The startup Bumble Bee Flights Pvt. Ltd. is headquartered in Bengaluru, India and was founded in early 2022 by entrepreneur Arjun Das. The company's eVTOL aircraft will be branded as Bee Flights. Das previously co-founded the video analytics platform Nymo Technologies. The company is in the business of designing and manufacturing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger multicopter aircraft. The company has it has raised Rs 300 crore ($37 million USD) in investment from the United Kingdom technology and manufacturing group SRAM & MRAM Technologies and Resources Ltd.
The company is currently in the design and development process for the Bee-1 is one passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft with autonomous piloting. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) with a range of 25 km (15.5 m) and has a flight time of 25 minutes. The empty weight of the aircraft is 300 kg (661 lb) and has a maximum payload of 100 kg (220 lb).
The aircraft has a total of eight propeller with eight electric motors. The aircraft has four ducted propeller housings above the fuselage and each duct holds two propellers. The aircraft has a canopy over the cockpit with large side windows, for excellent views. The aircraft has multiple redundant systems providing a high degree of safety for the passenger. The aircraft has swappable batteries allowing little down time between any urban flight. The aircraft has two fixed skid landing gear, just like the fixed skids found on a helicopter. The aircraft has an emergency ballistic parachute.
The company foresees their aircraft will be used for on-demand air taxis service, personal air travel, for recreational use, air ambulance use, air cargo service and defense applications.
The first step towards certifying the aircraft will be to obtain certification in the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emriate, India and Singapore. When these certifications take place, Bee-1 would be the first air taxi from India that will be certified in multiple countries. Bee Flight in addition will use the capital to set up an assembly plant in Odisha, India for manufacturing.
The company's goal is to have two flying prototypes by 2025, 10 flying prototypes in 2026 and have a production aircraft ready for sale in 2027.
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. The aircraft has an emergency ballistic parachute.
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