teTra Aviation, an aircraft manufacturing startup based in Tokyo, Japan, won the $100,000 Disruptor Award at the FoFly personal flight contest last year. The startup has now unveiled the exclusive, single-seat eVTOL aircraft, dubbed the Mk-5, at the week-long EAA AirVenture event at the Wittman Regional Airport in Wisconsin.
The fully electric personal aircraft is designed to be safe, quiet, and easy to manufacture. Forged from aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP), the Mk-5 measures roughly 8.62 m (28.2 feet) wide, 6.15 m (20.2 ft) long, and 2.51 m (8.2 ft) high, and weighs around 488 kg when empty. The aircraft holds only one passenger, weighing up to 90 kg. It has a cruise speed of 160 km/h (100 mph), ranges as high as 160 km (100 miles), and a flight time of one hour.
The aircraft has 33 propellers, 33 electric motors, tandem wings, and tricycle fixed wheeled landing gear. It is equipped with some 32 vertical rotors on four fixed-wing planes along with one horizontal thrust at the rear to help it soar through the skies. The Mk-5 packs a 13.5 kWh battery for clean cruising.
The passenger can operate the aircraft via a joystick and semiautomatic fly-by-wire electrical controls. For safety, the company will be using at least three redundant flight controllers capable of redistributing power across its 32 vertical lift props in the case of motor or flight controller failure.
As the aircraft is easy to manufacture, it’s also easier to scale from prototype to mass production. The team at teTra Aviation is also conducting test flights of the Mk-5 in 2021 to ensure the Mk-5 runs smoothly and safely. The aim is to start delivering the personal transportation service as a kit plane as early as 2022. The company will also need to seek all the requisite regulatory approval should it wish to operate its aircraft in the US. The Mk-5 is already available for pre-order from the company’s website.