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Manta Aircraft ANN Drone

Manta Aircraft long-range, high-speed ANN Drone

 

ANN Drone
Manta Aircraft SA
Sesto Calende, Varese, Lombardy, Italy
www.mantaaircraft.com

Based in Sesto Calende, Italy, Manta Aircraft is a design and manufacturing company of hybrid-electric vertical short takeoff and landing (HeV/STOL) aircraft for Regional Air Mobility (RAM). The company is only working a hybrid-electric power source for their aircraft based on the goal of providing a long-range high-speed, point-to-point aircraft. When battery technology matures allowing the aircraft to have high-speeds and a long range, is when the company will be able to switch over to an all-electric VTOL aircraft.

The name ANN, in the model name, is a tribute to Marchesini's partner Annalisa Sericano who passed away in 2019. Sericano was an accomplished glider pilot and loved the Manta Aircraft project, so Marchesini's friends and colleagues decided to name their aircraft ANN, in her memory.

The company is designing their aircraft using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software for all aspects of their aircraft, including but not limited to flight dynamics, flight controls and its power source. The company plans to sell their aircraft to the consumer, to businesses and to the government.

The Manta Aircraft ANN Drone is based on the ANN2 or ANN4's aircraft's airframe and is a HeV/STOL heavy-duty autonomous drone for long-range high-speed missions such as surveillance, mapping, geological surveys, agricultural use and more. The aircraft will be remote piloted, or use autopilot and in the future will be autonomous.

The company states their aircraft can take off and land vertically, or with its canard wings and wheeled landing gear, the aircraft can take off and land on very short runways and provide long-range flight without the need of conventional airports. The aircraft has long-range and high-speed capabilities due to its a hybrid-electric power system which uses its turbine engine to produce electricity for the electric motors, avionics systems and charging onboard batteries during flight.

As the airframe is like a conventional plane, the company expects certification to take place faster than newly manufactured eVTOL aircraft. The aircraft is made using a modular design to make it easy to manufacturer and repair the aircraft. If part of the aircraft gets damaged, due to its modular design, it will be easy to fix the aircraft. The company has done everything to reduce the number of components in the aircraft, making it easier for maintenance crew to fix the aircraft.

One of the goals of Manta Aircraft is to make their hybrid-electric vertical/short takeoff and landing (HeV/STOL) aircraft have exceptional maneuvering capabilities by mixing an airplane and helicopter-type capabilities into one vehicle.

The company's goal is to keep the selling price of the aircraft to be less than or equal to the price of a helicopter. However, the operating cost of the aircraft is expected to be much less than the operating cost of a helicopter. The target is to make the Manta Aircraft's operating cost around $250 per hour and keeping spare parts costs to a minimum. The company plans to start the certification for the ANN2, the first model, in 2023 with the goal to begin production in 2025.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric vertical short takeoff and landing (HeV/STOL) drone
  • Piloting: Remote, autopilot and autonomous (no crew)
  • Surveillance instrument maximum payload: Unknown
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Range: Unknown
  • Propellers: 8 ducted fans. (4 ducted fans for VTOL are stationary. 4 tilting ducted fans for VTOL flight.)
  • Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric
  • Wings: Canard wings
  • Landing gear: Tricycle-wheeled retractable landing gear
  • 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. The aircraft can also land like a conventional airplane its VTOL capability becomes disabled.

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