Jetoptera, an aviation startup developing powerful UAVs and realistic flying cars, will present its breakthrough fluidic-propulsion system at AUSVI XPONENTIAL 2018, both as an exhibitor at the convention and as a competitor in this year’s Startup Showdown. Jetopera’s revolutionary technology has recently been demonstrated in flight, propelling an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) exceeding 55 pounds.
The Seattle-based startup’s distributed propulsion system and novel airframe, create an aircraft that integrates propulsion and airframe, to augment lift and thrust concomitantly. Instead of using two separate subsystems as is standard for current aircraft designs, Jetoptera’s airframe and propulsion systems are integrated into a single system that not only powers, but also augments, itself. The company’s design enables a host of unique abilities, including vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), speeds exceeding 200 mph, significant payloads and range, and maneuverability.
Jetoptera’s inaugural product, the J55, was introduced earlier this year in both a Part 107 commercial version and a high speed/high altitude version for government customers. The J55’s payload ranges between 5 to 15 pounds, and the aircraft can exceed speeds of 200 mph, with a 50-mile range for the lower payload limit. The product roadmap comprises seven different models and their derivatives, extending to four-person flying cars, with payloads up to 800 pounds and ranges of up to 200 miles. The product suite deploys scaled-up versions of the integrated novel fluidic propulsion system and airframe.
“When we first shared the radical design of our aircraft with our manufacturing partners, they were somewhat skeptical that it would fly at all,” said Jetoptera CEO Denis Dancanet.
“However, with the accumulation of milestones, they have become enthusiastic supporters. It is enormously exciting and gratifying to see our vision from three years ago take to the skies for the first time. “
The key differentiator in the propulsion system is the use of fluidics to act as a turbofan without blades, which augments thrust in both static and dynamic conditions, and enables vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The bladeless propulsion system also enables drag reduction and lift augmentation in a more compact airframe, and allows flexibility in the distribution of the system itself. The propellant is a choice between diesel or jet fuel.
The airframe is equally unique; Jetoptera’s model requires a generally 30% smaller wingspan than comparable flying car concepts. For example, the two-person Jetoptera 2000 has an 18-foot wingspan, compared to the 30-foot or larger wingspan many other proposed flying car designs.
After two years of extensive evaluation in wind tunnel and static propulsion tests and airframe qualification flights, Jetoptera recently demonstrated its fully integrated system concept (airframe and fluidic propulsion) in flight.
“Our system was demonstrated in a world’s first: that the fluidic propulsive system can achieve take off and sustain climb and airplane maneuvering as the only thrust source onboard for a heavier-than-55 lbs Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), and bring a number of advantages to the way we power small planes today,” said Dr. Andrei Evulet, Jetoptera’s CTO.
“The results, obtained in representative conditions, confirm the readiness level we targeted and mark an important milestone on our roadmap to developing a well-integrated aircraft system using distributed propulsion, bringing true jet velocities and VTOL capabilities to a realistic flying car and to a series of UAS platforms.”
Jetoptera will competed in Wednesday’s Startup Showdown, and are located at booth # 3742 at AUSVI.
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