Robert Kovacs is an industrial, automotive and aeronautical designer based in Hungary. He has created a modular electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) concept aircraft, called the Passenger Drone, which can be configured into an air taxi, cargo drone (including emergency medical evacuation) or a surveying (research, monitoring, and etc.) drone outfitted with cameras and sensors. His online portfolio features the eVTOL multicopter, LIFT. The name Passenger Drone is not quite an accurate name, due to the fact the drone can handle passenger, cargo and sensors on flying missions.
The Passenger Drone holds two passengers comfortably in tandem, with wide windows for nice views during a trip and also includes a luggage compartment. The eVTOL rotors can automatically detach itself from the passenger cabin and fly and attach itself to a cargo module. The rotor assembly can also be used by itself, with cameras and sensors attached to the bottom for surveying and research missions. The advantages of this aircraft is not only costs savings (for purchasing and maintenance) and safety features (Distributed Electric Propulsion and other redundant systems) but that the entire aircraft can be easily reconfigured by any company, industry or government for multiple missions.
For example, an air taxi service might use this type of aircraft mostly during working hours and in the evening. However, late at night most air taxi aircraft are being stored on the ground and not generating revenue. With a modular multi-mission eVTOL aircraft, an air taxi service can also be in the cargo delivery industry and move cargo throughout the night keeping a steady revenue stream, just about 24 hours a day. In addition, the passenger drone can be used by first responders to carry an injured person to a hospital.
All components have been made to swap out for ease of maintenance, including the battery pack. Instead of charging its battery between flights, the battery pack can be swapped out for a fully charged battery pack allowing for an almost seamless 100% flying time for the aircraft. The landing gear has four fixed legs, again reducing complexity and weight for the aircraft. (Wheeled retractable landing gear increases the complexity, weight, costs and maintenance of any aircraft.)
Kovacs has not provided an estimated cruising speed or flight range for the eVTOL aircraft but as battery technology improves each year, and if this eVTOL aircraft is put into production, the specifications for this aircraft will only get better and better with time.
- Aircraft type: Modular eVTOL drone which can be converted to and from a passenger air taxi, cargo drone or exploration/surveying drone
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Capacity: 2 passenger and luggage compartment
- Cargo drone: 500 kg (1,100 lbs)
- Sensor done: Multiple sensors can be placed under the multicopter frame
- Propellers: 8
- Electric Motors: 8
- Windows: Panoramic windows with forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views for passengers.
- Width: 4.4 meters (over 14 feet)
- Height: 2 meters (over 6.5 feet)
- Length: 4.8 meters (over 15.5 feet)
- Landing gear: 4 fixed legs
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.