ZG-VC2 (concept design)
ZeroG Aircraft Industry Co., LTD.
Hefei High-Tech Zone, Anhui, China www.lzlair.com
The company was found in March 2021 by Xiang Jinwu, the Dean of the School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering in Beihang University to make electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). The School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering is a leading academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Zero Gravity (also known as ZeroG) is based in China’s Hefei High-Tech Zone in Nanjing, China. The company announced in May 2022, it had secured almost 10 million yuan ($1.48 million) in a round of seed funding from BlueRun Ventures, based in China. (Image credit: ZeroG)
The company has already designed an eVTOL multicopter, eVTOL winged aircraft and tilt-wing eVTOL passenger aircraft. The company's main objectives is to provide clean, safe, fast and comfortable urban air travel. The founding team member of Zero Gravity has said, "With an initial specialization in eVTOLs, we aim to provide smarter, faster, safer and more cost-effective solutions in urban air mobility (UAM). Our goal is to bring electric aircraft to life and contribute to the air taxi industry in China and to the world."
ZG-VC2 six person eVTOL concept design aircraft
The ZG-VC2 is Zero Gravity's six person winged eVTOL concept design aircraft. The aircraft will be piloted at the start of air taxi commuter service and then in the future, the aircraft will be autonomously piloted. The aircraft holds five passengers.
The estimated cruise speed of the aircraft is 200 km/h (124 mph) and has an expected flight range of 150 km (93 miles). The intended flight time of the air taxi aircraft is 45 minutes. The predicted maximum takeoff weight of the aircraft is 1000 kg (2,205 lb). The aircraft has a futuristic sleek design with its streamlined fuselage with eight VTOL-only propellers mounted on top of two booms (each boom is above and parallel to the fuselage) and one pusher propeller mounted to the rear of the fuselage.
Due to its main high-wing, the aircraft will have a longer range than multicopters will typically have. Winged eVTOL aircraft will usually have a useful range to travel from one edge of a large urban area to the other edge. Some winged eVTOL aircraft will be able to fly between two cities. While the aircraft would not be able to landing in a parking lot space but the aircraft can easily land on rooftop landing pads, airports and any area that is wide enough to land a small or medium sized private plane.
eVTOL aircraft have a distinct advantage over conventional aircraft. The weight reduction from having no petroleum engine, transmission and fuel tanks, increases the reliability and safety of the aircraft. Reducing the complexity of any aircraft, machine or theory is always welcomed in the real world of engineering and in science. Lowering the complexity of the aircraft decreases the purchase price and maintenance costs of the aircraft. Even though battery density is still not at a point where much longer ranges are desired for electric aircraft, eVTOL aircraft are light enough that current battery technology will still allow eVTOL aircraft to have a long enough range to transport passengers within most large cities around the world.
The aircraft has three-redundant flight control systems to make the aircraft extremely safe and reliable. The landing gear is fixed-wheeled landing gear. Wheeled landing gear makes it easier to move aircraft on the ground for pilots and ground crew. Fixed-wheeled landing gear reduces the complexity of the aircraft, reduces its purchase prices and reduces maintenance cost for the aircraft. In case all systems fail, the aircraft also has an emergency ballistic parachute to keep the passengers safe during an emergency landing.
Aircraft applications and future plans
The aircraft will be initially used for short to medium distance flights for air taxi service and can be easily configured into an urban cargo aircraft. The company foresees its aircraft for daily air taxi commuting for work, tourism, emergency rescue, geological surveys, air cargo and many other types of air missions needed by a small winged eVTOL aircraft.
Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger and air cargo concept design aircraft
Piloting: 1 pilot (in the future, it will be autonomous)
Capacity: 5 passengers
Cruise speed: 200 km/h (124 mph)
Range: 150 km (93 miles)
Flight Time: 45 minutes
Maximum takeoff weight: 1000 kg (2,205 lb)
Propellers: 8 propellers mounted on to booms above and parallel to the fuselage, 1 pusher propeller
Electric Motors: 9 electric motors
Power source: Batteries
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility, for spectacular views.
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. In case all systems fail, the aircraft also has an emergency ballistic parachute to keep the passengers safe during an emergency landing.
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