Formula One specialist MGI Engineering has unveiled two cargo-drone technology demonstrators.
The engineering consultancy is applying the Formula 1 development philosophies and mindset gained through the decades of motor sport experience of its senior staff and its founder and CEO, Mike Gascoyne, who have worked at McLaren, Tyrrell, Sauber, Renault and Toyota, before setting up the Lotus F1 Team through MGI in 2009. According to the company, lightweight composite structures and a highly efficient, fast-paced iterative design processes are key elements its approach to tackling the challenges that the cargo eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) industry presents and it aims to provide these consultancy services throughout the cargo eVTOL industry.
MGI Engineering has been developing cargo eVTOL technologies for the past year, with the aim of providing these services to the wider industry. This has culminated in its Mosquito autonomous technology demonstrators, which feature a configurable design with two variants of its demonstrator technology.
The first is a tilt-rotor configuration, with two rotors on each corner capable of tilting from 45° in the forward direction to 45° rearward. The second features eight rotors with direct-drive motors distributed across four wings. All four wings use MGI’s proprietary tilt mechanism, which is used to control pitch and roll. This variant is able to take off vertically and fully transition to winged flight for long-distance missions. The modular approach to this vehicle, in which wings and rotors can be configured according to the mission profile, allows for scalable common platforms using common battery modules to ensure cargo deliveries are cost-effective. The vehicle platform concept has also been designed to be scaled-up efficiently to create vehicles capable of carrying payloads of up to 500 kilograms.
‘We are really proud to announce our cargo eVTOL technology demonstrator programme,’ said Gascoyne. ‘We believe that developing sustainable electric aviation vehicles, combined with our unique expertise and experience from Formula 1 of lightweight hybrid composite vehicles, is the future of the transport industry and will ease the strain on current methods while decarbonising multiple sectors. We are very happy to have a fully working demonstrator vehicle that has passed all our tests to date, including fully transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight.
‘We’re excited to see where our development journey takes us and look forward to solving the unique and novel challenges the industry presents us with,’ he continued. ‘We also want to invite clients, partners and investors to join our vision to develop highly efficient cargo UAV solutions. MGI Engineering, as a cargo eVTOL consultancy service, understands in order to bring aerial vehicles successfully to market requires a multi-disciplinary team across multiple industries.’