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 Hummingbird Mark 1 is a two passenger eVTOL roadable aircraft with fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear specifically made for advanced air mobility. The aircraft has the option for fixed skid landing gear. The aircraft can be flown autonomously using iPilot™ or can be flown manually. The aircraft has three propeller-fans used for vertical lift, forward flight and rearward flight. The two front fans are horizontal for vertical flight and then tilt forward during forward or reverse flight. The rear propeller-fan is stationary and is used only for vertical flight and stability during forward and rearward flight. If you notice carefully, the rear propeller-fan is larger in diameter than either of the two forward propeller-fans.
iPilot™ software will make the Hummingbird Mark 1 easy to fly and will also allow the pilot to enjoy autonomous flights. The cruise speed, range and flight time has not been disclosed by the company as of April 2022. The cabin has a canopy over the cockpit providing excellent views for the passengers. The doors are glass allowing an unobstructive view out of the cabin doors. There is also room for luggage inside the aircraft. The aircraft is powered by battery packs.
With the tricycle wheeled landing gear option, the vehicle is both an aircraft and ground vehicle, making the aircraft uniquely versatile for urban and rural mobility. The aircraft is small enough to fit into a parking space so the aircraft can easily be plugged into existing commercial electric charging stations while the passengers are shopping, working or having lunch. Afterwards, the passengers can make a quick getaway in the Hummingbird Mark 1 to their next destination.
The fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear makes the aircraft less complex (than retractable landing gear), reducing the purchase price of the aircraft and requiring less maintenance than having retractable landing gear. If the customer decides to purchase the fixed skid landing gear option, this reduces the purchase price further and reduces the amount of maintenance the aircraft will require in the future.
The aircraft can also be ferried autonomously to a set location and once landed, passengers can fly the aircraft to their destination. There are also several safety features and redundant systems for the aircraft. The company expects the aircraft to be used for private use, recreational purposes, as a commuter aircraft, for tourism, for vacations, for search and rescue (SAR) operations, for military use and more.
The company has not stated when a prototype will be flown or when they expect to see serial production of the Hummingbird Mark 1 passenger aircraft.
Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger roadable aircraft, with the option for fixed skid landing gear
Piloting: 1 pilot (piloted or autonomous)
Capacity: 2 passengers including the pilot
Cruise speed: Unknown
Flight Time: Unknown
Propellers: 3 propeller-fans
Electric Motors: 3 electric motors (with a redundant motor design)
Safety feature: The propeller-fan is in a shrouded nacelle. 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.
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