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Teledrone Mark VII (prototype)

Teledrone Mark VII half-size subscale proof-of-concept passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft

 

Teledrone Mark VII (prototype)
Teledrone Ltd.
Skelmersdale, Lancashire, United Kingdom
www.teledrone.com
www.teledrone.blogspot.com

Teledrone Ltd is based in the United Kingdom and was incorporated to design an affordable electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). The Teledrone project was one of 31 to qualify for the second phase of the GoFly Challenge, having been established to investigate the potential for an airframe designed to 'teleport' passengers by the simplest means or nearly as simple as making a phone call.

Leading the Teledrone project is Colin Hilton, with 15,000 hours flight experience and over 10,000 command hours on Boeing and Airbus types. He is a qualified trainer participating in flight safety programs. His previous designs attracted the interest of the British Technology Group and demonstrated to Margaret Thatcher’s minister of technology beside the National Physical Laboratory.

He works with an accountant, electrical engineer, IP associate and executive director to steer the development of this simplest embodiment of the outline and the prototype will be beta-tested as a ground-effect vehicle for reconnaissance, minefield maneuver and ‘over-water’ leisure market.

Teledrone Mark VII half-size subscale proof-of-concept passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft
The Teledrone Mark VII is a half-size sub-scale proof-of-concept one passenger eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft. The passenger for the prototype is a light weight mannequin. Piloting of the multicopter is with remote radio control and the full scale aircraft will be flown by a pilot with two joysticks. This sub-scale prototype will be the basis for the full scale prototype design that will be made to sell to aviation enthusiasts in kit form.

Hilton has told the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) that in aviation, sub-scale prototypes are made due to keeping costs down and having to register the aircraft with aviation authorities. Weight costs more money when flying any aircraft. Smaller prototypes are more convenient to work with, use less material, easier to make, easier to test, have a lower risk factor and are more practical to use for testing purposes. In addition, half scale aircraft perform almost the same as a full size aircraft and you'll have a very good idea if the full scale aircraft will work well when fly a half-scale prototype.

At this point in testing there is no cruise speed for the multicopter. The test flights are at a very low altitude and has a maximum flight time of 10 minutes. There are eight propellers and each propeller is 55.88 cm (22 in) in length. There are eight T-motor U-7 electric motors. The power source consists of eight battery packs. Each electric motor has its own battery. The empty weight of the Mk VII is 20 kg (44 lb), has a maximum payload weight of 25 kg (55 lb) and has a maximum takeoff weight 45 kg (99 lb). The fuselage is made from aluminum and plastic and looks similar to an English telephone booth. The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear.

At this stage in Hilton's multicopter endeavors, once all the material is gathered and if working full-time on a daily basis, the multicopter can be assembled in one week. The first successful test flight was made on November 29, 2023 in England. Hilton notes that it takes years, not months to get from the successful flying of prototype aircraft to commercial sales.

The full scale model will start flying with remote control with a light weight mannequin. Then as test flying progress, the mannequin weight will be increased. Once the multicopter can safely fly with the weight of an adult pilot, then flight tests will begin with a human pilot. Once the prototype test flights are complete and successful, the aircraft will be sold as a kit to aviation enthusiasts. Kit aircraft can be safely flown in remote areas and cannot be flown in urban areas and kits cannot be used for any type of commercial purpose.

Sketch of half-size Mark VII prototype

Sketch of half-size Mark VII prototype

Small test drone with half-scale prototype configuration

Small test drone with half-scale prototype configuration

Teledrone Mark VII patent drawing

Teledrone Mark VII patent drawing

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Sub-scale eVTOL multicopter prototype aircraft
  • Piloting: Remote radio control, full scale will be flown with 2 joysticks
  • Capacity: Light weight mannequin
  • Cruise speed: No cruise speed as of this time
  • Flight time: 10 minutes
  • Cruise altitude: Low altitude, ~1 meter (3 ft)
  • Empty weight: 20 kg (44 lb)
  • Maximum payload weight: 25 kg (55 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 45 kg (99 lb)
  • Propellers: 8 propellers, 55.88 cm (22 in)
  • Electric motors: 8 T-motor U-7 electric motors
  • Power source: 8 battery packs, 6 V each
  • Fuselage: Aluminum and plastic
  • Window: Open cockpit (the cockpit looks similar to an English telephone booth)
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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