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 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 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 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".
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft (future, all electric)
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: 200 mph (322 km/h, 174 kts)
- Maximum range: 200 miles (322 km)
- Maximum altitude: 15,000 ft (4.5 km)
- Maximum payload: 400 lb (181 kg)
- Maximum takeoff weight: 2,000 lb (907 kg)
- Propulsion: Fluidic thrust augmentation (a proprietary Jetoptera propulsion system)
- Power source: Gas turbine engine and in the future can accept batteries when battery destiny improves
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Canopy over cockpit
- Wings: Front canard
- Tail: Box wing
- Landing gear: Retractable wheeled landing gear
- Jetoptera website
- Article: Jetoptera completes VTOL propulsion tests, issues $1.5 million in equity, VTOL Investor, July 12, 2018
- Video: VTOL Test Campaign, Jetoptera, Oct. 9, 2018
- Article: Jetoptera is awarded key patent on Fluidic Propulsive System™, Jetoptera, Apr. 9, 2019
- Video: eVTOL subscale demos, hover to wingborne flights up to 90 mph, Jetoptera, May 20, 2019
- Article: Transition to landing and high speed, fully autonomous VTOL cargo delivery demonstration, Jetoptera, July 16, 2019
- Video: Jetoptera eVTOL demo of high speed fully autonomous delivery: delivery of a First Aid Kit, Jetoptera, July 16, 2019
- Article: Transition flight test campaign concludes successfully, Jetoptera, Aug. 16, 2019
- Patent: Configuration for Vertical Takeoff and Landing System for Aerial Vehicles, Nov. 5, 2019
- Patent: Flying Car, Dec. 3, 2019
- Patent: Fluidic Propulsion System, Dec. 10, 2019
- Article: Jetoptera Awarded Three Critical Patents for Fluidic Propulsive System, Vertical Take-Off and Landing Configuration, and Flying Car Design, Jetoptera, Dec. 17, 2019
- Article: Jetoptera announces collaboration with Honeywell to expand fluidic propulsion system to defense market, Jan. 22, 2020
- Article: Jetoptera receives contract awards from US Air Force, Jetoptera, Mar. 3, 2021
- Article: Jetoptera VTOL aircraft design features "bladeless fans on steroids, News Atlas, April 27, 2021