Aergility Atlis Simplified Multirotor to Autonomously Ferry Cargo

Aergility Atlis Cargo UAV  
Larry Yonge, Aergility VP, R&D, notes in the video that Jim came to him with the idea, and he carefully reviewed the patent application Jim had submitted and the technical aspects. The aircraft is formally named the Aergility Atlis Cargo UAV, and its advantages over other VTOL designs include simplicity: “It’s just got rotating things, no control surfaces.”  The multirotor features long range with low maintenance, because it uses a gas engine. Aergility refers to this technology as “Managed Autorotation.”  The gas-powered prop provides all the energy that propels it forward.

Jim comments that they had a vision for different sizes and so they built a scale version to prove out the technology.  They first checked out the design on simulators, then validated the simulations on a coaxial static test stand, to test thrust, torque, current and all the parameters of the speed controller, rotors and motors.  Next, they mounted a test stand on a truck to measure aerodynamic performance at 70 mph.  They then flew a quarter scale model with a maximum gross weight of about 55 lbs. at a flight speed of 70mph.  Power was provided only by the propulsion engine, not the rotors, to prove the autorotation concept. 

When scaled up, Aergility envisions an autonomous UAV that will go from point A to point B hauling a 400-lb. cargo at over 100mph, with a range of multiple hundreds of miles on a single tank of fuel.  Jim excitedly notes in the video that the possibilities may not even be imaginable at present given the potential to autonomously transport a significant payload at relatively low cost. Photo of Aergility Atlis at Xponential 2019 by Lucien Miller of Innov8tive Designs; illustrations courtesy of Aergility; photo of Aergility prototype with Scorpion brushless pusher motor taken by Bobby Watts of Watts Innovations.
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