New York City, New York, USA
Kelekona company is making an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) minibus which has one pilot and holds 40 passengers. They company has recruited a team of aerospace, mechanical, and electrical engineers with resumes featuring past work with organizations including Tesla, Hyperloop, Ford, General Motors, Motorola, Dupont and NASA. The aircraft is unnamed as of June 2021. As of June 2021, the company is looking for more financial backers.
The Kelekona aircraft has a non-traditional fuselage called a lifting-body which provides lift during forward flight. The fuselage is oblong-shaped that tapers at the rear. The VTOL and forward flight, the aircraft uses eight tilting ducked fans, has a range of 350 m (483 km), a maximum payload is 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) and has swappable battery packs. Due to the design of the aircraft, it can be used as heavy urban air cargo delivery drone, air ambulance use and used by military forces.
The company has reported they expect their aircraft can fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco in one hour. Kelekona has also said that the aircraft will feature a detect-and-avoid capability developed in-house, using optical sensors and radars.
The company's progress had been with developing software and efforts to validate the engineering goals through simulation. Kelekona has begun the construction of a scaled prototype which they that Kelekon hope to fly by early 2022.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger, cargo, medical and military aircraft
- Piloting: Piloted (passenger service), remote piloting (cargo service)
- Capacity: 40 passengers + 1 pilot or 10,000 pounds of payload
- Maximum payload: 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: 350 m (483 km)
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Propellers: 8 tilting ducked fans
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries, has swappable battery capability
- Fuselage: Blimp type 3-D printed composite
- Windows: Larger side windows
- Landing gear: Retractable quad wheeled landing gear
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. The aircraft has a detection and avoidance systems onboard.