Electric Jet Aircraft
Anderson, Indiana, USA
Pete Bitar founded Electric Jet Aircraft in 2018 in Indiana, USA, pursuing a lifelong goal to build an electric powered jetpack. Electric Jet Aircraft’s VertiCycle is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) hoverbike and a competitor in Boeing's GoFly Prize (USA) competition.
Bitar started testing electric components for eVTOL aircraft in 2013 and originally wanted to make an eVTOL aircraft for agricultural applications but Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory rules would have been difficult to overcome for the aircraft. He decided instead to make small ultralight Part 103 personal aircraft instead with the first invention to be an all-electric personal jetpack. Then continued making other types of personal eVTOL aircraft.
The Verticycle is a one passenger eVTOL aircraft with a maximum speed of 50 mph (80 km/h), a range of 25 miles (40 km), an estimated flight time of approximately 30 minutes and has a maximum payload of 200 lb (91 kg). The prototype has an open cockpit and roll bar centered above the quad fan arrangement. The four ducted fans are a plug-and-play modular propulsion system which provide a combined 784 lb (356 kg) of thrust.
The VertiCycle appears to use the same lift motors as the company’s EJ-1B jetpack. It is surmised that like the EJ-1 roll and balance are controlled by computer while forward, reverse, and yaw maneuvers are manually controlled.
The VertiCycle was one of the few aircraft able to fly in the February 2020 GoFly competition Final Fly Off. While damaged components prohibited a flight using a large scale battery pack, the aircraft was still able to perform an unmanned flight through the use of Tesla battery packs. Since that demonstration, a newer iteration of the VertiCycle has been developed. This version, faster than previous iterations, features larger ductless propellers with mounted screens designed to protect the pilot and bystanders.
Electric Jet Aircraft is also responsible for the development of the EJ-1S eVTOL jetpack.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL aircraft
- Capacity: 1 pilot
- Cockpit: Open cockpit with roll bar
- Control System: PixHawk 2.0 (triple) with Android GUI
- Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h)
- Maximum range: 25 miles (40 km)
- Estimated flight time: 31.0 minutes at 88% throttle (Experimental Class – Ultralight = 20.0 minutes)
- Maximum payload: 200 lb (91 kg)
- Total empty weight: Experimental Class 455.5 lb (207 kg); Ultralight Class 304.0 lb (138 kg)
- Total empty weight amphibious: Adds up to 60 lb (27 kg), plus BRS allow for up to 335.2 lb (152 kg) and still be Part 103, ducts float
- Dimensions: 101.7”diagonal; 88” wide X 88” long X 88” tall
- Propulsion: 4 electric ducted fans, carbon-fiber, 44” ducts. 4 carbon-fiber, 3-bladed propellers
- Average thrust: 250 lb (113 kg) thrust per duct; 1,000 lb (454 kg) OR 25 kw = 33.5 hp per duct
- Net average thrust: 544.5 lb (246 kg)
- Net average available thrust for maneuver: 344.5 lb (156 kg)
- Pull-weight with wheels on ground/cart: < 28.5 lb (13 kg); Tested 700 lb (318 kg) empty weight
- Noise Output (estimated) at 50 feet: Target: <70 db; currently 80.5 db tested
- Motor type: 4 - 25kw electric motors w/400 amp ESCs
- Energy type: Batteries (LiPo) 40 kwh @ 290 wh/kg
- Safety features: Ballistic parachute with retro rocket system
- Estimated retail price: $59,995.00 USD
- Electric Jet Aircraft website
- Electric Jet Aircraft Twitter
- Article: Meet the Teams, Go Fly Prize, Jan. 8, 2019
- Article: Oshkosh e-AirVenture, Vertiflite, Sep/Oct 2019
- Article: AHS Supports GoFly!, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017
- Article: Flying Solo: GoFly Advances Single-Passenger Air Mobility Solutions, Vertiflite, May/June 2019
- Article: GoFly Inspires Innovation, Vertiflite, May/June 2020
- Article: GoFly Teams Prepare to Fly Again, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2020