The Horizon Autocopter
A Large 4/5/7 Seat SUV Above, the Horizon 4/5 Seat Personal Transport / Small Air Taxi
Below, the Horizon Larger 6/8 Seat Air Taxi or Luxury Personal Transport
The essence of an Autocopter is that it should be as easy to fly as drive a car, as safe
to fly in as travel by car, able to fly over cities and at night, cruise at high speed for a
helicopter, provide a smooth and relaxed flight at low altitude and, finally, for non-
professional pilots, involve no more training than required for a fixed-wing a/c.
For the Autocopter this means a high degree of engine, drive system, rotor and flight
control system redundancy, plus flight control and planning software that protects the
pilot and passengers from collisions with terrain and obstacles as well as entering into
unsafe flight regimes or exceeding the safe flight envelope.
Carbon Neutral and Carbon Zero
The Autocopter has been designed to use a combination of power sources and fuels.
With gas turbine engines it can fly of normal jet fuel, diesel, biofuel or, preferably,
synthetic jet fuel. Biofuel, e.g. E85, would make the aircraft carbon neutral but limit its
speed and range. Synthetic jet fuel, made most easily using CO2 taken from the
atmosphere, would make it carbon zero and with no limitations on speed and range.
The aircraft’s flight controls are all fly-by-wire in an architecture that goes under the
name of ‘Distributed IMA’. Three channels are used with ‘deep’ diagnostics in all of the
distributed modules. The flight control system shares hardware and software with the
aircraft’s powerful Health and Usage system.
Easy to Fly
‘Easy to Fly’ implies that much of the routine flying done by the aircraft will be ‘hands
off’ in that with known take-off and landing sites, the primary duty of the pilot will be
to ‘see and avoid’. Otherwise, flying will be semi-autonomous (i.e. between levels 3 and
4 in automobile terms), as will flight planning, even in crowded airspace like the UK’s.
The modular nature of the technology will enable Horizon to build a large variety of
aircraft that are essentially optimised to suite a variety of missions. The 3 to 4 seat
aircraft will make most of their sales in the Personal Transport and Air Taxi segments.
The 2-seaters are essentially high-speed sport machines. Utility and Military machines
will be much more highly configured to a specific mission.