjustment. The ManDrone can serve as a commuter vehicle, an agriculture drone, a firefighting drone, a search and rescue drone, or a supply drone. Proposed Specifications Resources Search eVTOL news posts Website: One Man Drone Website: Humming Man Project Tags: ManDrone, Wingless (Multicopter), Scaled Prototype, 1 Passenger, Electric/Batteries, Piloted

2 Passengers

2 Passengers All eVTOL aircraft that carry two passengers A³ Vahana Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Aurora eVTOL AutoFlightX BAT600 Autonomous Flight Y6S Avianovations Hepard Bartini Flying Car Bell Air Taxi CollaborativeBee Mini-Bee Dekatone Flying Car DeLorean Aerospace DR-7 Digi Robotics Droxi Dufour aEro 2 EAC Whisper EHang 216 EVA X01 JAXA Hornisse Jetoptera J2000 Joby S2 (defunct) Kármán XK-1 Kitty Hawk Cora Lilium Jet Moller Skycar M200 PFV Personal Flying Device Pop.Up Next Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Tier 1 Robinson R44 Varon V200 VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vertiia Vision VTOL Volocopter VC200 Voyzon Aerospace e-VOTO VRCO NeoXCraft Workhorse SureFly Zenith Altitude EOPA View all pages with the tag “2 Passengers”

1 Passenger

1 Passenger All eVTOL aircraft that carry one passenger A³ Vahana Aeroxo LV ERA Aviabike AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Alauda Airspeeder Aquinea Volta Assen A1 Avianovations Hepard Bay Zoltán Flike Cartivator SkyDrive chAIR Multicopter EHang 184 ElectraFly ElectraFlyer Electric Jet EJ-1 FlytCycle Georgia Tech HummingBuzz Gravity X Hero Flyer Hoversurf Drone Taxi R-1 Hoversurf Scorpion Jetpack Aviation (unnamed) Kalashnikov (unnamed) KARI Optionally Piloted PAV Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Leap Vantage LIFT Hexa Malloy Hoverbike ManDrone NASA Puffin Neva AirQuadOne NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly PAV-X  PAV-X Ultralight Penn State University Blue Sparrow Ray Research Dart Flyer Scoop Pegasus 1 Silverwing S1 Sky-Hopper Solution F Swarm Multicopter Talaria Hermes I teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 University of Kansas Mamba Vision VTOL Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Zee Aero Z-P2 View all pages with the tag “1 Passenger”