Neva Aerospace, a UK-based consortium developing heavy-duty drones for the industrial and commercial markets, announced release of the first electric turbo-fans (ETF) optimised for VTOL and STOL UAS operation on 9 December. The company claims that electro-static thrust turbo-fans are ser to replace rotors in unmanned aviation and will unlock innovation across the industry.

Claimed to be two to four times as efficient as existing electric ducted fans, the Neva ATHENA ETF use the company’s patented distributed thrust concept and a unique turbofan housing design that boosts thrust without compromising on weight saving. Ten ATHENA fans across a surface of less than 1.5m diameter will be able to lift drones of over 25kg, according to company engineers. The technology is scalable, limited only by battery energy density.

Robert Vergnes, Neva chairman and co-founder said: “The revolutionary market impact of static thrust turbo-fans for drones is akin to what the introduction of touch-screens was to smartphones.  Neva’s static thrust turbines are easy to use, efficient, and enable developers to implement broader functionality.”


The ATHENA ETF is two to four times more efficient than existing solutions (Photo: Neva Aerospace)

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