Uniqopter was founded in 2021, Toronto, Ontario, Canada to create an open source hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft which can be configured for multiple air missions. The company intends to share its blueprints, procedures, policies, business plan, and more, to any aircraft manufacturer that wants to use the Uniqopter aircraft design. Uniqopter has no plans for manufacturing their own aircraft and has no plans for air operations.
The original plan for the company was to create a hybrid-electric aircraft for air ambulance services due to the aircraft's unique ability to land in small landing zones. The small footprint of the aircraft would greatly expand the service area for this aircraft in any urban area, making air ambulance service available to many more people in need of quick flights to a local hospital. As months went by in the design process, the company realized the aircraft would be useful for many types of air missions such as police, fire service, air taxi service, air cargo and more.
Uniqopter Design Characteristics:
Traditional mechanical and manually operated flight control system (no computer flight automation)
Noise reduction technology
Propeller safety technology
Improved performance with ducted propellers
Flight control air jet values
Its small landing zone footprint increases its ability to land in more places than helicopters
The Uniqopter is a reconfigurable hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo aircraft that has four ducted propellers and four electric motors located directly above the fuselage of the aircraft. The aircraft has an estimated cruise speed of 232 km/h (144 mph), a flight time of 90 minutes (plus a 30 minute reserve) and carries a maximum payload of 921 kg (2,030 lb).
The aircraft's fuselage is similar to a medium sized helicopter, such as the Airbus H145 helicopter (formerly known as the Eurocopter EC145 helicopter). The hybrid-electric power source, batteries and ducted propellers are all above the fuselage which keeps the entire inside of the cabin spacious and allows the inside cabin to be easily reconfigured for multiple types of air missions. For air ambulance use, the aircraft can hold one or two pilots, two paramedics, two stretchers and related medical emergency equipment and supplies. For air taxi service, the aircraft can be configured to have one pilot and seven passengers or with more space between seats, the aircraft would hold less passengers. For air cargo service, the aircraft would be configured for one pilot and the rest of the cabin interior would be used for air cargo.
It is unknown if the company will be making any prototype aircraft to validate their aircraft design.
Capacity: The capacity of aircraft is determined by its air mission. For example, air ambulance service would use (2 pilots, 2 paramedics, 2 stretchers with patients), air taxi service (1 pilot, 7 passengers or can have less passengers allowing for more leg room), air cargo (1 pilot and air cargo)
Cruise speed: 232 km/h (144 mph)
Flight time: 90 minutes, plus a 30 minute reserve
Cruise altitude: Unknown
Empty weight: 2,254 kg (4,970 lb)
Maximum payload: 921 kg (2,030 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight: 3,175 kg (7,000 lb)
Propellers: 4 propellers
Electric motors: 4 electric motors
Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Larger windows than conventional aircraft allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear (the same type of skid-type landing gear a helicopter has)
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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