Tupan is a start-up hybrid-electric electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) company founded by a group of Brazilian engineers with years of experience in propulsion system design, flight testing, aerodynamics and autonomous flight. The company, based in Jacarei near São Paulo in Brazil, is working with Turbomachine in São José dos Campos on the development of the small turbine engines that are key to the design of the Tupan-1000, -2000, and -3000 model vehicles. The company has revealed their aircraft is expected to be high-speed, have a long range, carry a heavy payload, have low manufacturing costs and have low costs for operations.
The Tupan 1000 is a remote controlled (or autonomous) turbine powered hybrid-electric VTOL scalable, fast, long-range and heavy-lift air cargo aircraft. The aircraft has been designed to be partially modular. The power source is either hybrid-electric with turbine engines and back-up batteries or the aircraft can be powered solely by batteries. The aircraft has canard wings and at the end of each wing are Electric Ducted Fans (EDFs) which tilt for VTOL, forward and rearward flight.
The aircraft models, in order of production, for Tupan Aircraft are as follows:
Tupan 1000 air cargo aircraft: 140 kg (309 lb) maximum payload
Tupan 2000 air cargo aircraft: 280 kg (617 lb) maximum payload
Tupan 3000 air cargo aircraft: 600 kg (1,323 lb) maximum payload
Tupan (model number unknown): Passenger aircraft
The estimated cruise speed for the Tupan 1000 is 850 km/h (528 mph) with a range of 1,200 km (746 miles) and has a maximum payload of 600 kg (1,323 lb). The power for all electric systems is from turbine engines. There are also back-up batteries in the aircraft and are charged during flight by the turbine engines. The back-up batteries were added in case of an engine failure and if engine failure occurs, the cargo drone can land safely using power from its onboard batteries.
Tupan has successfully flown an all-electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) radio-control technology demonstrator named the Tupan RC 300. The Tupan RC 300 can travel up to speeds of 150 km/h (93 mph), has a range of 30 km (18.6 miles) and carries a payload of 2.5 kg (5.5 lb). The company is also building a five meter (16 feet) flying prototype.
The company indicated to FutureFlight that the design is somewhat modular, in that the turbofan engines could be swapped with electric propulsors for applications where the turbine engines aren’t needed. An example of this might be for agricultural spraying, where short-distance, heavy-payload flights are normal.
The company's first goal is to design and manufacture the air cargo version of their aircraft for missions such as intercity and intracity air cargo services, firefighting, agricultural spraying and for military use. At a future date, the company plans on designing and manufacturing hybrid-electric VTOL and eVTOL passenger aircraft.
Power source: Hybrid-electric with back-up batteries or all batteries
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Wings: Canard wings
Tail: 2 vertical stabilizers
Landing gear: Retractable tricycle 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.
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