Epiphany FLYING CARpet (concept design)
Applied eVTOL Concepts
Newport Beach, California, USA
In 2018, Michael Moshier, Chief Executive Officer, founded Applied eVTOL Concepts, based in Newport Beach, California, USA. The company announced on May 20, 2020 they had designed a two-passenger hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger multicopter aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM).
Work on the Epiphany FLYING CARpet began with full-scale ducted fan development and wind tunnel testing under a $5,000,000.00 USD 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.
Epiphany FLYING CARpet hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design multicopter aircraft
The Epiphany FLYING CARpet is a hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design multicopter aircraft. The aircraft has a sleek modern design with six independently controlled ducted propellers and six electric motors for propulsion, powered by two turbo-generators and batteries. There is a canopy over the cockpit with gull wing doors for entry and exit from the aircraft.
The aircraft has an estimated cruise speed of 100+ mph (161+ km/h) and has an anticipated range of 150+ miles (241+ km). The aircraft has three ducted propellers on one side of the fuselage and three ducted propellers on the other side of the fuselage. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear which lowers the complexity of the aircraft and also decreases the cost of the aircraft and maintenance, and increases the safety of the aircraft. Fixed skid type landing gear is also found on many helicopters.
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 propellers fold in, allowing for easy storage. The aircraft accepts diesel or biofuel so there are no batteries to charge overnight. The company is a proponent of using a hybrid-electric propulsion system because it ultimately increases the range of the aircraft, making the aircraft more useful for longer range travel.
Safety features include distributed electric propulsion (DEP) which means that if one or two propellers stop working, 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 also has many redundant systems.
At the time of this writing, 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 passenger VTOL concept design multicopter aircraft
- Piloting: 1 pilot, plus autopilot
- Capacity: 1 passenger and luggage
- Cruise speed: 100+ mph (161 km/h)
- Range: 150+ miles (241+ km)
- Propellers: 6 ducted propellers
- Electric motors: 6 electric motors
- Power source: 2 turbo-generators (can accept diesel or bio-fuel) and batteries
- Canopy: Panoramic window canopy for full 360 degree spectacular views
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
- 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.