THROUGH OUR INNOVATIVE MID-AIR RECHARGING TECHNOLOGY AND PATENT PORTFOLIO, FLIGHT OF THE CENTURY, INC. AND OUR INVESTORS HOLD THE KEYS TO THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC AVIATION.
ENABLING LONG-RANGE & INFINITE RANGE ELECTRIC FLIGHT: The Flight of the Century team has developed a solution to replace and/or recharge electric battery packs while an electric aircraft is in flight by a patent-pending mid-air “refueling” technique of dropping and swapping battery packs from a moving airplane. Our technology eliminates “range anxiety” by immediately enabling extended range all the way up to unlimited range electric powered flights using today’s commercial off the shelf (COTS) batteries. In the image gallery above, a futuristic scene is set where an over-ocean electric flight is enabled by UAV battery pack launch and recover stations adapted from oil rigs, and battery pack recharging in the ocean is accomplished with wind turbines located on the repurposed platforms.
INFINITE RANGE: With our technology, infinite range is achieved by “flying battery packs” in the form of UAVs full of batteries that detach and glide away from an electric “mothership” airplane once their internal batteries are depleted, and then autonomously fly down to a ground or ocean-based recharging station. Simultaneously, a freshly charged UAV battery pack is launched and flies up to rendezvous and dock with the still-flying electric mothership airplane as a replacement for the recently jettisoned, depleted UAV pack. During the transition, the mothership uses it’s internal battery pack. The image gallery shows a UAV battery pack hard-docked on top of the flying mothership. The implementation we are building at the present uses a trailing tether based soft-dock approach to sidestep the complexities of mid-air hard docking for the initial phase-1 infinite range flight demonstration we are preparing.
40% GREATER RANGE: For missions where re-docking a UAV battery is not feasible per our infinite range approach above, our jettison-only technology enables a >40% range improvement by a single in-flight jettison of a UAV battery pack (or a depleted battery pack on a parachute) over a predetermined recovery location. The range improvement is due to the significant airframe weight reduction resulting from the one-time drop. A typical mission would see half the total battery pack weight being jettisoned after 30%-50% of the flight has been completed.
90% GREATER RANGE: If the operator is willing to do more than one drop during flight, then a >90% range improvement comes from sequentially consuming then dropping depleted battery pack segments at regular intervals during the electric flight. For example, rather than build a single, monolithic battery pack consisting of a number of parallel packs interconnected, our technology reconfigures the same overall pack capacity into a series of smaller discreet packs, each providing the full system voltage, but which are switched on-line one by one, depleted individually, and then dropped by parachute while the remaining packs are rebalanced for optimum CG while the next pack is switched on-line. With our patent-pending approach, the range of today’s electric airplanes is doubled by breaking current large packs into 10 smaller packs, and making 10 drops at equal intervals during the extended range flight. The extraordinary promise of this technology is that it instantly doubles the range of today’s airplanes, using today’s batteries, with a technology that is surprisingly simple and cost-effective to implement.
NO BATTERY LEFT BEHIND: Of course, since we’re a very green enterprise, all jettisoned battery packs are precisely dropped via parachute over our collection stations, where they are recharged and reused for the next flight!