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Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX) Sigma-6 Cargo Drone

Airspace Experience Technologies Sigma-6 Cargo Drone

 

Sigma-6 Cargo Drone
Airspace Experience Technologies, LLC (ASX)
Detroit, Michigan, USA
www.iflyasx.com

Founded in Detroit, Michigan (USA) in 2017, by Anita Sengupta, Jon Rimanelli, JP Yorro and RJ King, Airspace Experience Technologies an aerospace startup and is in the business of making affordable hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and/or electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM) and other multiple uses. All photos credit to Airspace Experience Technologies.

The MOBi aircraft is an all electric tilt-wing under development with a modular payload design. Airspace Experience Technologies started a funding rounds under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's CF and D regulations in partnership with SeedInvest to raise $8 million to support development work. The company also launched a Series A funding round in March 2020 and welcomes new investors to join their urban air mobility opportunity.

The hybrid-electric (and eVTOL optional) Sigma 6 Cargo Drone has two versions of the aircraft. One of the company's drawings is a redesigned fuselage which looks like it could possibly be a detachable cargo pod. The other concept drawing is of the same design as the Sigma 6 passenger eVTOL aircraft and the passenger seating has been removed for air cargo. Both versions apparently use the same propulsion assembly consisting of six propellers, six electric motors, a tilt wing and use a fixed quadricycle wheeled landing gear configuration.

While the company has not provided specifications in articles or on its website for its cargo drone, the details of its speed and payload could easily match the passenger's specifications. The ASX Sigma 6 passenger aircraft has a cruise speed 126 mph (203 km/h), a maximum speed of >200 mph (322 km/h), a range (an all electric power source) of >90 m (145 km), a range (from an hybrid-electric power source) of >200 m (322 km) and has a maximum payload of 1,000 lb (454 kg). These specifications would very well be the same specifications as the Sigma 6 Cargo Drone.

It is unknown if the cargo pod graphic with the orange paint scheme allows the cargo fuselage to detach from tilt-wing propulsion assembly. Either way, the only moving parts on the aircraft the propellers, electric motors, tiltwings and landing wheels. Using the least of amount of moving parts not only reduces the cost of the aircraft, it reduces the complexity of the aircraft, increases flight safety, lowers the initial purchase cost and lowers maintenance costs.

If the cargo pod detaches from the aircraft, then the aircraft can be flown over a cargo pod and pick it up for air transportation. Likewise, the aircraft can land and simply detach the cargo pod, making the delivery of cargo very simple. The aircraft is also on wheels, which could make it easy for ground crew to position the aircraft over cargo pods. However, it might be easier to wheel the cargo pods on a dolly and position the cargo pod under the aircraft.

The company has not stated when a prototype will be made or when production aircraft could be expected to roll off the assembly lines.

Sigma-6 Cargo Drone concept design

Sigma-6 Cargo Drone concept design

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric (and eVTOL optional) heavy-lift cargo aircraft
  • Piloting: Piloted, remote or autonomous
  • Capacity: Either pilot and cargo or cargo only, depending upon the final production model
  • Cruise speed estimated: 126 mph (203 km/h)
  • Maximum speed estimated: >200 mph (322 km/h)
  • Electric range estimated: >90 m (145 km)
  • Hybrid-electric range estimated: >200 m (322 km)
  • Maximum payload estimated: 1,000 lb (454 kg)
  • Propellers: 6 propellers
  • Electric motors: 6 electric motors
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: Tilt-wing
  • Tail: V-tail
  • Landing gear: Fixed quadricycle wheeled 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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