A new mode of personal mobility has been revealed by Applied eVTOL Concepts. The Epiphany Transporter evokes dreams of Aladdin's magic carpet, providing fast, door-to-door, airborne transportation with VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) capability. In lieu of long wings, the compact vehicle configuration vaunts morphing, dual-mode, ducted thrusters, enabling it to hover like a helicopter, and attain efficient high-speed cruise flight like an airplane.
Key to its utility and potential commercial appeal is its predicted 300+ mile-range, 160 mph top speed, and neighbor-friendly sound (< 55 dB at 50 feet). The Epiphany Transporter can accommodate two people, their luggage, plus golf clubs. Intended to be simple and safe to operate, and about the size of a Tesla Model S automobile, it fits into a standard one-car garage with its thrusters folded up.
Originally developed under a $5.1 million DARPA grant, the NASA-proven ducted thrusters have undergone over a quarter century of refinement through full-scale flight testing in wind tunnels and several prototype manned vehicles. According to Michael Moshier, founder, CEO and lead designer of Applied eVTOL Concepts, "We have every reason to believe in the ability of our proprietary, field-proven ducted thrusters, and leading-edge vehicle design, to perform in flight as expected."
Rob Bulaga is the project's chief engineer and senior aerodynamicist. The Moshier-Bulaga team previously worked together on their ducted fan-powered SoloTrek XFV aircraft, a one-person, strap-on, gas-fueled, personal flying machine. In 2001, the device won Time Magazine's "Invention-Of-The-Year" award, along with many other world-wide accolades, and today it remains on permanent display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.
Now the team's focus is on personal eVTOL aircraft for UAM (urban air mobility) using advanced technology electric motors and batteries. The CFD (computational fluid dynamics) computer model, developed by Bulaga, has been refined over the last 25 years. "Today, it consistently and accurately predicts our thruster performance within 2% of real-world testing," says Bulaga.
The Epiphany Transporter is the result of an intense alliance between the two men over the last several years working in virtual stealth mode. Similar to the vehicle's "distributed" propulsion design, their world-class, co-development partners are distributed in locations around the globe, working collaboratively towards the full-scale manned prototype machine.