Teledrone Mark IV
Skelmersdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom
Leading the Teledrone project is Colin Hilton, with 15,000 hours flight experience and over 10,000 command hours on Boeing and Airbus types. He is a qualified trainer participating in flight safety programs. His previous designs attracted the interest of the British Technology Group and demonstrated to Margaret Thatcher’s minister of technology beside the National Physical Laboratory.
Hilton works with an accountant, electrical engineer, IP associate and executive director to steer the development of the Teledrone prototypes and foresees the electric vertical and takeoff (eVTOL) aircraft to be used for reconnaissance, minefield maneuvers and the leisure market.
The Teledrone Mark IV is a prototype designed for participation in the GoFly Prize competition Phase IV. This prototype is intended to carry the weight of an adult (defined by the inventor as 70 kg/154 lb), and is currently slated for testing using dummies just under that size. The target cruise speed for the eVTOL aircraft is 93 km/h (58 mph, 50 kt) at a cruise altitude of 457 m (1,500 ft) with a range of 8 km (5 miles).
The aircraft design is actually based upon the Dr. Who (A British science fiction TV show) where the main character travels through space and time in a blue British police phone booth. In the United Kingdom, many people are familiar with this TV show and like the phone booth space ship. Hilton chose a British red phone booth for the reason that it’s already a likable British icon (and similar to Dr. Who’s time-traveling space ship) and since you can put electric motors, propellers and a controller on just about anything and make it fly, the Teledrone was invented. While the color and design may be clearest in pictures of the previous Teledrone models, the phone booth shape remains distinct in the iteration of the Mark IV shown above.
The aircraft is designed for one person but could be fitted with a second rear facing seat. The goal is to keep the weight under 25 kg (55 lb) allowing the aircraft to be registered as a drone and not a passenger aircraft. This way, one can fly it without a pilot’s license.
Hilton sees the aircraft being remotely controlled at first, then later a version where the passenger has the controller in the aircraft allowing the person to pilot the aircraft themselves. Then future versions could be autonomous and have a detection and avoidance system so the aircraft won’t hit buildings, telephone wires, trees or any other structure or object during manual or autonomous flight. Making the aircraft uncrashable. One application for the Teledrone would be to program a route to fly a child safely to school and back every day.
Teledrone has the goal of making a very low cost eVTOL aircraft which is easy to fly and very affordable. Hilton wants to make his Teledrone to be made similar to an Ikea product. You order it online, it gets shipped to you in the morning, you build it and are flying it that afternoon.
Making a simple, easy to assemble, simple to fly eVTOL aircraft will allow more people, companies, organizations or the military, to use eVTOL aircraft for affordable urban air mobility (UAM) flight and for other applications.
Details on Teledrone's other aircraft may be found on the Teledrone, Teledrone Mark I, Teledrone Mark II, and Teledrone Mark III pages.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Capacity: 1 person
- Cruise speed: 93 km/h (58 mph, 50 kt)
- Cruise altitude: 457 m (1,500 ft)
- Range: 8 km (5 miles) at cruise speed and altitude
- Empty weight: 48 kg (105 lb)
- Battery type: LiPo batteries made for ease-of-use swapping
- 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 top propeller assembly are completely independent of the bottom propeller assembly. So if the top propellers unexpected all fail, the bottom propeller assembly could land the aircraft safely to the ground and vice versa.