British giant GKN offers eVTOL concept for 30-50 peopleFebruary 9, 2021
In the nascent new urban aviation market, it is rare to find air taxi projects for more than five passengers. However, the British aerospace giant GKN Aerospace conceived something more – a flying bus with 30-40 seats, allowing you to rise above the polluted streets and traffic jams.
GKN Aerospace’s Skybus project is different from what most startups are developing. This is not eVTOL, which functions as a flying taxi or shuttle, but a full-fledged urban public transport capable of transporting a large number of passengers at a time along the established route. According to GKN representatives, this approach allows to reduce travel time within the city while maintaining accessibility, as well as reduce the load on ground public transport and free up roads for everyone else, writes New Atlas.
While such an aircraft does not exist, the project is at the stage of feasibility assessment. But he poses interesting questions for engineers: for example, what kind of infrastructure is needed for this type of transport to appear? What will be the energy costs if the cabin is enlarged? And how powerful should the charging stations be then? Perhaps it will be more convenient to use hydrogen fuel cells?
The illustration accompanying the press release shows a quadcopter with rotary propelleBritish giant GKN offers eVTOL concept for 30-50 peoplers and two pairs of wings for efficient horizontal takeoff. However, there is no guarantee that the prototype will look like the picture and whether it will appear at all. Four propellers are too small for flight safety.
GKN’s partners in this project are Swanson Aviation Consultancy, Pascall + Watson and Connected Places Catapult. GKN itself owns 48 factories in 14 countries around the world that produce components for the assembly of fuselages, engines, landing equipment and other components for the aerospace industry and has vast experience in this industry.
The initiative of the GKN Aerospace group of companies is part of the government’s Future Flight Challenge program, for which the UK has allocated £ 125 million, plus another £ 175 allocated to the industrial sector. The funds will go to finance projects related to electric aviation, air cargo delivery, air control systems, autonomous drones, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and other related technologies.
The six-seat air taxi was presented at the beginning of the year by the British company Autonomous Flight. The engineers decided to rely on three screws. On the one hand, it is cheaper, on the other, it is more difficult to maintain directional stability during flight.
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