A radical tilt engine design may simplify eVTOL system designs. Coriolis g Corps’ new approach as flight tested in their Vogi 1 model decouples the
Aston Martin threw its hat into the electric aircraft ring at the Farnborough Airshow 2018 with its Volante Vision.
Revealing few details, and being coy about whether the PR would ever crystallise into reality, the company outlined a three person eVTOL aircraft which could begin testing in just two years’ time.The company’s partners in the project are Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Cranfield University and Rolls-Royce helping develop the concept, with design work done by Aston Martin themselves.
The aircraft uses a combination of two tilt-rotors at the front and a rear lift rotor, all powered by a hybrid electric motor provided by Rolls-Royce’s electrical division. This eVTOL capability would allow the aircraft to use helicopter landing pads, removing the need for specialised ground facilities.
Cranfield University provides the vehicle’s autonomous navigation systems and user interface accessed via an all-glass cockpit canopy.
The project may build a prototype in the next two years, putting the project in competition with proposed aerial cars from several other companies. Most of these are proposed as air-taxis for general rather than personal use, a factor that plays well into the economics of their operation.
Aston Martin see the prospect of personalised low altitude flight as a next step in transport and mobility, in particular for the luxury market, but with the added benefit of creating jobs and fostering technological innovation.
Aston Martin marketing chief Simon Sproule said the craft would “be able to do London to Paris non-stop in about an hour…Birmingham to London could be done in half an hour.”
As an example of the ideas flying around electric aircraft these days, there are few to match the style of the Volante Vision. In comparison, Zunum’s updated corporate jet is a new spin on the tube with wings; the Volocopter is a helicopter diced into a myriad of tiny rotors. The Vision, however, is something James Bond might use, sleek, stylish, and just as fictional – for now.