Jetoptera, one of the world’s first jet-powered VTOL companies, is partnering with GE to produce a test vehicle with 500lbs of thrust.
Since it’s founding, Jetoptera has been slowly leveling up their VTOL concepts. Last Summer, the company built a vehicle with 100lbs of thrust that could successfully take off vertically, hover, and transition into fixed wing flight. GE will now be providing them with the needed turboprop engine for a test aircraft with 500lbs.
The Jetoptera 500 VTOL is a unique aircraft. It is one of the few existing companies to make jet-powered VTOLs. It does so by using its own in-house designed “Fluidic Propulsion System”. In this system, a turbo-prop motor (as used in many lightweight aircraft) is used as gas generator to produce a pressurized fluid that is distributed to specially designed air thrusters. These thrusters then control the hover of the aircraft and provide its lift. The gas generator, based of of GE’s H-series turbo-prop engine, will be what GE is working with Jetoptera to produce. Eventually, this development should lead to a fully customized engine.
Jetoptera’s 100lbs test aircraft:
GE’s aviation division has $400 million invested in its turboprop program. Said Michele D`Ercole, president and managing executive of GE Aviation Czech: “This is a unique opportunity for GE to participate in the burgeoning development of the urban air mobility, while still infusing new technologies on our H-Series workhorse”.
Why it’s important: As the flying car industry begins to grow, the number of businesses providing individual components will begin to spread out. Right now, most flying car develops are designing every component of the aircraft themselves, from the propulsion systems to the interiors. In the future, the flying car industry will begin to look more like the auto industry in that components like engines will be produced by third parties while the main producers will simply complete the assembly. With its unique Fluidic Propulsion System, Jetoptera or GE may eventually become the industry leader specifically for jet-propulsion systems.