The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Neoptera Aero applied for its first patents for the eOpter concept in December 2017. Since then it has built and flown a sub-scale model of a design featuring a tail-sitting fuselage with eight propellers on tandem wings. As of November 2019, the privately-owned company was seeking funding to build and fly a half-scale model. It intends to certify the aircraft under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency's SC-VTOL special condition rules and hopes to achieve this with a four-seat version of the aircraft by the end of 2026.

The company estimates that it might need up to around $100 million in fresh investment to achieve certification and service entry. Initially, it needs around $5 million to complete the half-scale model and a further $15 million to build a full-scale prototype. Ideally, it would like to find a risk-sharing partner to take the aircraft into production.

The piloted, electric aircraft would transition from vertical to horizontal flight by pitching the aircraft forwards from its tail-mounted landing position through the application of higher levels of thrust from the rear wing propellers. It believes that by its projected service-entry date battery technology will support all-electric power but has made provision for a hybrid-electric alternative.

Initially, Neoptera Aero sees the eOpter aircraft being used for public service operations, such as humanitarian aid, before entering service for commercial urban air mobility. 

The company is involved in NASA's Transformative Vertical Flight program.

Timeline

Projected

type certification granted

Type certification of eOpter E4 aircraft
Projected

test flight

First flight of full-scale eOpter prototype
Projected

test flight

Test flight of half-scale eOpter model

patent filed

Neoptera Aero filed initial patent applications for its eOpter design.

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

Neoptera Aero is seeking to apply an innovative application of a tail-sitting design. The company's founders have solid experience in aerospace engineering, having worked with and for several leading European aerospace groups. However, the path to building a full-scale prototype and achieving certification is currently blocked by a lack of funding.

eOpter Models

eOpter E4 Specifications

local vtol Fixed Wing

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    5
  • Range
    56 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    125 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    propeller
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    30 min
  • Max Altitude
    n/a
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    5,940 lb
  • Payload Weight
    n/a

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    33 ft
  • Height
    13 ft
  • Wingspan
    33 ft

The eOpter is a tilt-body, tail-sitter, tandem-wing design that uses differential thrust from the wing-mounted propellers to transition from vertical to horizontal flight. The eOpter 4 model will have five seats, including one for the pilot.

Key Personnel

Arnaud Didey
Arnaud Didey

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Founder

Renaud Othomene
Renaud Othomene