- Photo: Whisper Aero
“Many people only think about how to get into the air as quickly as possible. We truly see ourselves as part of a new generation of distributed electric propulsion. It is cleaner, quieter, and more efficient.”Ian Villa, COO of Whisper Aero
Less noise through innovative propulsion technologies.
The broad societal debate about the framework for air and delivery taxis has not even begun yet, but critics and proponents of vertical mobility agree on one central point: the noise impact on citizens will play a significant role.
Whisper Aero is a tech startup based in Tennessee that plans to unveil the most advanced electric propulsion system to the public in 2023. The company, which also works for the US Department of Defense, has been quietly working on its innovative propulsion technology since February 2021 and has revealed few details about its product so far. It wasn’t until the spring of 2023 that Ian Villa, COO and Chief Product Officer of Whisper Aero, announced that the company would offer various models of its propulsion system with different power levels. The company’s focus is not limited to the aerospace industry alone. Whisper Aero’s quiet and efficient thrust technology can also be scaled for smaller ground-based products. “We are in the business of air movement,” added Villa.
In the aerospace field, Whisper Aero is focused on delivering quieter and more efficient thrust for drones and electric fixed-wing aircraft. “We have developed this new technology that can be scaled for drones, jets, and potentially in the future, eVTOL propulsion,” Villa said. Whisper Aero’s propulsion system is about 20 decibels quieter than “even the quietest electric devices out there.”
To test the new technology, Whisper Aero built a 25 kg drone prototype and equipped it with its ultra-quiet propulsion system. Villa emphasized that Whisper Aero is not interested in developing aircraft for everyday business operations and that the drone is only used to test the novel propulsion concept.
There have been few announcements regarding further details and technical implementation. The only thing Villa, who is also a co-founder of the company, reveals about the propulsion is that it is based on fundamental physical principles. “It goes back to the basic principles. Many people forget to consider the basic principles,” he said. “In the aviation industry, there are many advantages of electric motors and distributed electric propulsion that few people have thought about. Many people only think about how to get into the air as quickly as possible. We truly see ourselves as part of a new generation of distributed electric propulsion. It is cleaner, quieter, and more efficient.”