VT-25 Tiny (proof of concept)
Minhang District, Shanghai, China
Founded in June 2021 by Ming Dong, Volant Aerotech is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) start-up based in Shanghai, China. The company plans to sell their aircraft for advance aerial mobility (AAM) for passengers and air cargo. The company was started by a group of aviation professionals from COMAC (the Chinese equivalent of Boeing and Airbus), Autoflight (China), and from the Chinese subsidiaries of Airbus, GE, Honeywell and Collins.
Volant Aerotech was present at the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition held on September 21, 2021. In January 2022, the company signed an eVTOL Partnership for Safety Plan with the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC). The company first raised seed funding in millions (USD) in 2021 and then closed pre-A series fundraising in June 2022 of over 100 million RMB (15 million USD).
The VT-25 Tiny is a 1/3 subscale proof of concept eVTOL aircraft made to validate the aerodynamics, its systems and configuration of the aircraft. The prototype has one high main wing, eight VTOL propellers mounted on two booms, two pusher propellers located in the rear of the aircraft for forward flight, a modified V-tail and has fixed skid type landing gear. The aircraft is flown remotely. The VT-25 Tiny made its maiden flight in September 2021 and made many more test flights.
The aircraft design has been made to reduce the complexity of the aircraft which increases safety and reduces the weight of the aircraft. The redundancy of eight dedicated VTOL propellers and two pusher propellers also increases the safety of the aircraft. In addition, the aircraft has been designed to have a longer range than its multicopter cousins. As electric aircraft have less parts than conventional aircraft, this design will help keep production costs down, the purchase price down, keep maintenance costs down, increase the service life of the aircraft and will the lower the passenger cost per mile.
The next project the company started, was the design of the VE25 X1 full-scale technology demonstrator. Assembly of the VE25 X1 demonstrator began in June 2022 in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China. The technology demonstrator is a five passenger aircraft, has eight dedicated VTOL propellers, has two tail mounted pusher propellers for forward flight and has fixed skid landing gear. The production model will be used for advanced aerial mobility, medevac missions and air cargo.
- Aircraft type: Subscale eVTOL passenger proof of concept
- Piloting: Remote
- Propellers: 8 dedicated VTOL propellers, 2 pusher propellers for forward flight
- Electric Motors: 10 electric motors
- Power source: Battery packs
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Wings: 1 main high wing
- Tail: 1 rear horizontal stabilizer with a type of winglet on each side of the stabilizer
- Landing gear: Fixed 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 (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.