Macrobat is the first all-electric aircraft with an avian design – and it has just begun prototyping and testing.
Phractyl (PHRontier for Agile Complex Technology sYstem evoLution) says it’s serious about the concept.
The firm says in the near future, a larger, scaled version of the Macrobat is envisaged, which could function as an air taxi. With the growth of the light sports aircraft market, enthusiasts are offered an exhilarating flight experience.
Additionally, Phractyl suggests using it for delivery of medical supplies, growing crops, inspecting infrastructure, and transport of high-value goods. As a one-seater, the Macrobat will have a maximum range of 150km, be capable of flying at 180km/h, and have a payload capacity of 150kg.
The firm is seeking investment to move it to the next stage of design and manufacturing.
Phractyl says: ‘First, some simulations were performed to predict the aerodynamic performance of the wing. Then, a scaled prototype was built and experimentally tested, which confirmed the results obtained in the simulation environment. The testing of wing and propulsion concepts is currently in progress, and we are constructing a scale model prototype of the Macrobat to demonstrate its performance. Upon successful execution of this, we can begin the full-scale engineering development.
The innovative Macrobat wing produces lift at low speeds, which ensures a safe, controlled landing regardless of propulsion system failure. Most aircraft wings generate lift after gaining some speed. Due to its pivotal wing design, this Electric Near-Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eNVTOL) aircraft delivers enviable performance even on uneven terrain.
The Macrobat can operate as an airplane, or as a drone. It can be controlled by a person, remotely operated with a passenger, or remotely operated just with cargo. The Macrobat is being developed in South Africa and will have a top speed of 180km/h.
This is a brand new design for a brand new personal flying vehicle – that stands on birds’ legs, tilts its wings and launches and lands near vertically.