Astro Aerospace partners to create carbon-composite airframe for its eVTOL

Autonomous aircraft start-up Astro Aerospace has partnered with carbon-composites manufacturer Paterson Composites to build its upcoming autonomous passenger drone.

Paterson will build the entire airframe for Astro’s passenger drone at its facility in Toronto, Canada and its president and CEO Rob Paterson will be joining Astro Aerospace as an advisor to the design team.

The Astro Aerospace AA360 drone will be a fully-electric VTOL with both autonomous and manual flight capability and will be powered by 16 individual rotors.

Rob Paterson, CEO of Paterson Composites, said: “I’m pleased to be joining the Astro Design Team as its newest advisor, and look forward to offering my expertise to a project that will propel the aerial industry forward and take vehicular production a step into the future.

“I plan on helping the Passenger Drone project excel using my many years of project management experience, a passion for engineering and design and a personal commitment to creating innovative products for the world.”

The manufacturer opted for carbon composite material to build the airframe to reduce the aircraft’s weight, as well as eliminate magnetic interference with its on-board autonomous fibre-optic technology.

Whilst carbon composites have been used throughout aircraft for years, fully carbon-composite airframes are a recent development trend that many of the biggest manufacturers are working towards to help keep weight and costs down.

Airbus’s A350 XWB and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner were the first major commercial aircraft to feature a fully carbon composite airframe.

“We are elated by our new partnership with Paterson Composites, specialists in the work of carbon fibre, who will undoubtedly enable us, as a team, to build an aerial vehicle capable of aweing and serving the world,” says CEO of Astro Aerospace, Bruce Bent.

“We are also looking forward to the addition of Rob Paterson to the Astro Aerospace design team as its newest advisor. His guidance and project-management skills, which will be placed towards the construction of the passenger drone, are highly respected, credible, viable, and of course, appreciated as we embark on this journey.”