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Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2019-11-30

World urban population is expected to grow by 2.5B in 2050, causing severe delays to commuter, freight and first responder mobility. This costs Europe €100B yearly and is anticipated to cause a productivity loss of €238.7 billion annually for UK, France, Germany and the USA in 2030. Various proactive actions have been proposed in recent years, with exciting developments emerging in air urban mobility, focused on personal vertical lift off, VTOL, aircraft. Many solutions developed so far are mostly electric powered limiting flight endurance to a maximum of 30 minutes due to immature battery technology, unreliable safety, bulky design (rotor configuration >4m) and excessive noise.
As VB Hi-Tech Ventures, our start-up company specialising in the design of personal flying devices, we re developing Audax Aero, a VTOL aircraft designed to improve flight distance to a range of 300km/2 hours without refuelling, while improving pilot safety thanks to a hybrid propulsion system that also reduce noise levels. Our target users are first responders, cargo delivery companies, commuters and recreational industry who need quick transportation and improved mobility to inaccessible areas. We are targeting the UAVs for first responder market projected to reach €106B in 2019, UAV market which is expected to grow by €1.69B from 2016 to 2023 and VTOL market which is expected to reach €4.3B in 2026.
Technical feasibility completed.
Market analysis completed.
Financials and Business plan taking into account contingencies completed.
Risk register completed.
SWOT analysis performed.
IP strategy defined with a major IP law firm.
The international patent at PCT stage has been published (WO2019145694A1).
We submitted the final patent to the UK patent office, next are EU, USA, Japan, Australia, China, Russia.
The personal flying device AUDAX AERO proposes a revolutionary ultra-light, ultra-safe and ultraquiet, patent-pending, personal vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) device.
Key features are the following: ultralight FAA category, safety redundant, silent, compact, fast, Unprecedented Time Before Overhaul (TBO), Easy to pilot and transport.
The device reaches all such outstanding specifications by combining several elements in a novel way. A ducted contra-rotating fan set discharging to two separate thrust vectoring nozzle exhausts is used. Such a fan is nearly torque neutral, of compact in size, very efficient, very safe and silent since the rotor blades are encased. A series hybrid drivetrain (a state of the art two-stroke engine combined with a novel yokeless axial flux electric motor) for driving the contra-rotating fan provides a redundant, diverse and silent propulsion for the use in an emergency in case the two-stroke engine has failed and during take-off and landing when also a quiet electric motor drives the thrust generating fan of the device. Further, this hybrid system can also contribute to improved fuel economy, time before overhaul (TBO) and flight performance (increased speed and range) since it allows the two-stroke engine to be used at a fraction of its maximum power during the most stressing flying phase, i.e. take-off and it offers a power boost option.
For enhanced safety, the device is further equipped with a ballistic parachute and for very low altitudes (below 80m) with a third diverse and independent propulsion emergency system, small solid state rockets. A robust and simple mechanical control system addresses all the flight dynamic issues ensuring stability and good static and dynamic performance over all the forecasted flight conditions.

As for timing, the design is conceived to use existing commercial components, materials and design /analysis methods which are between TRL6 and TRL9 allowing the construction of a prototype for a reliable and safe fly-off in 1 year with an estimated 1.5 Mn Euro. Several items, including safety critical ones, are aerospace-grade. Fundraising is also ongoing, and it is expected to provide sufficient resources for the construction of a prototype.

This device represents a dramatic step improvement in safety, quietness, ease of use and performance in comparison with the current state of the art vehicles and as such it will finally allow a safe and popular personal flying.
Audax Aero is targeting 2 user groups:
• First responders/Government agencies: Fire fighters, police and rescue services are adopting drones to increase efficiency of their services, by reducing time to reach accidents in congested/inaccessible areas.
• Extreme adventure seekers: There is an increased interest in the participation of outdoor recreational activities and adventure sports. This is due to general growth of the tourism market in the recent years and
growing demand for the unique experiences. Recent reports show growing preference of adventure over conventional tourism activities.
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