JETCopter applies Jet-powered flight to Flying Cars.
On September 4th, flying car startup JETCopter released its design for a new eVTOL.
The JETCopter is powered by two central fans which then divert their airflow to four outflow points. Like other eVTOLS, the amount of power given to each output point can be manipulated to control vertical hovering and maneuvering. Once the JETCopter is in the air, its fixed-wing tilts for horizontal flight, and from there it operates much like a jet.
The jump to jet power enables a more continuous and powerful airflow stream. This could make for more advanced maneuvering. It also eliminates the presence of a suctioning force at the extraneous points, which would be much safer in urban environments. The JETCopter boasts extreme stats with plans for two 400 horsepower engines, a carbon fiber build, a top speed of 186mph, a range of 600 miles and a capacity of at least six seats.
JETCopter has a quick-to-market approach. Rather than designing its eVTOL from the bottom up, the company has developed a low-cost carbon composite fuselage for the body, and plans to use standard automotive engines to power the main fans. While the company is still developing a full concept on a mobile platform, it believes that the many of the components will not require much initial engineering investment.
JETCopter plans to release a prototype within two years and will show a mock-up at the Aero 2019 Aviation Exhibition in April.
Why it’s important: JetCopter’s distributed power concept opens up a new class of flying cars. New eVTOL designs may start featuring jet power points rather than rotor blades at every point. It’s still unclear whether Jet tech eVTOL’s would be used for air taxi or private services, but features such as higher ranges and speeds could add value to a higher end segment of the market; people who wish to travel further or faster. The wider the range of designs that exist, the more ubiquitous the flying car industry will become.