Atlis Gen 1 (prototype)
Dunnellon, Florida, USA
The Aergility Corporation was founded in 2015 in Dunnellon, Florida, USA by Jim Vander Mey, CEO and Larry Yonge, VP of Research and Development. Aergility develops autonomous, long-range, high-payload cargo hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The Atlis Gen 1 concept design is designed to be an autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for long range heavy-lift cargo delivery into difficult to access or dangerous areas.
The projected Atlis production model will fly autonomously utilizing motors (tentatively the Hirth 3502/3) powering eight vertical propellers for take-off and landing, while a gas powered pusher prop propels it forward. The VTOL propellers go into an autorotation mode (used by gyrocopters) and managed by a computer for lift. Varying individual propeller speeds will be used to maneuver the aircraft. While functioning as a gyrocopter the propellers will regenerate the battery. It is planned to carrry 400 lb (180 kg) of cargo with a range of 200 m (320 km) or carry a 250 lb (113 kg) load with a range of 600 m (960 km) and at speeds up to 100 mph (161 kph).
Before the Atlis Gen 1 demonstrator took to the skies, the inventors made multiple tests using:
- Simulator software to test and validate their aircraft's concept design
- A static test stand with propellers and electric motors to test the rotors, electric motors, controllers, thrust, torque, current and other electrical and aerodynamic parameters
- Used a platform with propellers and electric motors on a moving truck to measure the aerodynamic performance at 70 mph (113 km/h)
The Atlis Gen 1 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) 1/4 scale demonstrator is remote controlled drone. The top speed of the demonstrator is about 70 mph (113 km/h) and has a gross weight of 55 lb (25 kg). The aircraft has eight VTOL propellers and one pusher propeller for forward flight using nine electric motors and uses battery packs for its power source.
The purpose of the demonstrator is provide prove the technology that they developed for the cargo drone and to validate the managed autorotation concept of the rotors, using a pusher propeller for forward flight.
The aircraft will utilize a point-of-supply direct to point-of-need strategy rather than requiring multiple distribution points required by many vehicles because of range limitations or potential dangers. Aergility predicts the Atlis aircraft could fly an average of ten flights a day.
Aergility is a combined effort by three companies: Robrady provides the industrial design, Watts Innovations conducts the flight testing and Zivko Aueronautics is responsible for prototype manufacturing.
The Atlis Gen 1 eVTOL 1/4 scale proof-of-concept aircraft has flown and a full-sized prototype is scheduled for completion in 2019.
- Aircraft type: 1/4 scale eVTOL cargo drone demonstrator
- Piloting: Remote controlled
- Capacity: No payload
- Top speed: 70 mph (113 km/h)
- Range: Unknown
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Cruise altitude: Unknown
- Gross weight: 55 lb (25 kg)
- Propellers: 8 VTOL propellers, 1 pusher propeller
- Electric Motors: 9 electric motors
- Power source: Battery packs
- Fuselage: Unknown
- Landing gear: Fixed skid-type landing gear
- 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. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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- Video: Introducing ATLIS from Aergility - 400lb payload, 200mi range., Aergility, May 2, 2018
- Article: Cargo-carrying long-range VTOL UAV moves to full-scale prototype stage, New Atlas, July 5, 2018
- Video: 2019 Flight Demonstration, Aergility, Apr. 25, 2019