About the developer
Fusion Flight Inc. is an aerospace startup based in Dallas, Texas, USA. The company is four years old and aims to push the boundaries of drone technology to a whole new level. The main objective of FusionFlight is to show that the potential of modern electric drones is severely limited due to the low energy consumption of traditional batteries. Therefore, FusionFlight created the world’s first jet-powered VTOL diesel-powered UAV, the AB5JetQuad.
FusionFlight builds fully autonomous aircraft that use jet engines for attitude control, vertical and horizontal flight. Their latest prototype, the AB5 JetQuad, is a compact, four-engine, diesel-powered jet drone that represents a paradigm shift in modern drone technology.
AB5 JetQuad “All-terrain vehicle” is a new type of aircraft. Developed since 2016. This is not a quadcopter, not a helicopter, and not a plane. It is based on four jet engines with microturbines (small jet engines) with a total capacity of 200 horsepower in the “gas to the floor” mode, where each of which works in conjunction with a patented thrust vectoring system (Thrust Vectoring Systems (TVS)). The drone uses the so-called H-configuration – the first configuration in history in which jet engines are used exclusively to provide vertical and horizontal flight, as well as to fully control the position of the aircraft. The result of this approach is a compact, fully autonomous, diesel-powered drone capable of taking off and landing from virtually any surface and flying at high speeds with a large payload.
Thrust Vectoring System (TVS)
The High Precision Thrust Vectoring System (TVS) offers unparalleled advantages over current multi-copters. TVS are powered by high torque servo motors that have exponentially faster response times than the propeller-driven propulsion systems currently used in drones. As a result, JetQuad has become more flexible and more manageable. TVS, also during level flight, allows you to direct the exhaust gases of the engine of all four turbines towards the stern of the drone. Consequently, JetQuad can harness the power of all four engines and achieve top speeds unattainable by VTOL aircraft of a similar size.
Compact and lightweight
The AB5 JetQuad is specially designed to be easily carried by one person. Empty and unloaded, the drone weighs 22.7 kilograms and has comfortable handrails for holding. In addition, the drone’s small footprint means it can be transported using the most common ground vehicles. The production version of the JetQuad will feature a retractable undercarriage equipped with shock spring systems to further cushion the UAV during landing and provide additional flexibility during takeoff and landing from uneven surfaces.
The sleek and flat configuration of the JetQuad provides both highly aerodynamic level flight and the ability to accommodate a variety of payloads. Payloads of various weights and sizes can be easily mounted at the front, rear and top. Very large payloads can be easily installed under the drone in a configuration very similar to NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Sky Crane system.
In a Sky Crane configuration, the JetQuad will hover at a height of about 4.5 meters at the payload launch site and slowly lower it to the ground using four electric drums. Thrust vectoring systems are designed taking into account the removal of all hot gases from the vehicle during its hover, which completely eliminates the possibility of destruction of the payload and landing gear both during the entire flight and during the descent of the delivered cargo. In addition, jet engines can also generate a lot of onboard electricity to power the complex computer vision systems needed to safely operate such a high-speed drone.
Simplicity and scalability
The drone has a modular design, where each module can be disassembled and replaced with minimal effort. The entire structure of the drone contains only eight moving components – four turbines and four servomotors. This small number of moving parts results in superior reliability and lower operating costs, especially when compared to a helicopter of the same class. By comparison, helicopters can have hundreds of moving parts and require frequent and often costly maintenance.
The simplicity of the AB5 JetQuad’s design also translates into scalability. A smaller version of the JetQuad, equipped with larger fuel tanks, can accommodate a full range of aircraft-grade jet engines. Such a drone can support super-heavy-lift missions without the costly lease of a similar (sized) helicopter.
The developer also emphasizes that a similar, but already enlarged platform allows you to build the first flying machine that does not have external propellers; which will look and feel like a normal car and will be able to park in a standard parking space.
Obviously, four jet engines will be quite noisy. According to the specification, the noise figure of the prototype JetQuad is approximately 120 dB (when in close proximity to the drone). However, the developer specifies that it is studying a number of existing noise reduction technologies, such as specially developed intake and exhaust systems and active noise reduction using on-board speakers. In this regard, it is noted that future versions of JetQuad will certainly be quieter thanks to these technologies.
Fusion Flight Inc.
Fuel tank capacity:
Drone dry weight:
Total takeoff weight:
Tot. takeoff thrust:
Max. power plant power:
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Flight duration (at cruising speed):
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Drone Dimensions (L/W/H):
121.92 × 121.92 × 60.96 cm
Ceiling above sea level (theoretical):
The results obtained by the developer were realized through an initial investment of $50,000 from GTD Capital. According to the information posted on the FusionFlight website, all goals were achieved in full. Today, the developer is ready to move on to the next stage of project development, and therefore is actively looking for venture capitalists to invest (in series A / B) in FusionFlight Inc. Potential investors will be able to purchase shares in the company, and may also become members of the company’s board of directors. Funding will be directed in different directions. The first step is to establish an enterprise and purchase the necessary equipment to ensure the accurate production of JetQuad unmanned aerial vehicles. In addition, several additional prototypes will be created in preparation for the transition to the creation of a production model. Then it is planned to expand the marketing potential in order to quickly increase sales to interested parties.
Video of the first tests of the world’s first jet drone powered by diesel fuel AB5 JetQuad “Vezdelet”.