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Helium Aero Paragon

Helium Aero
Toronto, Canada

Beginning in January 2018, a team of more than 30 students at Ryerson University were working to make an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to compete in the GoFly Prize contest worth $2,000,000.00 USD.

It has been reported that Lior Saprikin, at the time, a third-year aerospace engineering student, saw a post about the GoFly Prize contest and talked with a few of his friends to see if they would want to take the next few years to join the Boeing-sponsored contest.

Representing the team at Ryerson include undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS), Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Faculty of Science and the Ted Rogers School of Management and more.

The team is subdivided into specific smaller teams to handle each major aspect of the aircraft, including the main aircraft structure, propulsion, power source, user experience, guidance/navigation/control, outreach, and business planning.

The Paragon is a dodeca-copter powered by a modular electric power system. Pairs of coaxial propellers are set atop the six arms of the aircraft. The aircraft holds one person, can travel 20 minutes on one charge, is a small compact aircraft, is quiet and is specifically focused on safety and the experience of the user, including music selection and comfortable ergonomic seating. The instrument panel is an easy to read and use intuitive flat screen with all information for point to point UAM flying and to track status of aircraft and make course corrections, if needed.

The team has created a half-scale prototype and is now working on a full scale prototype.


  • Aircraft type: eVTOL
  • Capacity: 1 person
  • Piloting: Semi-autonomous
  • Propellers: 12
  • Electic motors: 12
  • Power source: Batteries
  • Instrument panel: Easy to read and use and intuitive flat screen instrument panel with all data needed for UAM flying.
  • Canopy: Panoramic window with forward, left and right and top visibility for spectacular views for the passenger.
  • Landing gear: Skid type 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/propellers fail, the other working motors/propellers can safely land the aircraft.