Project History

Project was launched in January 2015 to study individual air transportation. In 2022/2023, it is now a highly R&D collaborative project that includes academics and industrials.

Project was launched in January 2015 to study individual air transportation but switched to medical transportation on 2016. On Paris Air Show 2015 we presented a first mock-up and it was a success !

During 2015 and 2016 multiple universities studied concept and TRL1 closed in June 2016.
In summer 2017, project achieved TRL2 at Paris Air Show 2017 and is now entering TRL3 with more than 15 universities and 10 industrial interested !
In 2018, studiez have made progress on the engine and hybrid configuration.

Mini-Bee Hybrid VTOL for air ambulance

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Mini-Bee Project is available under Lesser Open Source license. All documentation on the Open Source part of the project is available on the wiki.

Mini-Bee is a collaborative project to develop a hybrid VTOL hexacopter.

History of VTOL hybrid multicopter projects

The history of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) hybrid multicopters can be traced back to the early 20th century, with the development of the autogyro and the helicopter.

The autogyro, invented by Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva in 1923, was an aircraft that used a rotor for lift and a separate propulsion system for forward flight. The helicopter, invented by Igor Sikorsky in 1939, was a vertical lift aircraft that used rotors for lift and propulsion.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, advances in technology and materials enabled the development of hybrid VTOL multicopters, which use a combination of rotors and other propulsion systems, such as fixed wings or ducted fans, to achieve vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

Today, VTOL hybrid multicopters are used in a variety of applications, including military, civilian, and commercial operations. They are known for their versatility and ability to operate in a variety of environments and conditions.

There are several major Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) projects currently underway around the world:

  1. Urban Air Mobility: A number of companies are developing VTOL aircraft for use in urban air mobility, with the goal of providing faster and more efficient transportation in urban areas.

  2. Military Applications: VTOL aircraft are being developed for use in military operations, including surveillance, transport, and search and rescue.

  3. Delivery Services: Some companies are developing VTOL aircraft for use in delivery services, such as delivering packages and medical supplies.

  4. Agricultural Applications: VTOL aircraft are also being developed for use in agriculture, including for crop dusting and monitoring crops.

  5. Autonomous Flight: Many VTOL projects are focused on developing autonomous flight capabilities, which would allow the aircraft to be flown without a pilot.

  6. Environmental Monitoring: VTOL aircraft are being used or developed for a variety of environmental monitoring applications, including monitoring air and water quality, tracking wildlife, and mapping terrain.

There are several potential reasons why urban air mobility (UAM) technologies, such as electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and autonomous flying cars, may become more prevalent in the future.

One reason is that UAM technologies have the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and convenience of transportation in urban areas. With UAM, it may be possible to reduce traffic congestion and commute times, as these aircraft can travel over roads and other obstacles and do not require dedicated infrastructure such as highways or airports. This could lead to significant benefits for both individuals and businesses, as it would allow people to move more quickly and easily within cities and could improve the efficiency of goods and services delivery.

Another reason is that UAM technologies may help to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. Many eVTOL aircraft and flying cars are designed to be electric-powered, which means they do not produce the same levels of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. This could help to reduce the overall carbon footprint of transportation in urban areas and contribute to the fight against climate change.

The use of UAM technologies has the potential to greatly improve the efficiency, convenience, and sustainability of urban transportation, making it an attractive option for the future.

 
 
 

A collaborative project to develop a hybrid VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) multicopter would involve a team of individuals or organizations working together to design and build a multicopter that is capable of both vertical takeoff and landing, as well as horizontal flight. This type of aircraft is often referred to as a hybrid because it combines the capabilities of both fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft, allowing it to take off and land vertically like a helicopter but fly horizontally like an airplane.

The development of a hybrid VTOL multicopter would typically involve a range of activities, including researching and identifying potential design concepts, prototyping and testing different designs, and refining and optimizing the final design. The project would likely involve a range of experts in areas such as aeronautical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science, as well as technicians and other support staff. Collaboration and communication would be key to the success of the project, as the team would need to work together to overcome challenges and achieve the desired results.