Take a look at our inventions!

These are the various projects I've built over the years, plus some details about them.

Flyt 16

Here is the founder of Flyt standing next to the Flyt 16, complete with pilot pod

This is a 16-propeller multirotor vehicle that was our first to successfully fly a human.  It consists of a lift-producing frame on top and a pilot pod that attaches below.  See more photos.

Propulsion: 16 propellers powered by lithium batteries

Weight: ~350lbs fully loaded

Flight time: ~10 minutes with person

Verdict: Great success!


Mark 4.5

This was our testing platform before the Flyt 16.  We ran ~45 tests with this before deciding it was ready to form the basis of the Flyt 16!  See more photos.

Propulsion: 16 propellers powered by lithium batteries

Weight: ~300-350lbs fully loaded with batteries

Flight time: ~10 minutes with 200lbs payload

Verdict: Worked well enough to be turned into the Flyt 16


The Mark IV

The Mark IV in flight during one of its tests

This was our first attempt at a simple, reliable multirotor vehicle with 8 propellers.  It's called an octocopter and was built in only 7 weeks, capable of lifting up to 200lbs!  See more photos.

Configuration: 8 propellers (octocopter) driven by ~10kW motors

Power source: Lithium-polymer batteries (~2-8kW battery pack)

Weight: ~230lbs fully loaded, usually less

Flight time: ~8-9 minutes with payload

Verdict: Mostly worked, but had a hard time flying with 200lbs payload


The Mark III

The Mark III, our first all-electric prototype that was powered by lithium batteries and aircraft-grade motors

This was our first all-electric prototype and took ~10 months to construct.  It was fully demonstration ready complete with paint job, carbon fiber ducts, impact-resistant safety shields around the pilot, and on-board flight computer.  It was capable of generating over 800lbs of lift!  Overall, a significant upgrade from the Mark II and arguably the best looking of them all.  See more photos.

Propulsion: Four ~45kW electric motors driving 44" propellers

Power source: Lithium-polymer batteries (~7kW battery pack)

Weight: ~550lbs fully loaded

Flight time: ~5 minutes with person

Verdict: Too much lag in system for stable flight


Thrust Testing Rig (TTR)

The TTR was our way of gathering important data in an isolated manner so we knew exactly what was happening

The TTR was our way of taking a step back and really understanding the fundamentals before proceeding to the Mark III, gathering hundreds of data points over 60+ tests.  It was basically a propeller attached to a frame on wheels with a car electric motor that allowed us to gather precise data.  Eventually this was upgraded with one of the motors from the Mark III for higher thrust levels.  See more photos.

Motor: 15kW water-cooled electric car motor (eventually upgraded to 45kW electric motor + 100Ah 84V battery pack

Propeller: 44" carbon fiber with duct mounting system

Max thrust achieved: 150lbs with the 15kW motor, >200lbs tested with larger motor (limit of safe testing parameters)

Verdict: Successful, but initial motor not able to generate as much power as hoped


The Mark II

The Mark II, a gas-powered quadcopter with unique control system

This was our first full-sized prototype a person could sit in and was powered by two aircraft engines that could produce a total of 200+ horsepower!  It used a combination drive shafts and belts and could fly itself, but not very well because it was so heavy.  See more photos.

Propulsion: 4 propellers driven by two experimental German aircraft engines (210hp in total)

Weight: ~650lbs fully loaded (including 2.5 gallons gas)

Flight time: ~5 minutes with person

Verdict: Could barely fly with payload, control system inadequate for thrust


The Mark I

The Mark I was a testing platform to verify if the core system would work for the Mark II.  It didn't.

This was our first prototype and was essentially half of the planned Mark II.  We used this to test the basic technology we planned on using and figure out the flaws before building the full-sized version.  Overall it didn't work great and would destroy parts of itself every time it was run above 50% power, but was a great platform for testing technologies we then implemented in the Mark II.  See more photos.

Goal: Test underlying drivetrain system and thrust generation

Propulsion: 2 propellers driven by belts, powered by experimental aircraft engine (105hp)

Weight: ~300lbs (including engine)

Verdict: Not successful, lessons learned were applied to the Mark II


The Future

Our long-term goal is a versatile design that will allow it to safely carry either cargo or people for much longer distances.  Currently technology only allows for a 20-30 minute flight time with a person on board, so we're focused on the FlytCycle as an intermediate step. 

Current design

Propulsion: 12 propellers in double hexagon configuration

Weight: 275-400lbs empty, depending on battery weight

Flight time: ~20-30 minutes with person with existing battery technology, by the time we build this we expect battery technology to have improved enough to fly for much longer.