The Mini-Bee is a collaborative project producing a piloted ten rotor Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) fixed-wing aircraft to be used primarily for medical evacuation.
The Mini-Bee is 6 m long with six static inboard vertical propellers and four tilting rotors at the tips of forward and aft fixed wings. A piston engine produces 250 kW for electric motors and there is a battery for take-off boost and as a back-up. Cruise speed will be 250 km/h with a range of 500 km and a service ceiling of 4,000 m. fuel capacity is 1500 L. It includes a parachute and will carry two pilots.
It will initially be used primarily as an emergency medical air-evac vehicle with varying capacities of up to three passengers and two patients depending on its central module configuration.
The Mini-Bee has progressed through several variants since 2011 from the TRL1 to the TRL3. A model premiered at the 2017 Paris Airshow. The first flight demonstration will be in 2019.
Supervised by Technoplane, CollaborativeBee’s Mini-Bee project is a vast collaborative project that led to a challenge carried out by the NAE (Normandie AeroEspace cluster) and includes a partnership with ten universities, 14 investors and a design firm.