XTI Aircraft announced on Feb. 20 that it was on schedule and on budget as it completed the ducts and fans for its 60% scale flying prototype of the TriFan 600 aircraft, and moved toward ground testing those components (see “XTI Aircraft Refines Its TriFan 600 VTOL BizJet,” Vertiflite March/April 2018). The wing ducts for the prototype were received from Trek Aerospace in late March: the photo shows XTI founder Dave Brody (second from left) with the two ducts. “In this Phase 2,” explained Robert LaBelle, Chief Executive Officer of XTI, “we’re fabricating the wing ducts and fans and will perform ground tests for static thrust performance and verification on those components. We’ll also complete weight and balance, and full structural design. Fabrication of the entire aircraft will be completed in Phase 3, which will begin in April, followed by two or three months of testing before first flight later this year.” The company said it had received 60 orders for the airplane — each with a $25,000 refundable deposit — representing $390M in sales.
XTI Aircraft Refines its TriFan 600 VTOL BizJet Will the civil air transport sector accept a regional VTOL aircraft that is not a tiltrotor? Vertiflite looks at one company’s offering. By Robert W. Moorman Vertiflite, March/April 2018 Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) -capable aircraft other than helicopters are not yet part of business and commercial aviation fleets. But that could change someday. Although there is much work going on right now on fully-electric VTOL aircraft for the Uber Elevate mission and other intra-city applications (see “The eVTOL Is in the Details,” pg. 42), larger aircraft and longer distances will require hybrid-electric propulsion solutions in the foreseeable future. One contender is XTI Aircraft Company, which is well advanced with its TriFan 600, a hybrid-electric VTOL-capable aircraft now expected to enter production in 2022, two years earlier than originally planned, according to XTI CEO Robert LaBelle. Like many companies, XTI had its challenges early on. It was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur David Brody, who came up with the conceptual design of the TriFan 600. Based near Denver, Colorado, the company’s initial plan was to develop a more traditional propulsion system for the aircraft with two large turboshaft engines driving two tilting ducted propellers and a third fan in the fuselage. But the aircraft was heavy and expensive with a $12M price tag and therefore would likely have found a much smaller market. The program suffered a setback on Feb. 5, 2016, when XTI CEO Jeffrey Pino, the former president of Sikorsky Aircraft (and former chair of AHS International), was killed after his World War II P-51D Mustang crashed near Maricopa, Arizona. LaBelle became CEO in January 2017. During a lengthy interview with Vertiflite, LaBelle detailed changes to the design of the TriFan 600, the path to its certification and the direction of the company. A New Beginning One of LaBelle’s first priorities as the XTI leader was to come up with an efficient and lighter powerplant for the TriFan 600 that would reduce the unit and direct operating costs of the aircraft. Engineers determined that a hybrid-electric system would produce the most cost-effective and marketable solution. XTI brought in George Bye as chief engineer for the TriFan 600 program. Bye’s Denver-based company, Bye Aerospace, has experience in hybrid-electric propulsion and solar-powered aircraft. Bye developed the hybrid-electric propulsion system for the TriFan 600. Another key partner in the program is Trek Aerospace, which has unique duct and fan technology. Trek said that its core technology has the highest thrust-to-power ratio in the industry, so its shrouded props require less power, meaning greater range, payload capacity and endurance. The redesigned TriFan 600 will be powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system composed of a single 1,000 shp (750 kW) engine, such as the Honeywell HTS900, driving three generators, which, in turn, will provide electricity to the six electric motors that turn the three fans. In addition, in the vertical flight phase, the aircraft will be supplemented by batteries to provide needed power to the …
TriFan 600 XTI Aircraft Company Englewood, Colorado, USA http://www.xtiaircraft.com/ “Using three ducted fans, the TriFan 600 lifts off vertically and in seconds the two wing fans rotate forward for a seamless transition to high-speed flight. Within just 90 seconds, the airplane reaches cruise speed — where the lift is provided by the wings just like every other fixed-wing airplane. The fuselage-mounted fan, no longer needed, closes up. The airplane flies directly to its destination and reverses the process. Landing vertically right where it needs to be — wherever there’s a clear helipad-sized paved surface.” XTI Aircraft unveiled its TriFan 600 in August 2015 with a well-publicized equity crowdfunding (see “Industry Briefs,” Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2015). The six-seat, fixed-wing airplane uses three ducted fans to power the aircraft from vertical takeoff and landing to 340 kt (630 km/h) and a range of 650 