Composite-FX began in 2004 and is headquartered in Trenton, Florida, USA. The company's first gasoline piston-powered helicopter was displayed at an aviation trade show in 2004. As of August 2022, the company has manufactured 433 crewed helicopters and 48 autonomous helicopters. The XE helicopter platform as accumulated many tens of thousands of hours and has earned a very safe reputation with strong autorotation capabilities. The company is now in the process of building a hybrid-electric helicopter to sell to its customers.
Composite-FX has four different helicopter models currently for sale:
XEL: An ultralight helicopter powered by a gasoline piston engine
XE: A helicopter powered by a gasoline piston engine
XE 290: A helicopter powered by a fuel injected gasoline piston engine
XET: A helicopter powered by a turbine engine
The first serious discussions about making an electric helicopter started in 2021 due to a customer requesting an autonomous helicopter that had greater endurance than their current helicopter models and they also requested the helicopter to have multi-fuel capability. The company had been wanting to build an all-electric helicopter for years but never did. There customer request in 2021 was the catalyst to move the company into building electric helicopters. The company realized to achieve the customer's request, they would need to make a hybrid-electric helicopter. However, to gain the knowledge to manufacture a hybrid-electric helicopter, the company knew it had to make an to make an all-electric helicopter first.
The project for the XE-Volt Mosquito (proof-of-concept) one passenger all-electric helicopter began in January 2022. The cruise speed of the helicopter is 70 mph (127 km/) and has an estimated range of 30 miles (38 km). The helicopter has a main rotorblade, a standard tail rotor, a EMRAX 100 KW motor and uses a Borg Warner motor controller. To power the helicopter, the company uses five lithium ion magnesium cobalt batteries in series, with a total of 80 cells. The helicopter has its doors off and its landing gear is fixed-skid landing gear.
The helicopter has been flight tested and can hover for 25 minutes. The flight time for forward flight has not been tested as of August 3, 2022. The cruise altitude of the helicopter is 500 feet above ground level (AGL). The empty weight of the rotorcraft is 470 lb (213 kg), has a maximum payload 240 lb (109 kg) and has maximum takeoff weight of 710 lb (322 kg).
The only difference in a petroleum fueled helicopter and an electric helicopter is the motor, power source and the instruments. The components needed for the electric helicopter were shipped to their factory by early July 2022 and assembly only took several weeks.
The helicopter's first fight was on July 21, 2022 at the company's factory headquarters in Trenton. The flight was crewed and was an untethered flight. The first flight was a success and flew very closely to how their conventional helicopters perform. At full charge, the helicopter is powered to 340 volts. In hover in ground effect it only uses 50 KW, maximum. That is, the helicopter only uses 50% of the systems capability during a hover. The company has stated the power source and motor was over built intentionally and the helicopter hovers extremely well.
The company revealed the XE-Volt electric helicopter for the first time to the public at the EAA AirVenture (held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA) from July 25-31, 2022.
Composite-FX does not plan to sell an all-electric helicopter until battery density becomes great enough to sustain a helicopter in the air with an acceptable flight time. In the meantime, the company will be inventing and building a hybrid-electric helicopter and in the near future, plan to sell hybrid-electric helicopters.
Aircraft type: All-electric one passenger demonstrator helicopter
Piloting: 1 passenger
Cruise speed: 70 mph (127 km/)
Estimated range: 30 miles (38 km)
Flight time: Can hover for 25 minutes. (Forward flight time is unknown as this point.)
Administered by The Vertical Flight Society This information on this website is provided for public use. However, you may not copy entire sections of this website and post them on your own website — because that's plagiarism!
2700 Prosperity Ave, Suite 275
Fairfax, Virginia, USA - 22031