Tetra Aviation debuts single-seat buy 'n' fly personal eVTOL
Japan's Tetra Aviation won a hundred-grand "disruptor award" at the GoFly personal flight contest last year, and has now presented its first commercial product at OshKosh: a 33-rotor Mk5 personal eVTOL it hopes to begin delivering to buyers in 2022.
The Mk5 is a lightweight single-seat lift-and-cruise-style aircraft running 32 vertical lift rotors distributed across long, thin wings at the front and rear of a small cabin, with a single pusher prop on the rear for cruise flight. Its frame is mainly aluminum, and the bodywork is a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer with some aramid fibers in there too.
The prototype shown at OshKosh this year, which has already flown, is a decent size at 8.62 m (28.2 feet) wide, 6.15 m (20.2 ft) long and 2.51 m (8.2 ft) high, so it'll take up a fair bit of room in the garage. With a 13.5-kWh battery pack, it weighs 488 kg (1,076 lb) empty and has a maximum takeoff weight of 567 kg (1,250 lb) – leaving room for a 79-kg (174-lb) pilot or less.
Many of these figures will move north for the production version, which is designed to take at least a 91-kg (200-lb) pilot, and fly at cruise speeds up to 160 km/h (100 mph) for VTOL ranges as high as 160 km (100 miles) on a charge.
Safety-wise, Tetra 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. We're not sure how the battery pack's designed for safety, but if you get yourself high enough up, you can come down on a standard ballistic parachute.
Tetra is planning to build them and sell them as home-built experimental kit aircraft – meaning you'll be able to fly one on a private pilot's license in the US. The company is also planning to sell complete aircraft, and is looking to certify them as well, although not in the incredibly stringent commercial category most of the air taxi manufacturers are grappling with now. No prices are available as yet.
There are a few manufacturers now pushing "buy 'n' fly" personal eVTOL products that should be available in the short to medium term. Opener's BlackFly, for example, was also there at OshKosh this year, indeed performing manned flights of its unusual design, and Next UAS is also working on a simple single-seater for personal use.
Check out a short video from Tetra below.
Source: Tetra Aviation