Robathan, Industrial Designer
FeralGods Design Company
London, England, United Kingdom
In 2019, Fenton Robathan founded FeralGods Design Company in London which is a design, engineering and fabrication company to develop both electric ground vehicles and electric aircraft, from concept to prototype. Robathan is a 2019 Royal College of Art (London, England) Industrial Design graduate with a Master of Arts (MA) in Intelligent Mobility. While at the university, Fenton succeeded in competitions with companies including Toyota Logistics, Hankook, Nissan, IBDC, Hyundai Kia, the Royal College of Art and also had a sponsorship from Jaguar Land Rover. He is actively looking for funding and can be contacted through his business Contact web page.
Robathan has a strong interest in quiet, compact, modern, functional, visually appealing and clean battery-powered powertrains for electric vehicles due to the technological advances in electric motor technology, battery technology, solar panel technology and also due to the low cost of controllers needed for stabilized flight of electric aircraft. Robathan's goal is to help shape the future of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) as well as designing electric aircraft for other applications such as air racing, vacation and adventure trips.
The meaning behind the name, FeralGods Design Company, refers to how our ancient ancestors thought that flight could only be accomplished by the gods. Since the eVTOL industry is only in its infancy and because we don't actually know all the incredible ways eVTOL aircraft will flown by pilots or by artificial intelligence (AI), or the vast types of missions they will be used for, Robathan equates the future abilities of eVTOL aircraft and their pilots, to be similar to wild gods.
The SIH eVTOL is a retro-futuristic hybrid-electric two passenger VTOL aircraft for Urban Air Mobility inspired by iconic automotive styling and NASA concept aircraft. The fuselage is shaped to provide lift during forward flight similar to NASA's lifting body aircraft but the SIH eVTOL aircraft is designed to fly at much slower speeds. The underside surface area of the SIH fuselage is designed in such a way that when the correct angle of attack occurs at takeoff, it will naturally lift of the ground and transition into forward flight.
The design keeps complexity to minimum and uses eight electric motors driving four sets of contra-rotating propellers and uses the thrust differential between the front and rear ducted fans to achieve VTOL flight. A retractable forward landing wheel supports the takeoff and landing process by moving the aircraft into the correct angle for VTOL flight. The retractable landing gear also has steps on its sides to help passengers enter and exit the aircraft. Removing the complexity of tilting ducted fans, tilt-rotors or tilting wings keeps the manufacturing cost down, reduces complexity, reduces maintenance costs, reduces the cost of purchasing the aircraft and reduces single points of failure in this aircraft.
The aircraft will use hydrogen fuel cells to power the electric motors which turn the propellers and will power the rest of the navigation electronics and all other electrically powered components of the aircraft. When battery technology matures and high density batteries are available to purchase, the aircraft's power source can be switched over to batteries alone.
The 5.6 m long X 2.4 m wide (18 ft, 4.5 in X 7 feet, 10 in) aircraft can land in a standard parking space reducing the need for a purpose built landing pad. People who purchase this aircraft will be favored by those who want a small eco-friendly but highly styled aircraft for Urban Air Mobility, metro to rural travel (and the reverse), rural travel and city to city travel.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: Unknown
- Propellers: 8 (4 sets of contra-rotating propellers)
- Electric Motors: 4
- Power source: Hybrid-electric (batteries when the energy density allows a full battery power source)
- Dimensions: 5.6 m long X 2.4 m wide (18 ft, 4.5 in X 7 feet, 10 in)
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber
- Windows: Panoramic windows with wrap around window design allowing forward, left, right and top visibility, for spectacular views
- Landing gear: Tail-sitter. Retractable forward wheeled landing gear with rear of aircraft sitting on the ground.
- 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.