Flying Innovative Personal Space Icon (FIPSI)
Advanced System Engineering
Trumbull, Connecticut, USA
Advanced System Engineering founded by Bogdan Radu on Feb. 4, 2004, has invented the Flying Innovative Personal Space Icon. The aircraft is a concept hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) two passenger personal land and air vehicle allowing the consumer to have the best use of both roads or air for traveling. The idea of his vehicle is to make true urban mobility available for anyone, regardless of your location, without the need for an airport or heli-pad and allowing one to change from road to air travel and back, at a moments notice.
Radu has invented two models, the WX4 and the BX4. The WX4 is a vectored thrust VTOL aircraft with a retractable and expanding wing on top of the vehicle to provide longer flight times and the BX4 is a vectored thrust aircraft as well. Both vehicles have a cruising flight speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) and a maximum road speed of 72 mph (116 km/h).
The reason Radu created an all-in-one land and air vehicle because if the aircraft were manufactured and sold to customers right now, the customer could use the vehicle without cities having to add any additional costly airport or heli-pads, time is not wasted traveling to and from purpose built landing pad areas, and there is no time wasted for check-in and waiting to board the aircraft.
The current urban air mobility (UAM) model which most companies are using claims that UAM will be quick, fast and a huge time saver for the passenger. However, how can urban air mobility save travel time when the passenger will be traveling from their home to the take-off area, then add the check-in time, then the wait for boarding, add to that – flying time, deboarding time and finally, the time it takes to travel from the landing area to work! Won’t it simply be faster to drive your car to work than using urban air mobility? This is the question that Radu reminds the world to think about and to answer. Radu says he has the answer.
The simplicity and practicality of his WX4 eliminates the wasted time needed to travel to and from landing pads, and checking into and waiting for flights. That is, the WX4 is a true time-saver for urban air mobility and is not just a plan to get more airports built in the urban landscape which will continue to add time to the passenger’s journey. This way, based on planned or unplanned needs of the consumer, the consumer can travel leisurely by road to local stores, fly on a weekend getaway, drive to work or fly over the rush hour traffic, when necessary, to be on-time to work.
The Flying Innovative Personal Space Icon (road and air vehicle) can deliver solutions needed in emergency situations that bring help easier and faster, everywhere and every time. — Bogdan Radu, Founder
There are at least three core ideas for the basis of the aircraft: innovation, versatility and ease of use. In addition, his design reduces the complexity of the aircraft, protects the passengers from vehicle components when not in flight mode and its design also protects the components from harm when not in flight mode. The estimated cost of this vehicle is ten times less than a helicopter.
The company sees many applications of this aircraft which include but are not limited to a personal air vehicle and road vehicle, search and rescue, escape vehicle due to any natural or man-made disaster, police, fire, general contractors, government, military, cargo, utility services and more. The aircraft can perform most helicopter transportation missions.
The WX4 is intended to be piloted manually but can function as an autonomous aircraft as well. For cargo use, the seats simply need to be removed. One the most important features of this aircraft is its ability to take-off and land anywhere without the need of any additional infrastructure.
The safety features include a parachute and the ability of the vehicle to retract its propellers and wing to keep people and the aircraft protected, while the vehicle is in storage, parked or in driving mode. The company plans to sell the aircraft to the end user.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric combination road vehicle and VTOL aircraft
- Piloting: Piloted or autonomous
- Capacity: 2 people
- Flight cruising speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)
- Flight maximum cruising speed in the air: 55 mph (89 km/h)
- Road maximum speed: 72 mph (116 km/h)
- Road maximum range: 300 miles (483 km)
- Weight: 990 lb (449 kg)
- Maximum payload: 400 lb (181 kg)
- Propellers: 4 sets of retractable propellers (each propeller can have between 2-4 propellers)
- Propeller motors: 1-3 motors per propeller
- Wheels: 4 wheels
- Wings: Retractable high constant chord wing
- Cargo transport: Can transport cargo by removing the seats
- Feature: Can park in a parking space or garage
- Safety features: Emergency parachute. The propellers are retractable to keep people and propellers safe when the propellers are not in use.
- Flying Innovative Personal Space Icon website
- Slideshow: Advanced Systems Engineering slideshow for the FIPSI aircraft, Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo 2014, May 4, 2014
- Video: Bogdan Radu lecture on the FIPSI aircraft, Small Unmanned Systems Business Expo 2014, May 4, 2014
- Video: FIPSI WX4 Flying Car on the Road, Invention Network, Oct. 13, 2015
- Video: FIPSI WX4 Flying Car Concept, Invention Network, Oct. 13, 2015
- Article: Could FIPSI Be the World’s First True Flying Car?, Future Sharks, June 4, 2018