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Advanced Research Foundation Cyclocar



Advanced Research Foundation
Moscow, Russia

Based in Russia, the Advanced Research Foundation founded in 2012, is a research and development organization for Russia to modernize the military and state security organizations with innovative high-tech technologies and products and to also bring innovative products for civilian use. The Cyclocar Project Team Leader is Yan Chibisov.

In 2017, the Foundation for Advanced Study organized an open competition "Free Takeoff", to develop the best vertical takeoff or ultra-short takeoff and landing aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). In May 2017, Flash-M LLC was announced as the winner. The winning team proposed using cyclical propellers for their vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft and this was the design base which Advanced Research Foundation's used for the Cyclocar.

The Cyclocar is an autonomous six passenger hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft using cyclical propellers for VTOL and forward flight. Passengers can enter and exit on either side of the aircraft and from the rear of the aircraft. The maximum speed of the Cyclocar is estimated at 250 km/h (155 mph), with a range of 500 km (311 miles), has no wings and has a four fixed-wheeled landing gear arrangement.

Some of the main advantages for this design is very fast control of thrust vectors through 360 degrees for excellent maneuverability in the air, has a low noise level and is a very compact vehicle. The aircraft will have a hybrid-electric power plant to create the electricity for the electric motors turning the cyclical propellers providing the power for VTOL flight, high speed flight and endurance for the aircraft. There is also safety shielding so passengers and ground crew are protected from the turning propellers.

The Advanced Research Foundation says the vehicle can be equipped with a gasoline piston engine or a more powerful turbine engine its power source. A unique feature of the aircraft is its ability to land on an inclined surface of up to 30 degrees and to dock to vertical surfaces. The aircraft can also be used for air cargo service.

The Cyclocar is expected to be used for both military and civilian use, including Urban Air Mobility, Search & Rescue, police work, fire fighting, tourism, surveying, transportation to the battle field and more. Its sister air cargo drone, the Cyclodron, is planned to be used in agriculture, monitoring the air, medicine and organ transportation, commercial cargo services and more.

The aircraft has a safe feature of being able to continue to fly if two of the four rotors stop working and the aircraft will also be equipped with a whole aircraft parachute.

In 2020, a 60 kg (132 lb) subscale prototype made its first flight validating its flight control systems, including the ability to fly the aircraft in VTOL flight and forward flight modes. The first full-size Cyclocar prototype is scheduled to fly in 2022 and production aircraft are expected to be manufactured by 2024.


  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft
  • Piloting: Autonomous
  • Capacity: 6 passengers
  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
  • Range: 500 km (311 miles)
  • Maximum payload: 600 kg (1,323 lb)
  • Cyclical propellers: 4 cyclical propellers
  • Electric Motors: Possibly 4 electric motors or more
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: Canopy over passenger seating
  • Landing gear: Fixed quad-wheeled landing gear
  • Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. Two of the cyclical propellers can stop working the aircraft can continue to fly and land safely. The aircraft will also have a whole aircraft parachute system.