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Novel electric turbines to power the VTOL drone & aircraft revolution

European Union
Geo-spatial type
Total project cost
€71 429
EU Contribution
€50 000
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Deployment planning/Financing/Market roll-out


Call for proposal
Link to CORDIS
Background & Policy context

The sky’s the limit for the future of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. There is incredible and remarkable progress being made beyond their decades-long use as special-purpose and military applications. However, vertical take-off and landing aircrafts (VTOL) have seen their use limited to special-purpose & military applications. By 2017, companies like Lilium Aviation and others started showcasing prototypes of electric “flying cars”. The key problem with these prototypes is that they require an efficient & reliable electric propulsion technology to be able to lift off their payload of 1-2 people. This propulsion technology must also support transition from VTOL to linear flight, otherwise its energy consumption will not allow any useful applications.




In this context, the EU-funded Apollo project will help bring to market an electric turbine technology with static thrust for VTOL and dynamic thrust for linear flight. This is the first solution to support the industrialisation of VTOL technology. What is more, these electric turbines are up to four times more efficient than other electric ducted fans. This innovation enables the design of novel, much safer VTOL drones for operation in congested urban areas and over dangerous industrial sites.

European Sustainable Propulsion brings to the market the first solution able to support the industrialization of VTOL development—an electric turbine technology with both static thrust for VTOL & dynamic thrust for linear flight.

Apollo electric turbines are 2-4x more efficient than other electric ducted fans, support tilt-free transition from VTOL to linear flight, are compact and are designed to enable scalable distributed electric propulsion. Our unique innovation enables design of novel, much safer VTOL drones for operation in congested urban areas & on dangerous industrial sites, allowing us to commercialize it to both to the current nascent market of passenger VTOL manufacturers, as well as to the upcoming heavy-duty VTOL market.

Our analysis shows the target markets for commercialization of Apollo of €13.75bn+ for passenger VTOLs and €690bn+ for heavy-duty drones in verticals such as oil & gas, construction, security & others.

In 2017 we were featured in Wired as a refreshingly realistic technology among other VTOL & drone-enabling technologies. Athena, the 1st generation of Apollo family turbines, are now under testing in FR, US & CA. Japanese Fire & Disaster Management Agency has just signed the purchase order for it.
By selling Apollo electric turbines to other VTOL drone manufacturers (short-term) & by building or own heavy-duty drones (long-term) we aim at €30m by 2022.


Specific funding programme
H2020-EU.2.3. - INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP - Innovation In SMEs
H2020-EU.3. - PRIORITY 'Societal challenges
H2020-EU.2.1. - INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP - Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
€50 000


Technology Theme
Aircraft design and manufacturing
Vertical take-off and landing personal aerial vehicle
Development phase

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