nm for VTOL or 1,200 nm (2,222 km). The company is currently building a two-thirds-scale technology demonstrator powered by a single HTS900 turboshaft engine with first flight planned for September 2018, and a full-sized prototype in November 2019. The new XTI chief executive Bob LaBelle, formerly the CEO of AgustaWestland North America, announced in the March/April 2017 issue of Vertiflite that the TriFan 600 would feature a hybrid-electric drive system. Additionally, it was announced Trek Aerospace would partner on this project, providing top-of-the-line fans, extending the aircraft’s maximum range and increasing endurance. Resources: Search eVTOL news posts XTI Aircraft website XTI Aircraft page on StartEngine Press Release: XTI Aircraft Refines its TriFan 600 VTOL Bizjet, XTI Aircraft, March 5 2018 Article: XTI Aircraft Company Accepts More Orders for TriFan 600 Vertical Takeoff Airplane, PR Newswire, October 18, 2017 Article: XTI Trifan 600 Draws The Curious At NBAA, AOPA, October 11, 2017 Article: XTI Unveils Redesigned TriFan 600 VTOL, AIN Online, October 9, 2017 Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, March/April 2017 Video: XTI Aircraft Introduces Trifan 600, The Auto Channel, August 26, 2015 Tags: XTI, Vectored Thrust, Initial Design, 6 Passengers, Electric Hybrid, Piloted, VFS Member
More than 100 VTOL companies and organizations have joined the Vertical Flight Society. The following 50+ organizations are VFS corporate members engaged in electric VTOL development. Please go to www.vtol.org/corporate to be part of the world’s largest organization supporting vertical flight technology. Aircraft Developers A³ by Airbus 225 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113 www.vahana.aero Aircraft: Vahana Airbus Helicopters F-13725 Marignane Cedex, Aéroport International Marseille-Provence, France www.airbus.com Aircraft: Airbus CityAirbus, Pop.Up Next Airspace Experience Technologies, LLC 11499 Conner Street, Detroit, Michigan 48213 USA www.asx.us Aircraft: AirspaceX MOBi Aurora Flight Sciences 9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, Virginia 20110 USA www.aurora.aero Aircraft: Aurora eVTOL AutoflightX GmbH Friedrichshafener Str. 1, Gilching 82205 Germany www.autoflightx.com Aircraft: AutoFlightX BAT600 Bartini, Inc. 19421 Phil Lane, Cupertino, California 95014 USA www.bartini.aero Aircraft: Bartini Flying Car Bell 3255 Bell Flight Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76118 USA www.bellflight.com Aircraft: Bell Nexus Boeing Company 100 North Riverside, Chicago, Illinois, 60606 USA www.boeing.com Aircraft: Boeing Cargo Aerial Vehicle Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC 2730 Commerce Street, Suite 600, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301 USA www.cartercopters.com Aircraft: Carter Aviation Air Taxi Kitty Hawk Corporation 2700 Broderick Way, Mountain View, California 94043 USA www.kittyhawk.aero Aircraft: Kitty Hawk Cora, Kitty Hawk Flyer Jaunt Air Mobility, LLC www.jauntairmobility.com Aircraft: Jaunt Joby Aviation 340 Woodpecker Ridge, Santa Cruz, California 95060 USA www.jobyaviation.com Aircraft: Joby S4 Karem Aircraft, Inc. 1 Capital Drive, Lake Forest, California 92630 USA www.karemaircraft.com Aircraft: Karem Butterfly Leonardo Helicopters 3050 Red Lion Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19114 USA www.leonardocompany.com Aircraft: AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) * Formerly AgustaWestland. Lilium GmbH Gilching, Bavaria 82205 Germany www.lilium.com Aircraft: Lilium Jet Neoptera Aero Ltd 24 Rock Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS348PF United Kingdom neoptera.aero Aircraft: Neoptera eOpter NFT Inc. 4653 Table Mountain Drive, Golden, Colorado 80403 USA www.nftinc.com Aircraft: NFT eVTOL Piasecki Aircraft Corporation Second Street West, PO Box 360, Essington, Pennsylvania 19029-0360 USA www.piasecki.com Aircraft: Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel Vertical Solutions d.o.o. Vipavska cesta 2, Ajdovscina 5270 Slovenia www.pipistrel.si Aircraft: Pipistrel Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Inc. 275 Durley Avenue, Unit H-3, Hangar 2, Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California 93010 USA www.sabrewingaircraft.com Aircraft: Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company 6900 Main Street, Stratford, Connecticut 06601 USA www.lockheedmartin.com Aircraft: Sikorsky VERT Skyworks Global 9980 South 300 West, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84070 USA www.skyworks-global.com Terrafugia, Inc. 23 Rainin Road, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 USA www.terrafugia.com Aircraft: Terrafugia TF-X Top Flight Technologies 109 Madison Street, Malden, Massachusetts 02148 USA www.tflighttech.com Aircraft: Airborg™ H8 10K Uber 1455 Market Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, California 94103 USA www.uber.com Urban Aeronautics Ltd. 10 Nahal Snir Street, P.O.Box 13137, Yavne 81224 Israel www.urbanaero.com Aircraft: Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Volocopter Zeiloch 20, 76646 Bruchsal Germany www.volocopter.com Aircraft: Volocopter VC200, Volocopter 2X XTI Aircraft Co. 13000 East Control Tower Road, Englewood, Colorado 80112 USA www.xtiaircraft.com Aircraft: XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 Analysis & Simulation Advanced Rotorcraft Technology, Inc. 635 Vaqueros Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94085 USA www.flightlab.com Aerotim Engineering Ltd. Silikon Blok, ZK. No:16, ODTU-Teknokent, Ankara, Çankaya 06800 Turkey www.aerotim.com Altair 1820 E. Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan 48083 USA www.web.altair.com Continuum Dynamics, …
