Chicago, Illinois, USA
Founded in 2017 by Sam Lubbat, CEO, Brian Morgan, COO & CTO, VOX Aircraft (based in Chicago, USA) is in the business of designing and manufacturing fixed-wing hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones and passenger aircraft for commercial and military use. As of March 2020, the company has stated they have invested over 12 million (USD) into the company and have had their VTOL aircraft design patented.
Engineering analysis by the company shows their aircraft will be two to three times faster, 50-70% more efficient, have three times the payload, have 50% less in maintenance costs, is safer and has superior handling characteristics, than a helicopter. The company plans to sell their aircraft for business travel, air ambulance, search and rescue and to the military. Their aircraft can can likely replace most helicopters on the job because of its ability to take off and land from anywhere.
VOX Aircraft Key Features:
- Safety in Transition. Dedicated lift and forward thrust systems to maximize safety and reliability for transition between vertical and forward flight.
- Fully-Enclosed Lift System. VOX's patented VTOL aircraft configuration features embedded lift rotors contained within integral wing "strakes" to eliminate rotor strike risks in tight landing zones.
- Balanced Rotor Placement. VOX's patents use an even number of lift rotors at the aircraft center of gravity, providing additional fail safe modes in case of individual rotor failure.
- Fixed Wing Behaviors. VOX's patented aircraft offers normal flight behavior and efficiencies from their fixed-wing aircraft design with the added flexibility of VTOL capabilities.
- Patented, Validated, and Practical. Patented VTOL aircraft technology has years of testing and improvement, with one goal in mind: increasing safety and convenience for the passenger.
The VOX Aircraft M400 is a nine passenger hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft with a 2,850 lbs (1,293 kg) with a maximum cruising speed of 403 mph (648 km/h). Its styling, like a commuter plane, has a tremendous advantage over helicopters. The aircraft will speed up travel time because it can pick up its passenger from almost anywhere and fly them long distances. Multiple safety features include electric motors, VTOL capability, ability to land like a plane and more.
VOX Aircraft has already flown multiple subscale prototypes to help the company validate the process of a VTOL aircraft that can take off from any location, fly like a plane and then land wherever needed. Multiple redundant systems and the capability to land like an airplane make their aircraft very safe to fly.
VOX Aircraft timeline:
- 1989-1992: Concept sketches
- 1993-2002: Subscale component testing
- 2002-2005: Subscale proof of concept functional prototypes, the EMJ-X1 and EMJ-X2 and the first patent awarded
- 2006-2008: Airframe texting, the X3, FreeBird and Delta-Wing, in addition, more patents submitted
- 2009-2011: Three proof-of-concept subscale prototypes made, the EMJ5, EMJ7, and EMH-HT, including computational fluid dynamics engineering and analysis
- 2012-2017: Continuing with designing multiple airframes and Vox Aircraft was founded
- 2019-2020: Final assembly of current subscale proof-of-concept named M300 and flight tests begin
The company would like to remind people that if you take a helicopter to the airport to board a private jet, then at your destination, you need another helicopter to fly to your final destination that that's three aircraft to complete your trip. With their aircraft, it takes only one aircraft to complete the entire trip.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: 9 passengers
- Maximum payload: 2,850 lbs (1,293 kg)
- Maximum cruise speed: 403 mph (648 km/h)
- Maximum altitude: 35,000 feet (10,668 m)
- Maximum Range: 2,540 miles (4,087 km)
- VTOL propellers: 4 propellers
- Forward flight propeller: 1 pusher propeller
- Electric Motors: 5 electric motors
- Power source: Hybrid-electric
- Windows: Standard airplane windows
- Wing: High wing configuration
- Tail: Twin tail boom
- Landing gear: Tricycle retractable landing gear
- Safety Features: 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.