Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Rotor X unveils new fully-electric Dragon Personal Air Vehicle

Over the past couple of years, the emerging AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) industry has shown significant growth and potential. With advancements in technology and increasing demand for sustainable transportation, the industry is poised for even greater success in the coming years.

As the AAM industry continues to evolve, some companies are shifting their focus toward providing individual consumers with personal electric jets. While many AAM companies are currently concentrating on air taxi commercial services, these innovative companies are promising to bring us the ultimate personal flying experience.

Rotor X Aircraft Manufacturing Company of Chandler, Arizona, is the latest to join the club. The company says it has completed hundreds of unmanned test flights of its new fully electric Dragon eVTOL personal air vehicle (PAV).

This flight test concludes the flights of the pre-production version, shown at the EAA Oshkosh AirVenture 2023 event in July. It is now gearing up for the piloted flight tests planned for early September of 2023.

The electric ultralight aircraft comes as a quick-build kit that doesn’t require a pilot’s license in the U.S. to operate because it meets the FAA Part 103 Ultralight Aircraft requirements, according to the company.

The Dragon PAV comes with safety features such as a ballistic parachute cage, auto hover, auto takeoff and landing, and redundant independent motors for its 8 propellers. Dragon can also lift a 250 lb (113 kg) occupant with its four swappable battery packs. The aircraft can fly for up to 20 minutes and recharge in less than two hours. The company said that powered by eight electric 16 kW motors, the Dragon can fly up to 63 mph (101 km/h).

The power system has separate independent battery packs controlled by redundant flight controllers. It has automatic takeoff and landing, hands-off return to hover, and position hold. The Dragon eVTOL PAV can hover and continue to a safe landing after a battery, electrical, or motor failure.

Advanced Tactics Inc. of Torrance, California, has also assisted Rotor X with funding and personnel to make fly-by-wire multi-rotor ultralight aircraft a reality.

The company plans to have the Dragon eVTOL PAV in production by March 2024 and said the electric aircraft is priced at under $90,000. Orders are currently being taken for 2024 production slots.