Seo-gu, Incheon, South Korea
Founded in 2015 in Seo-gu, Incheon, Korea, AstroX is a manufacturer of hardware and mechanical parts for racing drones. The company's product offering includes drone frames, bolts, flight controllers, connectors and more, enabling customers to procure essential parts and hardware as per their requirements. The company has also made a full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft but there has been no mention of this on their website as of September 2022.
While there is little information online about AstroX's eVTOL passenger aircraft, we do know a few things. The aircraft looks similar to the Kitty Hawk Flyer; however, on close inspection, the AstroX Racer has many different design features than the Kitty Hawk Flyer and is not an exact copy of the Flyer. The AstroX Racer is a small one passenger eVTOL aircraft with an open cockpit. With an open cockpit, it would require the pilot to have a full helmet and possibly a full racing outfit with gloves. The open cockpit allows a full view of vision for the pilot with excellent views in all directions.
There is a grand total of eight propellers and electric motors used for flight in any direction. The cockpit is located in the center of the aircraft with two booms that are parallel to the cockpit fuselage. Each boom is connected to the cockpit fuselage by two cross beams. At the end of each beam is a propeller and at the end of each boom are propellers.
The booms are vertically high which makes the cockpit fuselage higher than the ground. The aircraft lands on the bottom of each boom. That is, when the aircraft is landed, the two booms touch the ground and the cockpit is slightly above the ground. It is unknown if the batteries are located in the fuselage or in the booms or in both locations.
The aircraft has been designed to reduce its complexity which means the initial cost of the aircraft is lower, maintenance costs of the aircraft is reduced, there is less time needed to maintain the aircraft, the weight of the aircraft is lower, reliability of the aircraft is increased and safety is increased. For example, there are very few moving parts on the aircraft, such as no moving parts on a wing (there are no wings on the aircraft), the propellers do not tilt, there are no doors or windows to open and there is no retractable landing gear. In addition, there are no wheels on the aircraft which means there is not any replacement of wheels on the aircraft.
Some of AstroX's testing milestones:
- An amphibious test took place on December 21, 2021 and passed the test. The aircraft can land on both water and the ground.
- Passed an Electro Magnetic Interference test per a January 8, 2022 post on the company's Facebook page
- On a March 20, 2022 Facebook post, the aircraft was tested at the Operation and Control Center for Drone Flight Test center located in Yeongwol-gun, Gangwon-do, South Korea.
- Flight testing over Chungpung Lake, South Korea, posted on Facebook on April 4, 2022
- AstroX's aircraft on display at the Korea Drone UAM Expo in South Korea in July 2022
- A demonstration flight test was reported by CCTV-2, a South Korean news station, in September 2022
It is unknown when the Racer was first developed and is unknown if the Racer is a technology demonstrator or serial production model. No information has been stated by the company if and when it will be selling the aircraft to the public.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger multicopter aircraft
- Piloting: 1 pilot
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Open cockpit
- Landing gear: Lands on the bottom of the booms
- 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.
- AstroX website
- AstroX Facebook
- Article: Korea’s Daewoo E&C takes 30% stake in local drone startup AstroX, Maeil Economy Daily, Mar. 24, 2020
- Article: S. Korea out to set legal grounds for urban air mobility H2, Pulse, July 28, 2022
- Video: AstroX flying multicopter demonstration, Xin Gou Twitter post, Sept. 25, 2022
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