Neoptera Aero applied for its first patents for the eOpter concept in December 2017. Since then it has built and flown a sub-scale model of a design featuring a tail-sitting fuselage with eight propellers on tandem wings. As of November 2019, the privately-owned company was seeking funding to build and fly a half-scale model. It intends to certify the aircraft under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency's SC-VTOL special condition rules and hopes to achieve this with a four-seat version of the aircraft by the end of 2026.
The company estimates that it might need up to around $100 million in fresh investment to achieve certification and service entry. Initially, it needs around $5 million to complete the half-scale model and a further $15 million to build a full-scale prototype. Ideally, it would like to find a risk-sharing partner to take the aircraft into production.
The piloted, electric aircraft would transition from vertical to horizontal flight by pitching the aircraft forwards from its tail-mounted landing position through the application of higher levels of thrust from the rear wing propellers. It believes that by its projected service-entry date battery technology will support all-electric power but has made provision for a hybrid-electric alternative.
Initially, Neoptera Aero sees the eOpter aircraft being used for public service operations, such as humanitarian aid, before entering service for commercial urban air mobility.
The company is involved in NASA's Transformative Vertical Flight program.