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 Phoenix is an autonomous heavy-lift eVTOL drone that can carry more than 100 lb (45 kg), has a range of 20 miles (32 kg) and can carry twenty or more parcels per flight. The drone has 20 individual compartments that hold packages and each compartment has a door. This way, the drone can deliver at least 20 different packages to 20 destinations on one trip which makes this drone extremely efficient. Any company using this drone will purchase fewer drones and will make their drone delivery service exponentially more efficient than using one drone that carries only one package per flight.
An example of the value of this drone would be the task of delivering medicine or vaccines to patients, hospitals, doctor's offices or pharmacies. This drone could deliver medicine fast to many people. The drone could delivery 20 packages of goods or groceries in one flight making these deliveries extremely efficient. The value of purchasing one drone versus 20 drones is quite apparent. There would most likely be a lower purchase price for one drone (versus 20 drones), less drones would be needed to deliver packages, deliveries would be extremely efficient, less space would be needed to store the drones and there would be less maintenance needed due to owning fewer drones.
The landing struts can be folded flat to the bottom of the drone which makes it easy for storage or for transportation by vehicle. There are also several safety features and redundant systems on the drone. The company has not stated when a prototype will be flown or when they expect to see serial production of the Phoenix package delivery drone.
Aircraft type: eVTOL heavy-lift cargo drone
Capacity: 20 plus parcels per flight
Cruise speed: Unknown
Range: 20 miles (32 kg)
Flight Time: Unknown
Maximum payload: 100 lb (45 kg)
Propellers: 1 propeller-fan
Electric Motors: 1 electric motor (with a redundant motor design)
Power source: Batteries
Fuselage: Unknown material, possibly carbon fiber
Landing gear: 4 landing struts (struts can be folded for storage)
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.
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