Rotor X Goes Electric
On June 29, Rotor X Aircraft Manufacturing Company unveiled a design for a six-seat, all-electric, quad-rotor helicopter called the eTransporter, which the company says is ideal for air taxi operations, package delivery, search and rescue, personnel recovery and medevac operations. Rotor X notes that the fairly large (non-tilting) rotors allow the design to hover for more than 45 minutes on a single charge, and provide a low disk loading with low noise. The company says it will start flying its eTransporter in the spring, initially using the engines and two-bladed rotor systems for the company’s A600 Phoenix Turbo. This will be followed by testing next summer in Alaska, as mining companies have shown strong interest in purchasing the aircraft to carry mining equipment in the rugged terrain of the Alaska Range. The company says other Transporter designs could use gas, diesel or hybrid propulsion systems. The company is also developing an “eA600” electric version of its two-seat kit helicopter.
Rotor X acquired the assets of Chandler, Arizona-based RotorWay International Helicopter Manufacturing Company, which has sold more than 2,000 kit helicopters over the past half-century. Rotor X is partnered with Advanced Tactics, Inc., which has demonstrated a number of heavy-lift multicopter VTOL aircraft and innovative drones over the past decade. The two companies have also partnered on developing a unique tiltrotor concept for the US Air Force (see “Air Force Challenges Industry for High-Speed VTOL”).