Kiwi: A New, More Capable Unmanned VTOL Platform

A. Bercu, W. Chen, C. Guan
Equals Zero Designs LLC, Virginia, United States

Keywords: drone, unmanned, VTOL, aircraft, weapons/cargo system

Project Kiwi is a low cost, high performance VTOL unmanned aerial weapons/cargo system capable of carrying a 250lb payload being developed by Equals Zero Designs LLC, a company started in 2012 by a team of Harvard and MIT engineers. Powered by 12 motors and 6 rotors, the Kiwi will be able to carry its payload at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour for up to an hour of flight time. Such a craft has a variety of both military and civilian applications. On the civilian side, the Kiwi can carry all sorts of passengers and cargo, and would particularly excel at transporting time-sensitive loads such as organs for transplant or patients to hospitals. On the military side, the Kiwi can mount a variety of weapons, from heavy machine guns to recoilless rifles or grenade launchers, and provide a level of close air support in environments unsuitable for conventional aircraft. The Kiwi’s best in class thrust-to-power, thrust-to-weight and run-time numbers are all grounded in real-world testing, and Equals Zero is on track to complete a fully operational prototype in the next few months. Our biggest opportunities are in refining the prototype and developing a range-extending hybrid jet/electric power system.