Lots of people around the world have dreamed of flying, but flight instruction, aircraft, and maintenance are very expensive putting flying out of the reach of many. A company called LIFT Aircraft has unveiled its new electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft called Hexa. The aircraft will be used to launch the world’s first experimental entertainment business.
Hexa flying machines need no pilots license to operate, and anyone over 18 and up to 6’5″ tall and 250 pounds can operate in the aircraft for up to 15 minutes at a time. Hexa looks like a giant drone and features 18 sets of propellers, motors, and batteries that can take people into the skies. The single seat powered ultralight aircraft weighs in at 432 pounds.
The control system for Hexa uses distributed electric propulsion allowing control of the aircraft by varying the speed of multiple electric rotors. Flight computers handle that control method. The pilot doesn’t do the actual flying of the aircraft with Hexa as they would be with a helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.
The flight computer keeps the aircraft stabilized, and the pilot provides control inputs using a joystick. Hexa is semi-autonomous and needs no input from the pilot to operate safely; it only works within limits programmed into the flight computer. The aircraft automatically returns and lands when the battery lacks the power to fly further.
Hexa is also able to operate with up to six of its eighteen motors out. If it suffers a catastrophic failure, it has a ballistic parachute that deploys automatically and has five floats to allow safe water landings. It can also be operated remotely by trained pilots in an emergency. These aircraft will be used in entertainment business near tourist attractions and other locations, pricing is unannounced.