Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Phractyl eVTOL from Africa
Image courtesy Phractyl.


Phractyl is The ED-209 / V-22 Osprey Love Child You’ve Been Waiting For

Just kidding — literally no one has been waiting for this.

There’s no easy way to look at a digitally rendered robot chicken/transformer mashup and take it seriously as a business venture. It gets even more difficult when you watch the company’s pitch video, which features a voice-over poem packed with gems like, “It’s easy to escape our problems, but we think that’s premature; Because greener grass … also comes with its own manure.”


To their credit, the Phractyl does have some novel features. Like the Bell V-22 Osprey, the wings and props tilt up to give it helicopter-y vertical lift and pivot forward to fly like an airplane. It also looks like ED-209 from the Robocop movies, and I’d buy that for a dollar.

phractyl evtol

Image courtesy Phractyl.

Despite the clever (?) use of tilt-rotor tech and — uh, rhymes — the Phractyl promo video also talks about the ways an African-built eVTOL (or, in this case, NVTOL, for “nearly vertical take-off/landing”) could benefit Africa. They talk about manufacturing jobs, training kids in trades, combating poachers, and delivering medicine and supplies into the bush, where a conventional aircraft would have more difficulty than … whatever you’d call this thing. Not a UFO, as that’s taken.

So, maybe it could work, but a quick glance at it makes me think otherwise. The treaded “feet” would probably be heavy and awkward when “skis” would do. The motors and stabilizers needed for this thing to walk would have to be thoroughly engineered. Someone would have to be secure enough in themselves to fly a big robot parakeet. That sort of thing.

That’s just me, though — maybe I’m just old and cranky and this thing’s legit? You guys are pretty smart, so check out the video below, then let us know if you think these guys are serious in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Phractyl — Definitely Not a Scam, Probably

“We are PHRACTYL, a South African startup company on a quest to bring sustainable mobility to Africa. We are currently working on the development of a personal aerial vehicle. It would be extremely cool to be able to travel around in a clean energy “flying car”, but the project is also aimed at solving many other critical transportation challenges. This is especially relevant in the African context, where the land-based transport infrastructure is not well developed.”

Source | Images: Phractyl, via New Atlas.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


You May Also Like


After a very slow start, electric vehicle sales seem to be starting to gain some traction in South Africa. Sales of battery-electric vehicles breached...

Clean Transport

Kenya Power Lighting Company PLC (Kenya Power) owns and operates most of the electricity transmission and distribution system in Kenya. Kenya Power sells electricity...

Clean Power

South Africa is going through its worst ever period of electricity rationing. The national utility company Eskom has been forced to implement a load-shedding...


At the coal face of a conference that involved governmental figures, academics, logistics customers and OEMs, the detailed technical conversations are almost all about...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.