8th Biennial Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting & 6th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West (Make your reservation before rooms sell out!) Mesa, Arizona, USA Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors: Bell, Boeing, Continuum Dynamics, Empirical Systems Inc., Gannett Fleming, Honeywell, Karem Aircraft, NEXA Capital, Pi Innovo, Sentient Science, Terrafugia, Thales and XTI Aircraft! Short Course on eVTOL Design: Mon, Jan. 28 Technical Meeting & Symposium: Tues-Thur, Jan. 29-31 Short Course on eVTOL Acoustics: Thurs/Fri Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Registration now open! Overview The 21st century has seen a continued emphasis on Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) and greater autonomy and automation for both military and civilian applications. Unmanned vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft are in varying stages of development all over the world, and continue to expand into the civil and military sectors for a variety of uses. Autonomy is being used to unmanned versions of manned helicopters for dull, dirty and dangerous military cargo missions. In addition, the operator-interface and human factors can be one of the most significant contributions to UAS safety and successful operations. Correspondingly, technologies and regulation are being developed to safely operate UAS, and integrate them into commercial and military airspace. Meanwhile, automation and various levels of autonomy are being used in modern civil helicopter cockpits, while the military’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft will need to be optionally-manned or optimally-manned. Autonomy is also a key enabler for new classes of vehicles for civil missions — such as personal air vehicles, urban air mobility and air taxi missions — using electric or hybrid-electric propulsion (eVTOL). This biennial meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn about and discuss with academic, industry, and military engineers from around the world the latest advancements in manned/unmanned, electric/hybrid/turboshaft-powered, and civil/military autonomous VTOL aircraft technology. The Technical Meeting is being held in conjunction with the 6th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium, which will be held in parallel. The conference will feature technical paper presentation related to autonomous VTOL aircraft, while the Symposium will feature invited presentations, panel sessions and discussions on electric and hybrid electric VTOL aircraft, with a focus on urban air mobility. Overall event schedule Technical Papers The 2019 Autonomous VTOL technical paper schedule (pdf) is now available! Reminder to Authors: no paper will be scheduled for presentation if a written paper has not been received by Jan. 14, 2019. It will be author’s responsibility to obtain all necessary clearances or releases. Authors will receive email instruction from organizers with a link on where and how to upload their final papers. For paper questions contact Dr. Ram JankiRam (+1-480-891-6057), Technical Chair, or Dr. Kendra Befort (+1-480-891-1979), Deputy Technical Chair, or email email@example.com. Invited Presentations (Subject to Change) Banquet Keynote: “Autonomy at Bell,” Michael Thacker, Executive VP for Technology & Innovation, Bell Plenary Presentations: Needs for Future Autonomous VTOL Aircraft [Tues. Jan. 29 – 8:00 AM to 12:00 noon] Moderator: Dr. Ram JanakiRam, Boeing “Autonomy for Next Generation VTOL Systems,” Dr. Bill Lewis, Aviation Development Director, US Army “The Electric VTOL Revolution,” Mike Hirschberg, Vertical Flight Society Mark Jordan, Boeing Autonomous Systems …
eVTOL Corporate Members Our corporate members have an unprecedented opportunity to network and engage with all levels of the rotorcraft technical community, including industry, academia, and government. A³ Vahana AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus AirspaceX MOBi Aurora eVTOL Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) Bartini Flying Car Bell Air Taxi Boeing Cargo Aerial Vehicle Carter Air Taxi Joby Lotus (defunct) Joby S2 (defunct) Joby S4 Karem Butterfly Kitty Hawk Cora Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Lilium Jet Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel (unnamed) Pop.Up Next Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Sikorsky VERT Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Volocopter 2X Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Volocopter VC200 XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 Zee Aero Z-P2 Zenith Altitude EOPA Don’t see your company on this list? Join as a corporate member!
