Black Knight Transformer
Torrance, California, USA
Advanced Tactics was founded in 2007 in Torrance, California (USA) with a vision to develop unique aircraft for military and commercial. The company currently has four vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft listed on their website and each aircraft can be powered with traditional petroleum fueled engines, hybrid-electric power or all electric power sources. The company is making VTOL aircraft for both Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and air cargo services.
Advance Tactics also provides the following services:
- Product development and rapid prototyping
- Electronics prototyping, manufacture and assembly
- Embedded and desktop software development
- Aircraft and rotorcraft simulation and modeling
- Control system design, analysis and implementation
Under development since 2010, the Black Knight Transformer is a multicopter VTOL aircraft and road vehicle which can be used for both passenger and cargo transportation. The combination aircraft and road vehicle has eight propellers and is a four wheeled vehicle, the wheels doubling as landing gear. The Black Knight Transformer is a multi-power source aircraft which can be manufactured with petroleum engines, with a hybrid-electric power train or with an all-electric power source. The aircraft is also modular in design.
Prior to development, the feasibility of the design was studied by the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate and the NASA Ames Research Center (USA). Significant core research, concept design, component development and testing was completed as the basis for a full-scale prototype demonstrator that is currently undergoing testing.
The aircraft has been made to use the maximum space available for passengers and cargo by having almost all the propellers, engines/motors and mechanical flight components outside the fuselage. The Black Knight Transformer has off-road driving capabilities so that it can reach any destination, whether a suitable landing zone is available or not. The aircraft can also be fitted with skids or flotation devices depending upon the mission.
The company foresees the Black Knight Transformer used by the military for troop transportation, cargo resupply missions, medevac use, Special Operations and more.
- Aircraft type: Petroleum based, hybrid-electric power or all-electric multicopter VTOL passenger and air cargo aircraft and off-road vehicle
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: Unknown
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Power source: Can be ordered with 8 petroleum powered engines, a hybrid-electric power source with 8 electric motors or an all-electric power source with 8 electric motors
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Larger windows for good visibility
- Landing gear: Four wheels which are used for landing gear and for on-road and off-road ground transportation
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.