ElectraFly: These Guys Put a Jet Turbine on a Huge Drone…

Roswell flight test crew here at energy our own 2018 in Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada and I'm talking to John Manning from electrifly how you doing John I'm doing well thank you good good now when I go to a big drone show like in a drone I expect to see some big drones but but this monster behind me here has completely taken my breath away it is definitely a large-scale multicopter this is built as a personal flying machine so you can actually sit on it and you can think of it as like a Star Wars speeder bike or like maybe a bullet bike with wings there's not enough to lift a person each one of these electric motors puts out about 80 pounds of thrust each and about 320 pounds plus we actually are a hybrid electric system where we have a gas turbine a jet engine on a multi copter and that puts out about an additional 70 pounds of thrust or just shy of about 400 pounds of thrust as is and we can add an additional four motors without any configuration changes so you know we're what just shy of 700 pounds right around there so is this thing flown yet it yes it has flown has it flown with a human being on board yet we intend to start flight testing with humans were in our hopes in about next six months or so that's just beyond cool we're gonna want to keep a close eye on you guys because this is amazing well looking a little further down the road how do you see this actually being deployed originally it lends itself as like a personal flying machines the reality is is that there's also a practical purpose for this as well our goal is to basically increase payload and range for multi rotor aircraft so the idea is is that we're trying to approach the efficiencies of fixed-wing aircraft so you can think of scaling these innovations down to package delivery or maybe some agricultural uses but certainly there's also things like you know military use Special Forces application that kind of thing not that I imagine this thing is especially quiet especially given that it's got an actual jet engine on it that's true it is not especially quiet in fact it's probably as loud as an f-16 and having said that it also has the ability to operate with pure electric which is substantially quieter there's a lot of potential when you can carry 700 pounds yeah that's true we kind of like to see ourselves as falling in the gap between the air taxis and the jet packs you know there's a lot of neat things going on in the jetpack world and there's a lot of any neat things going on in the air taxi world but that gap in between those two is kind of where we fall unlike the jetpacks it doesn't require any special skill training or anything like that well John I maybe sometimes use words like extraordinary and amazing a little more than I should I should save it for times like this because this thing truly is extraordinary and amazing now you will keep us up to date as you're moving forward with this right I want to keep an eye on this we're a Salt Lake City based company and I understand that you're not too far from us and so we're expecting you guys to make a trip down to Salt Lake and and follow the progress yourself so we will do it all right well John thanks so much thank you appreciate it and from inner drone 2018 standing in front of the largest drone I have ever seen this is the Roswell flight test for you signing off you

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In this episode, the Roswell Flight Test Crew talks to John Manning of ElectraFly. The Utah-based company has developed a multirotor aircraft capable of carrying a human passenger. With four electric motors and the gas-powered jet turbine, the aircraft can lift 400 pounds, which can be increased to more than 700 pounds through the addition of four additional motors and propellers – transforming the quadcopter into an X8 configuration. It is intended as a personal flying machine, as well as an experimental platform to see if a multirotor can approach the efficiency and flight time of a fixed-wing aircraft. The company also seeks to fill a niche between jetpacks and the autonomous air taxis currently under development.

16 comments on “ElectraFly: These Guys Put a Jet Turbine on a Huge Drone…

  1. Twisted Stone

    Is there any reason passenger multi-rotor designers are keeping away from variable pitch ?

    The capabilities of Curtis Youngblood's Stingray 500 have never been matched in my view and had the ability to glide down safely if the power failed.

  2. Aegean Epiphany

    Before you put a jet engine on how about addressing the engine failure issue? No wonder no one has been on it yet – better go 'X8' real quick… not sure this is anything original…


    John Manning is definitely a RC hobbyist, noticed how he carefully almost never qualifyied his model aircraft as a drone but always as a multirotors/multicopter/flying machine/aircraft <3
    Keep going ElectraFly and good luck for what comes next!

  4. DutchRC Adventures

    Nehhh you've seen bigger (MQ-1 Predator for instance) but maybe not in real life πŸ™‚
    Cool quad though man.. I'd fly it πŸ™‚ I see some interesting things on it by the way (airfoils for instance)


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