In September 2019, Obasogie Ikponmwosa founded Ion Jet in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria for the purpose of designing and manufacturing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). Ikponmwosa is a Mechanical Engineer and hails from Landmark University in Nigeria. Ikponmwosa has won awards for the Ion Jet from the ICAO75 Innovation Prototypes Contest in 2019, was a finalist in the Green Product Award in 2021 and won the Create The Future Design Contest, 2022 Top 100 Entries, sponsored by SAE Media Group. Ikponmwosa is also a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Ikponmwosa stated he has been inspired by Nikola Teslas' work on radiant energy and from Tesla electric vehicles.
Ion Jet EVTOL passenger concept design aircraft
The Ion Jet EVTOL is an fully automated on-demand passenger eVTOL air taxi concept design aircraft that recharges itself using ion collectors to harvest electric energy from the ionosphere. The company predicts the cost of travel with his aircraft will be very affordable. The ion collectors situated on the top of the aircraft are carbon, graphite and graphene-based materials. A proof of concept aircraft was made and validated by the Ion Power Group. According to the proof of concept aircraft by the Ion Power Group, ion collectors 130 feet above the ground at peak ion periods have been seen to generate a peak electrical power of 1.236kw derived from 41,200 volts at 30ma and these values increase at the rate of approximately a 90-150vdc per meter of altitude above sea level.
The aircraft has tandem tilt-wings, with 24 electric ducted fans on top of the front wings and 12 electric ducted fans on top of the rear tilt-wings. The wings increase the range and flight time of the aircraft, making the aircraft both valuable for both urban and rural air travel. The wings and the top of the fuselage provide additional surface area for the ion collectors. The cabin has a square box design providing extra height and width providing a larger and more comfortable interior for the passengers. Wrap around windows from the floor to the ceiling provide excellent views for the passengers. The fuselage and wings are made of lightweight aluminum. The aircraft has fixed wheeled tricycle landing gear.
The aircraft has detect and avoid technology to make the aircraft as safe as possible. There will also be technology to acquire, classify and track objects that are in the vicinity of the aircraft. In addition, advanced cybersecurity systems will be installed providing data and privacy for all passengers. The interior will have display screens for real time flight information and will also be available on the company's mobile app.
Other missions for the Ion Jet EVTOL aircraft
Ion Jet foresees their eVTOL aircraft will be also used for search and rescue, emergency medical services, fire rescue, police service, air cargo services and more.
Power source: Batteries and recharges through ion harvesting from the ionosphere during flight
Fuselage: Lightweight aluminum
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Window: Canopy over cockpit
Wings: Tandem tilt-wings
Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear
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 of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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