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Jetoptera J2000

Jetoptera J2000
Jetoptera Inc.
Edmonds, Washington, USA

"Jetoptera is an aviation startup developing powerful UAVs and realistic flying cars to revolutionize the way we transport products and people. We have developed a distributed propulsion system and novel airframe to create an aircraft that is more efficient, lighter, and less complex than previous models. This design enables a host of unique abilities, including vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), high speeds up to 200 mph, significant payloads and range, and maneuverability."

According to the company, "Our fluidic propulsion is powered by a gas generator, based on efficient and well understood gas turbines. We are not relying on batteries of the potentially distant future. And yet we are completely adaptable to such batteries should they become available." This now patented fluidic propulsion system functions by using a small amount of air taken into the aircraft to generate a system of negative pressure in and around the mounted rings. This effectively multiplies the air pushed through the aircraft during flight, allowing the vehicle to fly without the use of visible rotors present on many eVTOL aircraft.

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 lbs) 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 and 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 J2000 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 preprogramed 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 J200 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". 

Jetoptera Characteristics (updated May 2018):

Range 200 miles 322 km
Cruise speed 174 kts 322 km/h
Capability VTOL and STOL
Useful load 400 lbs 181 kg
Maximum weight 2000 lbs 907 kg
Maximum altitude 15,000 ft 4.5 km

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