The Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle developer Baykar has revealed the first flights of its CEZERİ eVTOL prototype, a year-and-a-half after the project first launched in January 2019.
A video posted to the company’s social channels on Sept. 15 shows the 230-kilogram (500-pound) quadcopter performing both day and nighttime flights at the Baykar National SİHA R&D and Production Center.
According to Baykar, tethered flight testing started on Friday, Sept. 11. The aircraft progressed to free flight testing on Sept. 14 and 15, reaching a maximum altitude of 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground.
Baykar technical manager Selçuk Bayraktar said the company will proceed to develop more advanced prototypes of the autonomous aircraft, and will perform test flights with humans on board. But the company won’t be rushing CEZERİ to market. While recreational use of the aircraft may be viable in three to four years, Bayraktar said, the company estimates it will be 10 to 15 years before it is used for urban air transport.
Baykar unveiled the CEZERİ prototype at the second annual Teknofest in Istanbul, Turkey, last September. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the single-seat aircraft uses eight brushless DC motors and propellers, and has a target range of 70 to 80 kilometers (43 to 50 miles), cruise speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), and endurance of about an hour.
The aircraft is named after Ismail al-Jazari, the 12th-century Muslim engineer and polymath who wrote The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices. Baykar, established in 1984, produces armed and non-armed drones, control systems, simulators, and avionics systems.