New Tesla-sized eVTOL powered by NASA-proven thrusters enters the fray

Epiphany Transporter Applied eVTOL Concepts
Applied eVTOL Concepts

A new Tesla Model S-sized electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has been unveiled for the first time by the developers after working on the project behind firmly closed doors. 

On Augst 15, 2023, the team at Applied eVTOL Concepts, finally decided the time was right to let the world see their concept and seek partners to collaborate on the remaining development, testing and certification.   

The ‘Epiphany Transporter’ is predicted to travel 300 plus miles (342 km) at an extremely respectable 160 MPH and uses thrusters to hover rather than wings to fly. 

“In lieu of long, burdensome wings, the compact advanced vehicle configuration vaunts morphing, dual-mode, ducted thrusters enabling it to hover like a helicopter, and attain efficient high-speed cruise flight like an airplane,” the company explained.  

The Epiphany Transporter can accommodate two people including their luggage and is said by the founders to be an “exceptionally quiet, neighbor-friendly sound”. 

Originally developed under a $5.1 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant, the NASA-proven ducted thrusters have undergone over a quarter-century of refinement through full-scale flight testing in wind tunnels and several prototype manned vehicles.   

“We have every reason to believe in the ability of our proprietary, field-proven ducted thrusters, and leading-edge vehicle design, to perform in flight as expected,” Michael Moshier, founder, CEO, and lead designer of Applied eVTOL Concepts, said. 

Moshier has previously worked with the project’s chief engineer and senior aerodynamicist, Rob Bulaga, on their ducted fan powered SoloTrek XFV aircraft, a one-person, strap-on, gas-fueled, personal flying machine.  

In 2001, the device won Time Magazine’s ‘Invention-Of-The-Year’ award, along with many other world-wide accolades, and today it remains on permanent display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California. 

Now the team’s focus is on personal eVTOL aircraft for UAM (Urban Air Mobility) using advanced-technology electric motors and batteries.  

The CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) computer model, developed by Bulaga, has been refined over the last 25 years.  

“Today, it consistently and accurately predicts our thruster performance within 2% of real-world testing,” Bulaga said. 

Although the company’s base is in California, US, the Epiphany Transporter team are distributed in locations around the globe, working collaboratively towards the full-scale manned prototype machine. 

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