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Zhang Prototype 3 (prototype)

Zhang Prototype 2 passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft in flight

 

Prototype 3 (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 3 passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft
The Prototype 3 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. The aircraft has made test flight but it is unknown if the aircraft has flown with a passenger or not.

The aircraft has eight propellers, eight electric motors and is powered by battery packs. The booms for the propellers are located at the front and rear of the fuselage and are at 45 degrees 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.

While all videos of the actual aircraft have no fuselage around the cockpit, according to one video, Zhang shows the aircraft is planned to have a fuselage around the cockpit. Whether the cockpit will have an open fuselage or an enclosed or partially enclosed cockpit, it is unknown.

Prototype 3 parked

Prototype 3 parked

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 person piloting, uses full autopilot capability or remote piloting
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: 8 propellers
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: 3D printed
  • Cockpit: Open cockpit
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
  • 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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