AirBuoyant VertiPod IV

Updated by Bill Lofton 10/1/17

VertiPod IV prototype (quadcopter), radio controlled with passenger

Courtesy of AirBuoyant
 

The AirBuoyant VertiPod IV is a prototype multicopter that can be flown manned or by remote control. Or both.
 

VertiPod hexacopter

Courtesy of AirBuoyant
 

AirBuoyant VertiPod Background

AirBuoyant, founded by Pete Bitar and based in Anderson, IN, is developing the VertiPod manned multicopter. (Old website)

Earlier Vertipod versions were variations on the 1954(?) Hiller VZ-1, with coaxial rotors under the pilot. These aircraft rely on vectored thrust, in contrast to the differential thrust of muliple off-center propellers on a multicopter.

Per FlightGlobal, in 2008, AirBuoyant bought rights to from Performance Aviation Manufacturing’s PAM100B “personal air vehicle” and rebranded it as the AirBuoyant VertiPod 2.

Project timeline:

  • 2008: AirBuoyant buys rights to PAM100B and rebrands it “VertiPod 2” (per FlightGlobal)
  • 2009: AirBuoyant conducts test runs of VertiScooter hoverboard
  • April 7, 2015: maiden RC flight of manned VertiPod IV prototype (4 rotors)

AirBuoyancy is asking for $950 deposit on a $23,950 price for the first 1,000 VertiPod “BETA KITS” as part of their Beta program. The kits seem to be for the VertiPod Hex, not the VertiPod IV.

Wait, what? AirBuoyancy is asking for $950,000 of deposit money?

I think 20 units is a reasonable size for a Beta program for a sport aircraft.

(Note that AirBouyant’s plan to sell 1,000 kits for their Beta program was on their website on 12/23/15, but wasn’t on their website on 1/4/17.)
 

10/1/17 update: No sign of activity since 4/7/15 maiden flight of VertiPod IV. This project appears to be inactive.
 

2008 Performance Aviation Manufacturing PAM100B becomes AirBuoyant VertiPod 2

Courtesy of FlightGlobal
 

Intro to AirBuoyant VertiPod IV

AirBuoyant VertiPod IV features:

  • Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
  • Electric propulsion
  • Optional remote control
  • 4 rotors now on prototype, 6 rotors planned for production version

AirBuoyant VertiPod IV prototype specs:

  • Empty weight: < 54.5 kg (< 120 lb)
  • Payload: 113.6 kg (250 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight (MTOW): 168.2 kg (370 lb) (120 lb + 250 lb)
  • ? Peak power (period?):
  • ? Max continuous power:

AirBuoyant VertiPod IV prototype performance:

  • Endurance: < 5 minutes currently
  • ? Cruise speed:
  • ? Service ceiling:

 

VertiPod IV prototype closeup

Courtesy of AirBuoyant
 

AirBuoyant VertiPod Press, Other Info, and Videos

AirBuoyant VertiPod press and other info:

AirBuoyant VertiPod videos:

 

VertiPod 2

Courtesy of Aviator2 on homebuiltairplanes.com