Node-Air was founded by Pablo Figueroa and is headquartered in Florida, USA. Figueroa is the senior design engineer with 15 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He created the cutting edge modular autonomous integrated transportation system for Node-Air. Figueroa's work experience includes managing the interior development of molds, parts and full assembly for Bell’s (based in the USA) Nexus electric and hybrid-electric passenger VTOL aircraft.
Node-Air's integrated modular transportation system consists of three main parts: The fuselage, the pod (passenger, cargo, custom use) and the wheeled ground base. The entire modular system is scalable. The four-wheel ground base is essential to the company's transportation system to ensure the passengers can make a complete trip from their origin using ground transportation to flying to their destination and finish the trip with ground transportation, using one pod.
The Node aircraft is an eVTOL multiple-purpose aircraft which can be flown autonomously or piloted and has the capacity of various use pods under its fuselage. Passengers can ride the pod on a ground vehicle chassis and upon arrival to the ground base, the aircraft will pick up and lock the pod to the fuselage and take the passenger to their landing destination. Then the pod will be placed on the wheeled ground base to shuttle the passengers to their final destination. While the cruise speed, range and flight time are unknown as of July 2022, we hope the company will provide these estimates in the near future.
The aircraft has eight propellers housed in four main ducts (two propellers per each duct), uses eight electric motors, has canard stub wings each with ailerons, one vertical stabilizer with a rudder and has four retractable landing legs. Each ducted fan tilts independently of each other allowing precision flight maneuvers in quiet or gusty winds.
All the pods are the same size allowing all pods to fit in any airframe or ground vehicle chassis. As the system is scalable, the aircraft, pods and ground vehicle can be customized for heavy commercial, government and military use.
The pod can be customized for just about any air mission. If the air pod is for medevac use, the interior of the pod holds one paramedic, one stretcher and related medical equipment and supplies. If the pod is for air taxi service, the interior of the pod has luxury seating with wifi and other inflight services for the passengers, including space for luggage. If the pod is for air cargo, the interior is configured for cargo. Here's a cargo delivery example. If a company is in the business of e-commerce and sells products to people online, the pod can be flown to a specific location and people can remove their packages purchased, through a touch screen and the package is delivered through a door in the pod.
The ground vehicle is autonomous allowing passengers, ambulance service, cargo or any other transportation mission to be completed from departure point (such as from an office or home) to the final destination, without leaving the pod. The pod module is compatible with trains and ships and the pods can also float in water. The batteries are easily swapped out which means there is less down time between flights.
The company expects their transportation system to be used in the air taxi service, healthcare industry, police service, fire fighting, search and rescue, agricultural use, heavy-industry use, government use, military use, air cargo service and more. The company states that the United Nations can use their system as an auto-sustainable home for migrations crisis, disaster relief and for other emergencies.
As of July 2022, the company has not stated when a prototype will be made and flown to validate Node-Air's modular transportation system.
Aircraft type: eVTOL modular aircraft, that carries a passenger or cargo pod which is transferable to a road vehicle chassis
Piloting: Autonomous or piloted
Capacity: Various capacities depending upon the configuration of the aircraft
Cruise speed: Unknown
Flight time: Unknown
Cruise altitude: Unknown
Propellers: 8 propellers
Electric motors: 8 electric motors
Power source: Batteries
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Large windows allowing left, right visibility, for spectacular views for the passengers with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Landing gear: 4 retractable landing legs
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft. The aircraft has an emergency ballistic parachute.
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