Whisper Aero propulsors ready to blow garden equipment sector wide open
Whisper Aero has revealed its propulsor technology, scaled for garden leaf blowers, is ready to commercialise and the firm is looking for a partner.
The startup, which is primarily focused on developing its Whisper Drive propulsor technology for aviation use cases, has begun diversifying into other sectors almost by chance. Out of curiosity, around a year ago Whisper engineers modified one of their decommissioned early generation propulsors with some 3D printed parts into a leaf blower. The results were “astounding” and prompted the decision to begin scaling down its propulsor technology so it can be integrated into a leaf blower.
However, Whisper is not building a leaf blower, rather it is looking to partner with an outdoor equipment company to bring a Whisper Drive-enabled leaf blower to market. According to the firm, the leaf blower industry is ready for disruption. In 2022, 72% of products on the market have a combustion engine. Also, in the US, leaf blower usage is banned or restricted in over 200 areas, including the entire state of California.
Whisper Aero CEO, Mark Moore tells Revolution.Aero: “We want to build a future that’s as considerate as it is compelling and the leaf blower is one of many points along that path. It’ll be even more exciting once everyone can buy one.
“We’re assessing each market/product in context – the market for leaf blowers has some key differences than the market for aircraft engines. We’re a propulsion startup first and foremost, so we evaluate how our Whisper Drives can best be integrated for products customers will love. This helps us understand when it makes sense to build and produce or when it makes sense to partner and license.”
Whisper has built and tested a number of leaf blower prototypes and now claims any commercially available product will 16 dBA less or 40x quieter at 50ft away, with 40% more airflow and 40% less energy use than competitors.
The startup firmly believes aerospace-grade engineering coupled with affordability is the key to “unlocking game-changing innovations”. Developments across any field Whisper chooses to enter all feed back into developing the overall technology further with the ultimate aim of certifying for aviation use cases.
“Our expansion into other sectors is built upon the same core tech foundation,” explains Moore. “As we innovate across different individual products, we will continue to roll benefits and learnings into our broader product portfolio, which in turn will strengthen our IP and our revenue streams.”
Beyond leaf blowers, Whisper says the propulsor technology has applications across the outdoor equipment sector, from traditional blowers and industrial fans to dryers and dust collection systems.
For example, ultra-quiet, low-cost air drives are a necessary unlock for commercial drone applications like drone delivery and drone first responder, stresses the startup. Early analysis using Whisper’s newly developed thrusters shows that drones can achieve 100mph cruise speeds, with payloads greater than 6lbs, over 40 miles, whilst blending into the soundscapes of urban and suburban communities at an altitude of 50ft.