Epiphany FLYING CARpet
Applied VTOL Concepts
Newport Beach, California, USA
Applied VTOL Concepts, based in Newport Beach, California, announced on May 20, 2020 that the company has designed a two-passenger hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft for personal air travel.
The company is headed by Michael Moshier, founder and Chief Executive Officer. Work on the Epiphany FLYING CARpet began with full-scale ducted fan development and wind tunnel testing under a $5M DARPA contract, with support from NASA Ames. This initial testing was carried out by Trek Aerospace, Moshier’s previous startup company, on the SoloTrek XFV, which was awarded Time Magazine’s 2001 Invention of the Year. Trek, which has continued work on ducted-fan aircraft such as the FlyKart, is developing the ducted fans under contract.
The VTOL aircraft is a sleek modern design with six independently controlled ducted propellers powered by six electric motors. The power source creating the electricity are two turbo-generators.
Applied VTOL Concepts says the Epiphany FLYING CARpet has an estimated cruise speed of 100+ mph (161 km/h) and an estimated range of 150+ miles (241 km).
The company states the aircraft has been designed for utility, comfort and safety in mind. Because the aircraft is small, it can easily be stored in a standard sized garage. The ducted propeller fold to allow for easy storage. The aircraft accepts diesel or biofuel so there are no batteries to charge and having this type of engine increases the range of the aircraft versus a battery-powered all-electric design.
Safety features include Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), which means that if one or two propellers can stop working and the remaining propellers can safely land the aircraft. If there is an interruption in both turbo-generators, there is also an electric power reserve which would have enough reserve to land the aircraft safely. The aircraft is fitted with skid type landing gear which is found on many helicopters.
The company plans to complete a full-scale prototype by the end of 2020 and to begin flight testing in early 2021.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: 100 mph – estimated (161 km/h)
- Range: 150 miles – estimated (241 km)
- Propellers: 6 ducted propellers
- Electric motors: 6
- Power source: 2 turbo-generators (can accept diesel or bio-fuel)
- Canopy: Panoramic window canopy for full 360 degree spectacular views
- Landing gear: Skid
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. Backup power provides electricity to the fan in the event of a turbo generator power interruption.