In early January of 2015, a Kickstarter campaign was initiated to obtain the necessary funds ($15,000) to purchase the most expensive components of the drone, the four jet-engines. Although the funding goal was never reached, the campaign greatly helped FusionFlight in growing its online visibility and advancing the JetQuad design to better meet today’s market demands.
One of these new designs, the JetQuad Type-L, features a Cannon Mark III camera on an aerodynamic gimbal and is capable of a maximum velocity of 400mph and a flight-duration of 45-minutes (seen in the photo to the right).
Beyond developing products, FusionFlight has also been developing as a company. About six months ago, Keith Ciccotello has joined the company as the Chief Operations Officer. Keith brings years of experience in Industrial Design and Tele-Communications to push the frontiers of the company’s drone technology even further. In April, Eugene Taits (Ph.D. Physics) has also joined the company as the Senior Science Advisor. Eugene has over 30 years of experience in developing smart optimization algorithms and is actively advising Alex Taits (CEO/Founder of FusionFlight) in the development of an innovative control software for the JetQuad drone.
FusionFlight has also made great strides with the development of hardware. To develop a drone based on small jet-engines, it is very important to understand precisely how these engines perform. FusionFlight utilizes an Xtreme Turbines X24 jet-engine mounted on a custom made test-stand to test engine performance (seen in the photo to the left). FusionFlight has already conducted several tests to measure the response-delay of this particular jet-engine. Response-delay is a critical performance parameter of the engine that must be studied and accounted for before a JetQuad drone soars into the air.
Additionally, in April of 2015, FusionFlight has begun the construction of the first JetQuad prototype (seen in the photo to the right). The prototype features a flight-ready aluminum-chassis, four 24-ounce fuel tanks and four “mock” turbines. Eventually, these non-functional turbines will be swapped out for JetCat P180RX turbines and an electronics module will be installed on board. FusionFlight expects to have a preliminary software package ready by early 2016 and is looking forward for flight-testing the JetQuad, that same year. Of course, plenty of work has yet to be done, but FusionFlight remains steadfast in seeing this project through.