Airborne Motorworks Inc.
Spokane Valley, Washington, USA
Airborne Motorworks was founded in 2014 and is based in Spokane, Washington, USA. The company's purpose is to make electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) flying cars for advanced air mobility (AAM) and other practical delivery drones urban and rural areas. The company also specializes in developing high performance electric powertrains. The company has developed artificial intelligence software capable of providing flight training and autopilot features called iPilot™. The core of Airborne Motorworks green propulsion technology is safety, utility, thrust capacity, stability, design freedom, battery life/power and efficiency.
The Research and Development facilities of the company are located in Spokane, Washington. Initial manufacturing will take place outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Corporate management is based in the greater Houston area in Texas, close to NASA.
In planning a trip with their eVTOL aircraft, the pilot can input their destination into iPilot™ and will see a virtual roadway appear on the windshield. A dashed center line will give drivers the impression of a highway in the sky, allowing them to stay on track during the flight. Airborne Motorworks will use a combination of cameras, LiDAR, and ultrasonic sensors to provide Spherical Visibility™ around vehicles at up to 820 feet (250 meters) of range.
Autopilot enables automatic steering, acceleration and braking on virtual roadways. These sensors will detect nearby hard and soft objects when they encroach on virtual lanes and they will provide guidance when parking. All Airborne Motorworks aircraft will have hardware for self-driving with safety as a priority. iPilot™ will allow short and long distance trips with minimal assistance from the pilot. Pilots simply need to tell their aircraft where to go.
The company has also designed, manufactured and patented their Electromagnetic Gyroscopic Propulsion (EGP) system which includes a shrouded nacelle with a propeller guard which includes the propeller-fan, electric motor, gyroscope and other electronics for a powerful yet stabilized flight. The company states their shrouded propellers produce 10 times the amount of thrust than a similar sized open propeller. The propeller assembly also has a redundant motor design.
The Airborne Motorworks Grocery Drone is an autonomous or remotely flown heavy-lift eVTOL cargo drone specifically made for delivering groceries. The cargo aircraft is powered by two propeller-fan assemblies located on each end of the aircraft providing forward, rear and vertical flight. The aircraft's long narrow size allows the aircraft to easily land in small areas such as a sidewalk, front lawn, driveway, parking space, patio, balcony or rooftop.
The aircraft holds three standard grocery bags and the bags can be overfilled with groceries. The cargo space could also hold a box or several boxes or be fitted with a custom made cargo container with handles. A clear hinged cover protects cargo from the wind blowing the cargo out of the drone during flight and protects the cargo from inclement weather. The Grocery Drone also has a removable washable tub.
While the aircraft was specifically made to carry groceries, the cargo drone could be used by many types of stores such as hardware stores, pharmacies or office supply stores. The drone will be available to be purchased the consumer and grocery stores as well. Grocery stores will have the option to hire a company to operate the drones for grocery deliveries or the stores can purchase the drones directly and would then be in the business to manage daily operations of their own delivery drones.
The company has stated the aircraft is scalable and its use could be greatly expanded for larger grocery deliveries such as customers purchasing a large amount of groceries to restaurant deliveries. A large drone could easily be used for cargo deliveries for the post office, UPS or FedEx type delivery companies.
The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear reducing the complexity and weight of the aircraft, making the aircraft inherently safer to fly. There are also several safety features and redundant systems on the drone as well. Because the aircraft is thin, it will be easy to store the Grocery Drone inside a store, a garage, parking lot or warehouse.
The company has not stated when a prototype will be flown or when they expect to see serial production of the Grocery Drone.
- Aircraft type: Scalable eVTOL grocery drone
- Piloting: Autonomous or remotely flown
- Capacity: Holds 3 standard grocery bags, no passengers. Has a clear hinged cover to protect cargo from the wind and inclement weather.
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: Unknown
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Maximum payload: 150 lb (68 kg)
- Propellers: 2 propeller-fans
- Electric Motors: 2 electric motors (with a redundant motor design)
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Unknown material, possibly carbon fiber
- Landing gear: 2 fixed landing skids
- Safety feature: The propeller-fan is in a shrouded nacelle with a propeller guard to prevent large items such as birds or people from being hit. The propeller-fan assembly uses a gyroscopic type of gimble suspension making the propeller-fan assembly extremely stable. There is a redundant motor design and a patented thrust system for emergency landings.
- Airborne Motorsworks website
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- Airborne Motorsworks YouTube Channel
- Airborne Motorsworks LinkedIn
- Video: eVTOL Issue: Thrust, Airborne Motorworks, Sept. 12, 2020
- Video: Stability, Airborne Motorworks, Sept. 12, 2020
- Video: Safety, Airborne Motorworks, Sept. 12, 2020
- Video: Design Issue: Flexibility, Airborne Motorworks, Sept. 12, 2020
- Video: Airborne: What We Do, Airborne Motorworks, Sept. 13, 2020