Piloted All eVTOL aircraft that operate with a pilot Aeroxo LV ERA Aviabike AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus Alauda Airspeeder Aquinea Volta Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Avianovations Hepard Bay Zoltán Flike Carter Aviation Air Taxi chAIR Multicopter CollaborativeBee Mini-Bee Dekatone Flying Car Dufour aEro 2 EAC Whisper ElectraFly ElectraFlyer Electric Jet EJ-1 Embraer DreamMaker Flexcraft FlytCycle Georgia Tech HummingBuzz Gravity X Hero Flyer Hi-Lite Lynx-us HopFlyt Venturi Hoversurf Scorpion JAXA Hornisse Jetpack Aviation Joby Aviation S4 Kalashnikov (unnamed) Kármán XK-1 Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) Leap Vantage Malloy Hoverbike ManDrone Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 Napoleon Aero VTOL NASA Puffin Neva AirQuadOne NUS Snowstorm Opener BlackFly Penn State University Blue Sparrow Ray Research Dart Flyer Ray VTOL Aircraft Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Silverwing S1 Scoop Pegasus 1 Sky-Hopper Solution F Supervolant Pegasus Swarm Multicopter Talaria Hermes I Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony Tier 1 Robinson R44 Transcend Air Vy 400 Trek Aerospace FlyKart 2 University of Kansas Mamba Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Varon V200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Voyzon Aerospace e-VOTO Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Piloted”
Electric Hybrid All eVTOL aircraft that utilize both electricity and fossil fuels Aergility ATLIS aeroG Aviation aG-4 Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) AutoFlightX BAT600 Axix SkyRider SuvA Bell Air Taxi Davinci ZeroG Dufour aEro 2 ElectraFly ElectraFlyer Flexcraft Jetoptera J2000 Joby Aviation Lotus (defunct) Moller Skycar M200 Moller Skycar M400 PAV-X PAV-X Ultralight PFV Personal Flying Device Ray VTOL Aircraft Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Samad Starling Jet Talaria Hermes I Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Vimana AAV Volerian VTOL Aviation Abhiyaan Workhorse SureFly XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “Electric Hybrid”
6 Passengers All eVTOL aircraft that carry six passengers Bell Air Taxi Carter Aviation Air Taxi Pipistrel (unnamed) Transcend Air Vy 400 XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 View all pages with the tag “6 Passengers”
Initial Design All eVTOL aircraft that are still mock-ups aeroG Aviation aG-4 AeroMobil 5.0 Aeroxo ERA Aviabike AirisOne AirspaceX MOBi Assen A1 Aston Martin Volante AutoFlightX BAT600 Autonomous Flight Y6S Avianovations Hepard Axix SkyRider SuvA Bell Air Taxi Carter Aviation Air Taxi CollaborativeBee Mini-Bee Dekatone (unnamed) Digi Robotics DroFire Digi Robotics Droxi Embraer DreamMaker EVA X01 Flexcraft Georgia TechHummingBuzz Hi-Lite Lynx-us HoverSurf Drone Taxi R-1 HoverSurf Scorpion Jetpack Aviation (unnamed) Joby Aviation S2 (defunct) