Press & News Releases

April 24, 2019

First Carbon Fiber Tandem-Duct Airframe Ready for Integration

Los Angeles, CA April 24, 2019 – The first pre-production carbon fiber airframe for a tandem-duct vehicle has been completed by Aerofex and Sub-g Composites. The airframe includes integral carbon fiber ducts, which play a key role carrying flight and ground loads. The use of carbon fiber was crucial to...
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October 10, 2018

Tests Confirm Performance of a Vertical Lift Propeller

Los Angeles, CA October 2018 – Aerofex has successfully tested a propeller developed specifically for ducted fans. The purpose of the test was to characterize the distribution of lift across the blades. The results matched predictions over the length of the blades, producing twice the flow of conventional propellers at the tips.

The blades were designed to move the center of thrust outboard and prevent stall in ground effect. The test articles were assembled into a three-bladed fan and spun to Mach .68. Although the fan was not tuned to maximize thrust for these tests, it generated 8% greater lift than the best off-the-shelf alternative.

The blades are well-suited for vehicles in which multiple propellers spin in opposing directions – such as large multi-rotor UAVs. Their tooling ensures equal thrust for both clockwise and counterclockwise models – eliminating the imbalance discovered in off-the-shelf propellers.

Future tests will determine if a variant of the blade produces similarly high static thrust without the duct, for light-sport aircraft, sea-planes, and air-boats.

Aerofex is a California based aero-tech firm working to further the utility of flight.

September 19, 2018

Aerofex Develops Blades Optimized for Ducted Fans

Los Angeles, CA September 2018 – Aerofex has developed a method to fabricate blades designed specifically for ducted fans. The blades are shaped to optimize static thrust and capitalize on the aerodynamic benefits of the duct. They are designed to enhance the performance of vertical take-off aircraft and drones.

The effort required development of a low-cost and repeatable method to fabricate the dual lofted surfaces of the blades. The resulting process is a form of resin transfer molding using carbon-fiber pre-forms and aluminum tooling. The low-cost approach allowed Aerofex to iterate the design of the blades to optimize performance, and create counter and clockwise rotating blades without the prohibitive cost of retooling as required by more traditional molding methods.

The current blades are designed for 40-45” diameter fans and the process could be extended for blades up to 72” diameter. Work is on-going to apply the same molding technique to fabrication of a test article duct structure.

Aerofex is a Los Angeles based aero-tech development firm whose goal is to lower the boundaries to the benefits of flight.

December 31, 2015

Second International Patent Granted for Aerofex Control Technology

Los Angeles, CA December 2015 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex) has been granted its second international patent for the Aero-X control technology.

Japan joins China and the United States in recognizing the novel and unique attributes of Peripheral Control Ejectors (PCE) for controlling ducted fan vehicles. The technology is applicable to unmanned aerial vehicles as well as the piloted craft on which it was developed.

The Japanese patent is significant as Japan leads the world in aerial application by unmanned aircraft (ie, crop dusting by drone). Roughly 2,300 remotely piloted aerial vehicles spray about 85% of Japanese crops. It is projected that by 2025 the number will increase to 160,000 vehicles worldwide. The PCE technology is directly applicable to this emerging market due to its heavy lift, enclosed rotors, and tolerance of rugged environments. For similar reasons the Chinese patent is important, as China is the largest manufacturer of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles in the world.

Together with the US patent, the three patents for the control system bolster a growing intellectual property portfolio covering the enabling technologies at the core of the Aero-X and derivative platforms.

Aerofex is a closely held Los Angeles based aero-development firm. The company’s goal is to bring to market a family of low-altitude platforms offering disruptive capabilities.

March 28, 2015

Aerofex Awarded International Patent for Ducted-Fan Technology

Los Angeles, CA March 20, 2015 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex) has been issued an international patent for its ducted-fan technology. The patent is Aerofex’s first international patent, and becomes an essential component of a growing portfolio covering vertical flight technology.

The patented technology augments the thrust and provides a means of control of fixed-pitch ducted fans. The technology is applicable to unmanned and manned aerial vehicles, and has been proven in flight.

Aerofex is a privately-held aero-tech development firm located in Los Angeles, California. Aerofex’s mission is to the lower the boundaries to the benefits of flight.

February 15, 2015

Aerofex named 2014 Inspiration Award Recipient

Los Angeles, CA February 15, 2015 – Aerofex is honored to be named a recipient of the 2014 Inspiration Award from Hearst Business Media for launch of the Aero-X.

The Aero-X is a two person low-altitude aerial utility vehicle designed to bridge the gap between all-terrain vehicles and light aircraft. Since its launch in May of 2014, Aerofex has received orders from forward-looking enthusiasts and interest from the industrial sector seeking cost-effective alternatives for tasks typically performed by helicopter.

Based on its predecessor – a single-man prototype that has been flying since 2011, the Aero-X promises to lower the boundaries to thrilling and useful flight. The prototype currently serves as a test-bed for the systems that will go into the Aero-X. It will resume flying this summer to demonstrate the dual string controls that are a feature of the Aero-X.

Aerofex Corporation is a privately held aero-tech development firm located in Los Angeles, CA. Its goal is to bring to fruition technologies that will lower the barriers to the benefits of flight.

February 18, 2014

Fourth Patent Awarded to Aerofex for Intuitive Personal Flight

Manhattan Beach, CA February 18, 2014 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex) has been granted a United States patent for its “Integrated Air-Vehicle Control System”.  The patent is part of a growing intellectual property portfolio covering aerial utility vehicle technology that includes four issued patents in the US, and numerous applications pending both in the US and internationally.

The patented technology is considered a critical enabler of intuitive personal flight.  It integrates an ejector control system with a pilot interface and unique vehicle configuration to enable intuitive piloting of aerial vehicles with much greater size and utility than have been possible to date.  The technology was developed and has been proven in flight on Aerofexʼs manned test-bed.

The integrated flight control system was developed on company funds and the patent has been assigned to Aerofex.  Aerofex is an aero-tech development firm focused on advancing technologies that will lower the barriers to the utility of flight.

April 9, 2013

Novel Ducted-Fan Control Technology Granted US Patent

Manhattan Beach, CA April 9, 2013 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex), announced today the issuance by the United States Patent and Trademark Office of a US Patent for its “Peripheral Control Ejector” technology. The patent covers a revolutionary alternative to the conventional – and complex method of control employed by helicopters.

The patented technology employs a peripheral ejector to augment thrust and generate control moments from a fixed-pitch ducted fan. Ejectors are known to increase the thrust and efficiency of a jet stream. Utilizing ejector phenomena for thrust augmentation and control of ducted fans is a unique and novel development, as recognized by the issuance of the patent.

The technology is applicable to unmanned and manned aerial vehicles. The control system will provide new capabilities to unmanned platforms, and enable lower-cost manned aircraft. It was developed and demonstrated on Aerofexʼs flying test-bed.

The patent has been assigned to Aerofex and is part of a growing intellectual property portfolio related to vertical flight technology.  Aerofex is a privately held aero-tech development firm driven to advance technologies that will lower the barriers to the utility of flight.

August 16, 2012

Intuitive Flight on a Counter-Intuitive Vehicle

Mojave Desert, CA August 16, 2012 – A counter-intuitive aerial vehicle is demonstrating intuitive stability and control in test flights over the Southern California desert. The manned craft developed by Aerofex, places the pilot above its tandem-ducts rather than below as one might expect. The positioning puts the pilot in a familiar riding position from which the craft takes cues to produce stable flight without artificial stabilization. Used by Aerofex as a test-bed for developing manned and unmanned aerial vehicle technology, its utility as a manned platform may in time rival the unmanned variants it spawns.

Unlike the small flying platforms of the 1950’s, the vehicle’s size is too great for the pilot to influence alone. Instead a unique interface tracks his movements and commands aerodynamic controls that influence the vehicle accordingly. The result is intuitive piloting with very little training.  “Sometimes you see something work and think ‘Oh of course, that makes sense’, and then it’s as if it’s always been that way. Right up until we proved the concept, even one of our brightest engineers was certain it would roll right over” states Mark De Roche, the company’s CTO and Founder. “Its an understandable way of thinking, as our minds tend to consider stability in static terms, rather than dynamic.”

While there are currently no stated plans to productize the craft, the piloted test-bed is reviving a promising configuration that was last flown in the 1960’s. Abandoned at the time due to complexity and high pilot workload, the tandem-duct configuration is showing new potential for manned and unmanned applications as a result of technology developed with the test-bed. A more capable version of the vehicle is due to start flying in October to investigate three related technologies to further simplify vertical flight.

Aerofex Corporation is a developer of manned and unmanned aerial-vehicle technology. The company’s goal is to increase access to the benefits and utility of flight. Since its inception, Aerofex has participated in the development of advanced spacecraft and experimental aircraft for numerous organizations. Aerofex has been awarded patents for aviation and propulsion technology as well as FAA approvals for products in the air-transport industry. Aerofex is located in Manhattan Beach, California.

January 18, 2012

Flying Demonstrator Unveiled at Future Vertical Lift Conference

San Francisco, CA January 18, 2012 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex) presented its recent technical developments at the American Helicopter Society Future Vertical Lift Conference in San Francisco this week.  The presentation showcased an ejector control system for ducted fan craft that augments thrust and replaces cyclically variable rotors – the type used in helicopters, with a simpler more cost-effective alternative.

Aerofex was represented at the specialistʼs conference by Mark De Roche its Founder, Chief Technology Officer, and experienced aerospace engineer. His presentation included a video demonstrating the effectiveness of the control system on a manned aerial vehicle performing a sequence of basic flight maneuvers at low-altitude. It was the first time the test-bed vehicle had been shown in public.

The presentation accompanied a technical paper, published and distributed through the American Helicopter Society.

Aerofex Corporation is a privately held aero-tech development firm located in Manhattan Beach, California. Its goal is to advance technologies that will lower the boundaries to the benefits of flight.

November 15, 2011

Patented Concept Vehicle Promises to Fly Like a Bike

Manhattan Beach, CA November 15, 2013 – Aerofex Inc. (Aerofex), announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued it a US Patent for its “Augmented Kinesthetic Control System for Aerial Vehicles”. The patent covers an aerial-vehicle configuration in which the pilot is placed between and above two ducted fans aligned fore and aft in tandem. The unique configuration enables a rider to pilot the vehicle with the same feel and intuitive responses as riding a bike.

Unlike the flying-ducts of the 1950ʼs, the patented configuration increases the utility of the platform by providing a more versatile layout, and reduces pilot training through a familiar riding position.

The technology was developed on company funds and the patent has been assigned to Aerofex. Aerofex is an aero-tech development firm focused on advancing technologies that will lower the barriers to the utility of flight.