On July 13, 2017, VTOL Aviation India was founded by Mr Kalyan Chowdhury in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The goal of the company is to be the first in the Indian aerospace sector to make hybrid-electric and all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft. The reason for this is to achieve the "Make in India" goal, a government-launched initiative to encourage 100% of a product to be manufactured domestically. The company is partnering with the Indian Institute Of Technology-Kanpur and with the EFC Group of Companies. The company has designed and manufactured multiple types of drones. VTOL Aviation India has been funded with $150 million with the plan for $2 billion total investment from internal sources and bank loans.
The Akshaj HNX150 is an autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL and an eVTOL military medium-lift cargo and surveillance drone, concept design aircraft. The aircraft can carry a payload as heavy as 50 kg (110 lb). The power source (either hybrid-electric or all-electric) will be determined by needs of the mission required by the military branch purchasing the drone. The Akshaj HNX150 has been made for specifically for military cargo use and with the ability to provide visual-based feedback and surveillance capability for military forces.
The aircraft has eight dedicated VTOL propellers, one pusher propeller for forward and reverse flight, has a carbon fiber composite fuselage, has one high wing, one boom mounted rear inverted horizontal stabilizer (the tail of the drone) and four fixed legs for landing gear. The Akshaj HNX150 is similar to the design of the Akshansh HNX300 drone except the Akshaj HNX150 has a smaller payload.
The payload of the drone can be carried inside the cargo bay, attached externally to the fuselage or attached as a sling load. The drone can be used in SWARM configuration, where multiple drones can be put into service simultaneously to facilitate a much larger cargo delivery that only multiple drones can handle.
The aircraft has been engineered to reduce the complexity of the drone by having no tilting propellers and no retractable landing gear. Lowing the complexity of a drone reduces the purchase cost of the drone, increases the safety of the drone, increases the reliability of the drone and reduces maintenance costs. The drone has also been designed with multiple redundancies which also increases the safety and reliability of the drone. The high-wing increases the range of the drone making the aircraft more useful for military use and also lowers the power needed for forward flight.
VTOL Aviation India's aim is to reshape the future of flight with the ultimate breakthrough in clean and safe aviation, made in India. The company has not stated when sub-scale or full scales prototypes will be made and tested for the military Akshaj HNX150 VTOL autonomous cargo/surveillance drone.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric or eVTOL heavy-lift military cargo and surveillance drone
Capacity: Cargo and surveillance
Cruise speed: Unknown
Flight Time: Unknown
Top altitude: 5,500 m (18,044 ft)
Maximum payload: 50 kg (110 lb)
Propellers: 9 propellers
Electric Motors: 9 propellers
Power source: Hybrid-electric with batteries or battery packs-alone
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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