A team of engineers from Bristol University, UK, and Toulouse, France is developing a new electric VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) light aircraft. The aircraft is named Neoptera and should be capable of carrying two to five passengers or an equivalent cargo payload. The design was completed last September and few working scale models were tested in the following month.
The current model is the seventh generation of the concept and has a wingspan of 1.2 meters and weighs about 10 kg. There are plans to build a full-scale flying prototype now and the technical details of the commercial version of the aircraft need to be finalized.
The company has been relatively quiet on the specifications of the Neoptera. On their website, they stated, “We have intentionally been secretative about our concept and wish to keep it that way for the time being, because what we do is purposely simple.”
However, from the illustrations that have been supplied, one of the key features visible is a cockpit pod that swivels relative to the rest of the aircraft. The cockpit remains horizontal even when the main body is standing tall and vertical for take-off or landing. The body comes back down to match up with the cockpit during the flight and becomes horizontal to go faster.
If you would like to sponsor their efforts or believe that you have some expertise that could benefit the Neoptera team, you can reach them here.