Based in Arizona (USA), Rotor X Aircraft Manufacturing Company (RX) are makers of the two passenger Rotor X Phoenix A600 kit turbo helicopter. In 2021, Rotor X Aircraft purchased the kit helicopter company, RotorWay International. RotorWay was founded by B.J. Schrammin in 1961 and the kit helicopter company was originally named the RotorWay Helicopter Manufacturing Company. Rotor X Aircraft Manufacturing Company has a heritage of manufacturing the most produced (over 2,500 as of December 2022) 2-seat kit helicopters in the world.
On June 29, 2021, Rotor X Aircraft Manufacturing Company announced it is entering the electric air taxi market with an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) quad-rotor helicopter for advanced aerial mobility (AAM). Rotor X Aircraft is working in collaboration with its partner company, Advanced Tactics Inc. of Torrance, California (USA). Advanced Tactics has over 10 years experience in developing multi-rotor prototype aircraft and Rotor X Aircraft and will be using this experience to help develop the electric quad-rotor helicopter.
During December 2021, Advanced Tactics Inc. secretly started developing an eVTOL ultralight kit passenger aircraft named the Dragon. Eventually, Advanced Tactics teamed up with Rotor X in the development and manufacturing of the aircraft.
The Dragon is an utralight kit eVTOL one passenger multicopter and meets the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) rules of the aircraft weighing under 254 lb (115 kg). The aircraft can carry one pilot who is over 6’6” (198 cm) and weighs up to 250 pounds (113 kg). The eVTOL aircraft can fly for up to 20 minutes depending on the weight of the pilot and the air density where the aircraft is flying.
As the aircraft is a kit multicopter, the company will also have builder assist and pilot training facilities in several locations in the USA including California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia. The Dragon kit is expected to take only a week or two weeks to assemble and requires only a few hours of training that includes following FAA Part 103 flight regulations for ultralight aircraft. No pilots license is required. The company plans on making a two seat version of the Dragon aircraft in 2023 for pilot training.
The aircraft has enhanced autonomous functions and safety features such as:
Hands free hovering
Automatic takeoff and landing system
Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP)
Reinforced aluminium landing gear
Low battery alerts
An emergency ballistic parachute.
The Dragon eVTOL ultralight kit is funded entirely by Advanced Tactics and is licensed by Rotor X to market, sell and produce the aircraft. The first production Dragon kit is expected to roll off the assembly line in Chandler, Arizona by the fall of 2023. Customers can pre-order the aircraft right now for $85,000.00 USD and this price is for the first 100 Dragon kits sold. The regular Dragon kit price is expected to be $99,000.00 USD after the first 100 pre-order kit sales are completed.
Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger multicopter
Piloting: 1 pilot
Maximum speed: 63 mph (101 km/h)
Flight time: 20 minutes
Empty weight: <254 lb (115 kg)
Maximum payload: 250 pounds (113 kg)
Propellers: 8 propellers
Electric motors: 8 electric motors
Power source: Batteries
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Window: Canopy over cockpit
Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
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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