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Breakthrough Fluidic Propulsive System Could Power the Drones & Aircraft of Tomorrow

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And speaking of interesting ideas, Tim Ventura describes an aircraft propulsion innovation in Medium:

The props on today’s aircraft are inefficient, noisy, and dangerous — but an innovative new bladeless propulsion system offers an alternative for 21st century aviation. We’re joined by Dr. Denis Dancanet, the CEO of Jetoptera, an aerospace startup developing lightweight commuter VTOL aircraft using a revolutionary technology called the Fluidic Propulsive System.

Denis, welcome! Let me start out by asking about your background, and the background of Jetoptera as well. You come from the financial & data-science world, but also have a background in aerospace — how did that bring you to Jetoptera?

Thank you, Tim. I should start by mentioning that I’m not the inventor behind all the patents of Jetoptera. My background is in business, and while I do have technical experience, my role at Jetoptera is as the CEO.

The inventor is actually my best friend from high school in Romania — Andrei Evulet, who has 15 years of experience working at GE Aviation. He was in charge of the technology that goes into the largest jet engine in the world, the GE9X, which just flew for the first time on the Boeing 777X. It’s so huge its diameter is about the same size as the fuselage of a Boeing 737.

Andrei and I were best friends in high school in Romania under communism. In my case, I defected before the the wall fell, coming to the US as a political refugee when I was 18, and then going to undergrad and later grad school here. I’m a computer scientist, and I’ve worked on Wall Street doing statistical arbitrage. I’m a pilot and I like flying, but I haven’t invented anything in the aerospace sector.

While I was on my career path, becoming a so-called Wall Street rocket scientist, my friend Andrei became a real rocket scientist, with about 40 patents so far. This was originally his idea, and we’d first talked about doing it around 5 years ago — back when drones started making news headlines. At the time, Bezos was talking about Prime Air, and we knew this is going to be a big, important market, but the drones in the news just don’t seem particularly powerful. They’re small, can’t carry a lot, and don’t go fast.

Around this time the Kathmandu earthquake happened, and we began to hear about people with drones trying to help — but other than taking pictures, there really wasn’t much they could do. We asked ourselves how we could make an improvement and create drones that are powerful and scalable in size from drones all the way up to a flying car.

The answer is our entirely new propulsion system. If you look at the history of aviation, the big changes always start with a propulsion system. That’s really what enables everything, so we started Jetoptera with the idea that we’d create a new propulsion system that would be ideal for VTOL and enable powerful drones and eventually flying cars . We decided on the name because “ptera” means wing in Greek, so Jetoptera literally means “jet wing”.

Now is it fair to describe the aircraft that you’re developing as a lightweight commuter air-transportation vehicle? Can you describe the aircraft a bit for us?

You should think of us as a propulsion system company first, and we’ve built aircraft in order to demonstrate our technology. We don’t really want to be in the business of building complete aircraft ourselves. It’s expensive, complicated to achieve certification, and overall very capital intensive. If the market demands of us to be more vertically integrated, however, that is something we would consider.

We think our edge is in the propulsion system, especially since it gives us the unique ability to do fast VTOL. We’d love to see that end up powering flying cars, but drones are a great start — they have a lot of future potential to help people, and that’s something we want to see. Ultimately our end goal is to be the propulsion platform for the next generation of air mobility.

Let’s talk about applications: your website discusses roles in emergency services, logistics, mapping, military, and even commuter applications. Can you describe those in more detail, and how this technology fits better than a helicopter might in those roles?

How come helicopters never evolved into flying cars? They’ve . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

3 April 2020 at 8:10 am

Posted in Business, Technology

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