Over the years we have built many prototypes to test various parameters and prove our concepts.
First was Alpha, and its maiden tethered flight in the lab was an exciting milestone for us: we knew for sure that we were on the right track.
To put the achievement in context: a typical camera drone has only four propellers and is unlikely to weigh more than 3kg, yet our original Alpha laboratory prototype had 17 turbines and weighed in at 42kg!
After we saw Alpha fly, we were confident that our distributed thrust technology is the future of commercial unmanned aviation.
Alpha used electric ducted fans (EDFs) originally designed for planes. These EDFs are not efficient for VTOL operation, and so we have gone on to design our own series of turbines optimised for static thrust. The Athena series is now commercially available.
The success of Alpha led us to progress further our concepts for logistics and maintenance UAVs. The technology is explained in this video which shows how we see the future.
With the availability of our own, static thrust Athena fans – a world first – we are now able to accelerate our plans. We have built a test platform to help progress our technology. We call it Wohler-b.
Wohler-b is also the precursor of our range of Eole OEM multi-turbine modules that will soon be available. The Eole range will be prettier than Wohler – but Wohler will always have a special place in our hearts. It's successful first test flight in January 2017 was another key milestone for Neva Aerospace.
Another key milestone – the successful Wohler-b test flight.