ElectraFly hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft USA.

ElectraFly
ElectraFly
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
www.electrafly.com

John Manning and Jason Burgess co-founded ElectraFly in 2017. The ElectraFly is a one passenger hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) multicopter. The company plans to make scalable cargo and personal flying vehicles for commercial and military use. As of September 2018, it’s been reported the company has filed for about 28 technology patents.

The company recognized that small multi-rotor drones don’t have a very useful payload except for a small camera and have a small range. The goal of the company is to create a VTOL aircraft which would have a useful load for delivering cargo and for transporting a rider with a greater range of travel.

The ElecraFly has four horizontal electrically powered propellers around the height of the rider’s head. The aircraft is about 75 lbs (34 kg) plus the payload of one rider. The vehicle also employs a small jet turbine engine that produces close to 70 lbs (32 kgs) of thrust if needed when hovering and for regular flight mode. The turbine engine also recharges the flight batteries.

The ElectraFly also has four wings for lift that can pitch to point upward in hover mode to reduce their impact on the propeller’s down wash, called flat plate drag. Aircraft designs where propeller down wash is on the top of a wing will usually reduce the efficiency of an aircraft, according to the company. The vehicle hovers with its nose pitched 20 degrees above ground. When in flight mode, it will fly level providing a comfortable ride for the passenger which also reduces the pitch to drag penalty many UAV drones experience. It can be piloted remotely or with two joysticks.

It can be said that on new aircraft prototypes, it is very common to not know the cruise speed, cruising altitude, range and other specifications early on before many flight tests have taken place. Only after much testing as been done can specifications come close to being accurate. However, goals for this aircraft are have a cruise speed of under 100 mph (161 km/h), a cruise altitude of under 5,000 ft (1,524 m) and a possible range of 20 miles (32 km).

The vehicle will have multiple applications including air taxi service (scaled to a large sized vehicle), first responder, search and rescue, personal air vehicle, recreational use, ship to shore for yacht owners, cargo delivery, other commercial use and the military. The company sees the aircraft selling with a six figure price tag.

The Electrafly was successfully flight tested while uncrewed in August 2018. It has a Memorandum of Understanding to test the vehicle at Utah’s Unmanned Aircraft System test site with a crewed test is planned for the first half of 2019.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Cockpit: Open (like a motorcycle)
  • Propellers: 4
  • Electric motors: 4
  • Turbine jet engine: 1 (turbojet engine for additional thrust and for electrical power)
  • Tilt wings: 4
  • Landing gear: Fixed struts

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Tags:

ElectraflyHover Bikes/DevicesFlight TestingElectric/Batteries1 PassengerPiloted

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