In the evolving world of aviation, eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft are reshaping what personal flight might look like in the near future. Doroni, one of the innovative companies in this space, has recently achieved a significant development milestone. They’ve celebrated the first manned flight of their eVTOL prototype, showcasing the H1’s capabilities and giving the world a glimpse of their vision.
The Design and Flight
Doroni’s H1 is a distinctive piece of engineering with its bubble cabin design, elevated by eight large ducted coaxial propellers. These propellers are mounted onto front and rear wings of approximately the same size. Following in the footsteps of other personal eVTOLs like SkyFly Axe and Air One, Doroni’s design features wings that tilt upwards. These wings enable the eVTOL to progress from a hovering position to gathering speed by tilting forward, resembling a drone. The wings level out and generate lift when they are at this forward angle.
However, distinguishing itself from the competition, Doroni has integrated a horizontal propulsion system in the form of two rear-mounted pusher props. There were uncertainties about its implementation when the Doroni H1 was initially introduced to the public in September of the previous year.
The prototype that was flown recently is quite rudimentary in its features. Missing elements include wings, pusher props, windows, and most of the bodywork, save for the fundamental cabin cover. An interesting observation is that the rear landing gear seems to be a repurposed barbell, and where the passenger seat is anticipated, there’s currently a battery box.
Despite its simplicity, this prototype does fly and it managed to do so with a human occupant. The maiden manned flight was short and appeared somewhat unstable, especially since it was conducted indoors, but it undeniably marked a significant milestone for Doroni.
The Video Reveal
For those curious about the flight, a video released by the company displays the prototype in action. To aid viewers in visualizing the finished product, Doroni superimposed the bodywork onto the video. The clip captures the enthusiasm and exhilaration of the Doroni team, emphasizing the significance of this achievement.
CEO Doron Merdinger expressed his elation in a YouTube description box, describing the sensation of the flight as “floating on a cushion of air.” He emphasized the novelty of their technology and how it’s set to transform personal transportation, pushing boundaries and turning dreams into reality.
Performance and Future Outlook
Once the H1 is fully assembled, Doroni forecasts impressive stats for the eVTOL. It’s expected to have a range of approximately 60 miles (around 100 km) per charge. Cruise speeds should reach up to 100 mph (160 km/h) with potential top speeds of about 140 mph (225 km/h).
Furthermore, Doroni aims for their design to be tested and obtain FAA certification as a Light Sport Aircraft by 2024. This would pave the way for customer deliveries in 2025. For pilots interested in operating the H1, a minimum of 20 hours of training will be necessary.
Those interested in being at the forefront of this new age of personal flight can anticipate a price tag of US$195,000 for Doroni’s eVTOL.