Electrically-Powered Optionally-Piloted Powered-Lift Aircraft (EOPA)
Zenith Altitude, Inc.
Bromont, Québec, Canada
Zenith Altitude offers technical services includes computer-aided design, structural analysis, aerodynamic load analysis, damage tolerance analysis, integration of aeronautical products for general aviation (mostly FAR 23 & 27) and related technical support for the manufacturing of parts and assemblies, and finally, demonstration of compliance of aeronautical products to industry standards including the drafting of reports to obtain certification with Transport Canada Civil Aviation.
The company is now also leading a research and development (R&D) effort for an eVTOL design, which is a tiltwing with 8 electric propellers on the wing, augmented by four on the tail. The two surfaces tilt from vertical for takeoff and landing to horizontal for high speed cruise. The aircraft is targeted for rapid transportation of human organs.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held in late April 2018 at the Parc scientifique Bromont - Bromont Science Park for a new building for the Zenith Altitude R&D team developing the new electric aircraft. Zenith lists its partners as: OPTIS Ingénierie | Engineering (Sherbrooke), NGC Aerospace Ltd (Sherbrooke), Centre de Technologies Avancées BRP - Université de Sherbrooke (CTA) and Brio Innovation (Laval).
Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, was looking for a way to quickly move organs to hospitals, when the founder, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, met Mikaël Cardinal, President and CEO of Zenith Altitude, in Feb. 2017. Cardinal said, "Lung Biotechnology expects to be able to increase from 1% to 25% the number of patients waiting for a lung for which an organ is available."
Zenith Altitude has specifically designed its Electrically-Powered Optionally-Piloted Powered-Lift Aircraft (EOPA) to meet Lung Biotechnology's requirements: to transport a pilot, medical technician and organs over a distance of 250 NM (463 km). The company was originally proceeding to the preliminary design review, followed by prototypes and certification in 2025. However, the company changed its focus in 2018 to support United Therapeutics in helping to develop the eVTOL designs of several other companies, Tier 1, Beta Technologies, EHang, Zenith Altitude and Piasecki Aircraft. Learn more at: "Electric VTOL for Organs on Demand," Vertiflite, March/April 2019.
- Article: Zénith Altitude: livrer des organes par la voie des airs, LaPresse, April 19, 2018
- Article: Un aéronef du futur imaginé au Québec, Journal de Montreal, April 20, 2018
- Article: Étape majeure pour l'aéroport, LaTribune.ca, April 30, 2018
- Article: Des organes livrés par des avions sans pilote, LaTribune.ca, May 3, 2018
- Article: Electric VTOL for Organs on Demand, Vertiflite, March/April 2019
- Article: Martine Rothblatt: Serial Entrepreneur, Vertiflite, July/Aug 2022
- Article: Tier 1 Engineering Pioneers Electric e-R44, Vertiflite, July/Aug 2022