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Jetoptera J-2000 (concept design)

Jetoptera J-2000

 

J-2000 (concept design)
Jetoptera Inc.
Edmonds, Washington, USA
www.jetoptera.com

Founded in 2015, in Edmonds, Washington, USA, Jetoptera is an aviation start-up company that is developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and electric VTOL (eVTOL) aircraft for passenger and air cargo use for the advanced aviation mobility (AAM) industry to revolutionize how societies transport people by air. In Latin, optera refers loosely to wing or wings. The company is seeking investors, please see their website on how to invest. (Images: Jetoptera)

The company has developed a novel airframe, a proprietary Fluidic Propulsive System (FPS) propulsion system and has a distributed propulsion system. The propulsion system uses oval tilting thrusters expelling compressed air for all phases of flight. These features allows the aircraft to have excellent maneuverability, a long range, to carry heavy payloads and travel at high speeds. As there are no propellers or rotors this exponentially increases the safety of anyone on or around the aircraft.

The power train consists of an engine currently (in the future, any power source can be used such as a hydrogen-fuel cell or batteries) that compresses air forced through an oval thruster that has directional slits all around its inner surface. The inner surface of the thruster is shaped like wings creating a low-pressure vortex in the middle of the thruster which creates propulsion. The propulsion system is more efficient, lighter and less complex than previous conventional aircraft. The propulsion system is patented.

J-2000 hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft
The Jetoptera J-2000 is a hybrid-electric VTOL two passenger concept design aircraft that has been designed with a novel wing configuration and a proprietary novel Fluidic Propulsive System (FPS). The power train can also be called a fluidic thrust augmentation system. The aircraft can accept almost any type of power source such as a turbine engine, hydrogen fuel cells or batteries. In the future, the company expects the power source for all their aircraft will be batteries.

The cruise speed is estimated at cruise speed at 200 mph (322 km/h), with a predicted maximum range of 200 miles (322 km) and a calculated maximum altitude of 15,000 ft (4,572 m). The projected empty weight of the aircraft is 1,600 lb (726 kg), with a maximum payload of 400 lb (181 kg) and has a maximum takeoff weight 2,000 lb (907 kg).

The power train, the Jetoptera novel Fluidic Propulsive System, has four of these units on the aircraft. Two in the front of the aircraft and two in the rear of the aircraft. Two items to notice about the top picture. The Fluidic Propulsive System units are tilted to an approximately 45 degree angle which means the aircraft is in a transition phase between forward and VTOL flight. The other important item is the front two Fluidic Propulsive System units extend from inside the fuselage to outside the fuselage during flight. When the aircraft is not in flight (or sometimes during full forward flight) the two front Fluidic Propulsive System units are retracted to inside the fuselage.

The cockpit has a canopy over the cockpit for excellent views for the pilot and passengers. The cockpit has gull-wing doors and will stay in the open position using several hydraulic shock support gas struts. The fuselage is made from carbon fiber composite so the aircraft has a high strength to low weight ratio. The aircraft has two forward fuselage mounted tilting canard wings with the primary load-carrying structure, a box wing, located at the rear of the fuselage. The aircraft has retractable wheeled landing gear.

In July 2018, Jetoptera finished propulsion tests, triggering an issuing of $1.5 million in equity. In September 2018, Jetoptera and GE Aviation announced that they were cooperating "to jointly demonstrate a 500-pound-force (lbf) class Fluidic Propulsion System™ leveraging a gas generator based on GE Aviation’s H-Series turboprop engine. This is the first step towards a fully customized gas generator which will lead to a Jetoptera 500 VTOL full flight demonstrator."

A 50 kg (110 lb) subscale propulsion system test rig completed a tethered flight in October of 2018, and the company states that the fluid propulsion system met their standards in the "production of stable, repeatable and reliable thrust". The company reported that it was awarded a patent for their fluid propulsion system in April 2019, and announced in December that additional patents for "Fluidic Propulsion System", "Configuration for Vertical Takeoff and Landing System for Aerial Vehicles", and "Flying Car" had also been issued. In this announcement the company made the updated claim that their fluid propulsion System would allow their high-speed configuration of the aircraft to reach speeds between 200-400 mph, a revision to the earlier claim that the craft was only capable of speeds up to 200 mph.

A quarter scale model of the J-2000 was reported to have flown in May 2019, and during the initial flight the demonstrator reached a top speed of 90mph. In July 2019, this demonstrator completed a successful cargo-delivery demonstration, and in August Jetoptera claimed that the flight testing campaign that utilized the model had successfully demonstrated several key characteristics of the aircraft, including:

  • Fully autonomous VTOL to wingborne missions; the missions were fully preprogrammed to execute VTOL and high speed flight and they can be customized using simple interfaces such as a tablet.
  • Hovering and maneuverability in flight, per mission input or manually.
  • Transitions from and to hovering from speeds exceeding 100 mph.
  • Dynamic characteristics of aircraft in hover and wingborne modes for further analyses.

This model was fully electric, employing batteries as a source of power and electric fans as the means of propulsion. The company reports plans to use thrusters and a turbo-compressor for later models, but has taken meaningful strides in demonstrating their claim that the J-2000 is capable of fully electric flight.

In January 2020, Jetoptera reported a partnership with Honeywell aimed at the adoption of fluid propulsion systems in the defense market, and in March of 2021 the company was awarded contracts from the U.S. Air Force to test the noise characteristics of the aircraft and prove that their fluid propulsion system was capable of producing "specific lift force levels similar to those of a rotor-wing aircraft, yet without moving parts".

On August 22, 2022, it was announced that Jetoptera was chosen, out of multiple companies, to develop a high-performance VTOL aircraft as part of the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program for the High-Speed VTOL Challenge (HSVTOL). The HSVTOL Challenge aims to come up with an alternative to the U.S. Air Force’s helicopters, to provide new aircraft to the Air Force that can fly faster, have a longer range, carry heavy payloads, have a longer service life, lower initial costs, have a higher service life and provide more flexibility to carry out a variety of defense missions.

On February 17, 2023, the company announced the U.S. Air Force's AFWERX program sponsored a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program which is the company's fifth U.S. Air Force contract. The tests took place with a ⅓ subscale prototype wind tunnel flight test of up to 200 mph wind at sea level with a measured output of the high-speed nozzle (HSN) jet speeds of up to 700+ mph.

Aircraft applications:
The company foresees their aircraft for personal use, air taxi service, VIP air service, air cargo service, military use and more.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft (future, all electric)
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 1 passenger
  • Cruise speed: 200 mph (322 km/h)
  • Maximum range: 200 miles (322 km)
  • Maximum altitude: 15,000 ft (4,572 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,600 lb (726 kg)
  • Maximum payload: 400 lb (181 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 2,000 lb (907 kg)
  • Propulsion: 4 Fluidic Propulsion System (FPS) units (a proprietary and novel Jetoptera propulsion system)
  • Power source: Gas turbine engine (in the future can accept batteries when battery destiny improves)
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: Canopy over cockpit with gull-wing doors
  • Wings: 1 Front tilt-canard and 1 rear box wing (the box wing is the primary load-carrying structure)
  • Landing gear: Retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear
  • Safety features: If one or more thrusters fail or get clogged, the aircraft can glide to a landing on a runway, road or field. The aircraft has redundant electronics and avionics on board. There are no propellers or rotors on the aircraft (the propulsion system uses oval thrusters expelling compressed air) making the aircraft safe for all people on the ground whether the aircraft parked with its engines off or is ready for takeoff.

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