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Zhang Prototype 2 (prototype)

Zhang Prototype 2 passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype under construction

 

Prototype 2 (prototype)
Alan Zhang
Diamond Bar, California, USA
www.fpvcreator.com

On September 20, 2021, Alan Zhang and 17 of his high school classmates in Diamond Bar, California, USA, decided to build one passenger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) multicopter aircraft. The name of the high school organization is called Project Leelyn Drone. The goal of Project Leelyn Drone is for their organization to become the first youth team to build a passenger carrying eVTOL multicopter aircraft. (Image credit: Alan ZHang)

Alan Zhang graduated from high school in 2022 and then continued his drone research when he started at the University of Berkeley. Zhang enrolled in the UC Berkeley Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (M.E.T.) program and continues to make passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft. The website above is his subscale drone company but he continues to work on his full-scale passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft on his own.

Prototype 2 passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft
The Prototype 2 is a one passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft that has an open cockpit and an open framed fuselage. The aircraft was made from 3D printed parts and was built in a garage. The aircraft had a roll-bar cage. It is unknown if the aircraft has actually flown.

The aircraft has eight propellers, eight electric motors and is powered by battery packs. The propellers are stacked two to a boom and located at the ends of each boom. The booms for the propellers are located at the front and rear corners of the fuselage and are perpendicular to the air frame. At the ends of the booms are red and green navigation lights which are required on all aircraft when operating at night. The multicopter aircraft lands on the bottom of the fuselage and can fit in a standard garage.

Concept Design
Zhang also made a concept design drawing of the aircraft shows a carbon fiber composite formed fuselage. The fuselage has a sleek front nose with a low windshield and front lights. The rear of the aircraft has a carbon fiber composite rear section that holds the pilot's seat. The cockpit has open sides and an open top. Two roll bars are located at the top of the cockpit and are on hinges allowing easy entry and exit from the aircraft. There are also two side bars next to the seat (and are part of the airframe that also provides some protection for the pilot in case of a roll over. The concept design either lands on quadricycle landing struts or lands on the bottom of the airframe.

eVTOL concept design side view

eVTOL concept design side view

eVTOL concept design with roll bar open

eVTOL concept design with roll bar open

eVTOL concept design front three-quarter view

eVTOL concept design front three-quarter view

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 person or full autopilot capability
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: 8 propellers
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: 3D printed
  • Cockpit: Open cockpit
  • Landing gear: Lands on the bottom of the airframe
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure. The aircraft has no moving surfaces or tilting parts when transitioning from vertical to forward flight and the reverse which increases safety by reducing complexity.

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