Boca Raton, Florida, USA
Founder and CEO Doron Merdinger started the Doroni company in 2016 because he believes the technology is now here to make the future of traveling clean and wheelless. Merdinger from the start, wants his electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to be available to purchase by the consumer, businesses and governments. "Why limit the future?," says Merdinger, "Allow everyone to buy these (aircraft)."
The two most important goals for the company is passenger safety and durability of the aircraft. Safety is achieved by having multiple redundancies built into the aircraft, from multiple propellers and avionics, various anti-collision sensors and to a whole aircraft ballistic parachute. While today's conventional aircraft are overly complicated, durability is achieved by greatly reducing the amount of moving parts, keeping the aircraft simplified, using a modular design for easier maintenance and using off-the-shelf components
Additional and important goals for the aircraft will be its ability to function in a variety of climates and windy conditions, to make the aircraft very easy to fly (simpler than driving a car), provide fast Urban Air Mobility (UAM), make the aircraft affordable to everyone and have no exhaust pollution. The H1 eVTOL aircraft will have multiple ways for controlling the aircraft including piloting, remote controlled piloting and further into the future, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for autonomous flight.
Instead of using a helicopter or airplane fuselage and then add multiple small electrically powered propellers, the company decided to start with a clean sheet design for their aircraft. The Doroni H1 eVTOL aircraft is not a helicopter or an airplane, it is a new type of aircraft. Doroni has taken the best of all aircraft, designed the aircraft to be as least complicated as possible which increases the safety of the aircraft, reduces with weight of the aircraft, reduces with cost of manufacturing the aircraft, reduces the price of the aircraft and reduces maintenance costs for the aircraft.
Currently, the company has designed a total of four aircraft, including two concept designs, one working prototype and their concept design for their production aircraft. The company has an international team of engineers and designers prototype building, testing and ultimately, designing their production aircraft. The company is building a production prototype but is not available for public viewing. The company has flight tested their full scale prototypes hovering above the ground while tethered.
The Doroni H1 is a two passenger eVTOL aircraft, with a maximum payload of 400 lb (181 kg), which will piloted manually or flown remotely and then in the future, the aircraft have the option to be piloted autonomously. The aircraft has fly-by-wire control systems. The cruise speed of the aircraft is 100 mph (161 km/h) with a range of 60 miles (97 km) and a flight time of 40 minutes. The louvers on the ducted propellers are to keep the passengers and ground crew from being exposed to turning propellers. Also, the louvers are designed to help keep out flying objects. The Doroni H1 is small enough to fit into a two-car garage and can even be towed on a trailer. The H1 has been patented and is a modified Doroni X8 aircraft.
The company states their aircraft will be easy to operate and to fly it, the pilot will only need a simple piloting certification which requires a driver's license and a student pilot certificate for Light Sport Aircraft. Its a smart vehicle with advanced electronics such as Wi-Fi enabled, GPS, laser, cameras, barometer and accelerometer. Doroni has estimated they will be test flying the full scale H1 aircraft in 2024.
On June 10, 2021, Space Florida and the Florida Venture Forum announced that Doroni won the 2nd Place prize of $15,000.00 USD at the all-virtual sixth annual 2021 Aerospace Innovation and Tech Forum. Twenty presenting companies were selected from a pool of more than 84+ applicants by a committee of active Florida venture capital investors. Space Florida provided the Accelerating Innovation prize money totaling $100,000.00 USD.
Doroni is insistent on making sure their aircraft is affordably priced, as their Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is in the range of $135,000.00–$150,000.00 USD. The company will be taking orders for the H1 eVTOL in 2024. The target market for their aircraft are first responders, utility companies, the agriculture industry and specialized areas of flying such as tourism. The aircraft can also be used for air cargo. Doroni has plans for their next eVTOL aircraft to hold four passengers.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger aircraft or cargo aircraft
- Piloting: Piloted or remote controlled with fly-by-wire control systems, in the future, autonomous flying
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: 100 mph (161 km/h)
- Max speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)
- Range: 60 miles (97 km)
- Flight Time: 40 minutes
- Propellers: 8 ducted propellers for VTOL flight, 2 propellers per duct and 2 propellers for forward flight
- Electric Motors: 10 electric motors
- Power source: High energy-density lithium-ion batteries.
- Maximum payload: 400 lb (181 kg)
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Canopy over cockpit with windows in each side door
- Wings: A high canard and rear high wing, with each wing sporting winglets
- Landing gear: Fixed wheeled quadricycle 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. The louvers on the ducted propellers are to keep the passengers and ground crew from being exposed to turning propellers. Also, the louvers are designed to help keep out flying objects from hitting the propellers. In addition, the aircraft also has multiple anti-collision sensors, safety emergency landing protocols, an energy dissipating body, redundant avionics systems, air bags and a whole aircraft parachute.
- Doroni website
- Doroni YouTube Channel
- Doroni LinkedIn
- Video: The Doroni Motion, Doroni, May 27, 2017
- Video: Doroni - A Wheelless vehicle, Doroni, July 11, 2017
- Video: Doroni Promo 5, Doron Merdinger, Feb. 25, 2021
- Article: Doron Merdinger on building ‘an affordable flying machine’, eVTOL Magazine, Jan. 31, 2022