Pécs, Southern Transdanubia, Hungary
Orca Aerospace was founded in 2020 by Soma Varga CEO, Zsolt Koltai COO and Ákos Matyus CTO. The company's establishment was motivated by the founder's conviction that electric aircraft will allow cheaper, more sustainable flight for consumers. In addition, eVTOL aircraft cost less to purchase and maintain, have lower operating costs, allow faster response times when used by EMS personnel, and are more reliable and secure than today's internal combustion engine powered aircraft. In November of 2020, the Orca eVTOL was awarded third place in the British Royal Institute of Aeronautics annual international aircraft design competition.
The first goal of Orca Aerospace is in the designing of EMS electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to help save more lives in a safe, fast and efficient way, using today's electric pioneering aviation technology. The use of such technology will additionally reduce environmental and noise pollution and cut vehicle maintenance and operating costs for the EMS personnel who utilize them.
The design of the fuselage has been optimized for maximum aerodynamic airflow and flight range, which are bolstered largely by the aircraft's three surface wing configuration. The Orca eVTOL combines the advantages of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, including the higher aerial speed of fixed wing craft and the relatively simple flight infrastructure used to support helicopters.
The Orca eVTOL is very stable in flight because autonomous avionics control the seven independent electric motors powering the seven propellers. Orca Aerospace affirms that battery powered electric aircraft use a simplified system architecture which makes the vehicle easier to control and safer to fly. Therefore, the pilot only has to input vertical and horizontal flight, and takeoff and landing instructions to fly the aircraft.
The company acknowledges that electric motor technology and battery technology is getting better over time, making electric aircraft future proof and sustainable. The company also recognizes that solid state battery technology will be also become available in the near future and that solid state batteries are forecasted to have a 2.5 greater energy density than current battery technology (such as lithium-ion batteries).
While the Orca eVTOL has been designed primarily for Emergency Medical Services, the company has confirmed that the aircraft can be reconfigured for multiple missions including personal air vehicle use, air taxi service, commercial use, government work and military missions.
- Aircraft type: Emergency Medial Service (EMS) eVTOL aircraft
- Piloting: 1 pilot with semi-autonomous flight controls
- Capacity: 1 patient and 1 Emergency Medial Service personnel
- Cruise speed: 296 km/h (184 mph)
- Cruise speed for maximum range: 204 km/h (127 mph)
- Estimated range: 110-130 km (68-81 miles)
- Propellers: 7 propellers. 4 propellers exclusively for VTOL flight. 2 tilt-rotor propellers for VTOL and forward flight. 1 pusher propeller for forward flight.
- Electric Motors: 7
- Power source: 6 battery modules
- Fuselage: Composite
- Windows: Forward windows allow front, left, right and top views. Passenger windows allow left and right visibility.
- Wings: The aircraft is actually has a three surface wing configuration.
- Tail: The aircraft has to vertical stabilizers attached to the fuselage which support a smaller rear wing, on top of the stabilizers. The tail could be considered a variation of the twin tail boom; however, as stated above, the aircraft has a three surface wing configuration design.
- Landing gear: Tricycle retractable wheeled 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 autorotate and can land on a runway or street like a plane, if necessary.
- Orca Aerospace website
- Orca Aerospace LinkedIn
- Article: The air rescue multicopter designed by the Hungarians received prestigious recognition, Raketa, Nov. 18, 2020
- Article: Royal recognition: the plane of the people of Pécs takes off from the place, Bama, Nov. 21, 2020
- Article: Orca is the Hungarian air ambulance, Flying Cars Market, Nov. 28, 2020
- Article: A Hungarian team succeeded with a plane taking off from a place, Tekdeeps, Dec. 02, 2020
- Article: Royal Aeronautical Society International General Aviation Design Competition 2020, Aerospace Magazine, Jan. 2021
- Video: 2021 Tech Talk, Novum TV, Feb. 14, 2021
- Article: NLR is participating in Hungarian eVTOL Orca, Duurzaam Vliegen, Apr. 8, 2021
- Article: Orca Aerospace and NLR to jointly develop eVTOL air ambulance, Urban Air Mobility News, Apr. 9. 2021
- Article: Orca eVTOL received the Bronze Award at the A’Design Award and Competition 2020, Orca, May 6, 2021