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Technoplane Mini-Bee Octacopter (concept design)

Mini-Bee Octacopter hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design multicopter


Mini-Bee Octacopter (concept design)
Moulines, Allier, France

Based in France, Technoplane was founded in 2013 and is a data services and solution provider. In addition, Technoplane is also the coordinator of the aeronautical collaborative research and development team for hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger and cargo aircraft. with multiple designs, all called the Mini-Bee. Technoplane is also developing several designs of a conventional takeoff and landing planes called the Beeplane.

The Mini-Bee collaborative project began in 2015 with a group of aviation enthusiasts, from multiple universities, sharing the common dream of creating hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft to be efficient, safe, cost effective and practical for advanced air mobility (AAM). The team named their project Mini-Bee after the honeybee, which is known for its agility, efficiency and adaptability. In the beginning days, many sketches were drawn and standards were created. The name Mini-Bee is used for multiple unique VTOL aircraft designs that can look similar to or look completely different from each other.

The inventors presented their first mock-up of the Mini-Bee at the 2015 Paris Air Show in France. Initially, the Mini-Bee project was to study air transportation for individuals but then switched to air medical transportation. The inventors achieved a Level 1 technology readiness level (TRL1) in 2016. In the summer of 2017, the project team achieved a TRL2 with a subscale flying prototype and participated at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The subscale prototype was tested in a wind tunnel analyzing its aerodynamic properties and making adjustments to improve its performance. Also in 2017, the project team expanded to 15 universities and entered a TRL3 and had at least 10 industrial companies interested or participated in their research.

In 2018, the group made progress on the hybrid-electric configuration for their various aircraft and built a full-scale mock-up of one of their aircraft models. Overtime, the team grew with aeronautical engineers, designers, and experts in electric propulsion and energy management. The Mini-Bee team also showcased their aircraft at the 2019 Paris Air Show. In 2020, the inventors decided to make the Mini-Bee a modular design, allowing each aircraft model to fit into standard airliner cargo containers to make is easy to transport the aircraft to anywhere in the world. As of 2023, the inventors are continuing to make progress in design, flight tests and advanced simulation tools to improve the performance of each aircraft model in a wide range of weather and test conditions.

Timeline of Mini-Bee projects

  • 2015: Mock-ups drafted and designed, participated in the 2015 Paris Air Show
  • 2016: Detailed concept designs made, super structures designed, electronics and sensors integration started
  • 2017: Subscale model made and wind tunnel tested, participated in the 2017 Paris Air Show
  • 2018: Full scale prototype made
  • 2019: Continuation of working on multiple aircraft, participated in the 2019 Paris Air Show
  • 2020: Designed all aircraft models to be modular to make assembly easy and to make them easy to ship in airliner cargo containers to distribute them any place in the world
  • 2021-2023: The inventors continue to refine their designs and prototypes

The Mini-Bee Octacopter hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft
The Mini-Bee Octacopter passenger hybrid-electric VTOL multicopter concept design aircraft with eight propellers and eight electric motors. The aircraft has tandem wings. While very little is known about this multicopter, we know that most hybrid-electric and all electric VTOL passenger or cargo aircraft are scalable. This aircraft could hold four, six, eight or more passengers. It could also be used as a piloted or autonomous air cargo aircraft.

Electric VTOL aircraft with wings are typically designed for longer range flights. For example, a winged electric VTOL aircraft might be able to travel from one metropolitan area to the next large urban city. Winged electric VTOL aircraft also have a long enough range to travel from one side of an large urban area to the opposite side. In addition, winged electric VTOL aircraft are also capable of urban to rural flights and coast to island flights.

The multicopter aircraft has one pilot who can fly manually or use autopilot technology and can carry multiple passengers or fly air cargo. Keeping up with the inventor's use of pilot controls, the pilot will probably fly the aircraft with a steering wheel and a joystick. The windows of the cockpit can be surmised to be helicopter type windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the cockpit. While not shown on the aircraft, a tractor or pusher propeller (or both) could be used to extend the range of the aircraft. The multiple VTOL propellers will also provide excellent lifting power and safety through redundancy.

The aircraft will have a carbon fiber composite fuselage for a high strength and low weight ratio. On an aircraft this large, it would most likely have anti-crash seats and an anti-crash superstructure. The aircraft would either have retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear or quadricycle wheeled landing gear. The aircraft will have a whole aircraft emergency parachute.

The inventors foresee the multicopter to be used for long range flights such as air taxi service, humanitarian aid, air ambulance service or used for other medical purposes.


  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger multicopter concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot plus autopilot technology
  • Capacity: Unknown
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: 8 propellers
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: Helicopter type windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the cockpit
  • Landing gear: Either retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear or quadricycle wheeled 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 of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft. There is a whole aircraft emergency parachute.

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