Breaking the Noise Barrier: Whisper Aero’s Silent and Thoughtful eVTOL Innovations

August 6, 2023
1 min read
Whisper Aero
Whisper Aero

In the burgeoning world of electric aviation, one company, Whisper Aero, is charting an unusual and promising course. Their recently unveiled ultra-quiet, electric propulsion system is turning heads, not just for its revolutionary noise-reduction capabilities, but also for its high efficiency and potential applications across the industry. At the heart of Whisper Aero’s innovation lies an unconventional “propulsion disc.” A fan, equipped with an abnormally large number of robust, stiff blades, all linked at the outer circumference by a shrouding ring for additional reinforcement. This unique design allows the propulsion unit to operate at flight-relevant RPMs while keeping the blade tip speed low due to the fan’s small diameter. But the most significant feature is Whisper’s ingenuity in pushing the “blade passage frequency” beyond 16,000 Hz, making it virtually silent to the human ear. A clever solution to the widespread concern regarding the intrusion of drones and aerial vehicles in urban settings.

Apart from creating an impressively silent propulsion unit, Whisper Aero has managed to make it highly efficient. Energy lost to noise is energy not converted to thrust. By reducing noise, Whisper has achieved up to 92% rotor efficiencies, even for smaller fan diameters. Acoustic testing reveals that Whisper’s 6-inch fan is almost inaudible from 200 feet away against a 30-decibel background noise. Whisper Aero’s quiet revolution doesn’t stop there. They showcased a “Whisper Jet” concept at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ 2023 Aviation Forum. The peculiar-looking jet uses a Blohm and Voss Outboard Horizontal Tail (OHT) configuration, not dissimilar to Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, and banks of propulsion units along its inner wing surfaces. On a full charge, it could potentially carry a pilot and nine passengers up to 200 miles at speeds of up to 288 mph.

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But the company is not necessarily interested in aircraft manufacturing. They envision their silent and efficient propulsion systems being integrated into a variety of applications, from short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft and drones to, eventually, eVTOL air taxis. It’s a pragmatic approach that positions Whisper Aero as a significant player in shaping the future of electric aviation.

With a focus on addressing one of the critical issues – noise pollution, the Whisper Aero technology presents a realistic solution to bring air travel closer to urban life. By ensuring a negligible noise footprint, it safeguards the tranquility of city landscapes while opening up avenues for more efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport. It seems that Whisper Aero is not only pioneering silent flight but is also striking a balance between innovation and sustainability. In an industry that’s all about moving fast, this Tennessee-based company teaches us that sometimes, it’s the quiet ones who make the most noise.

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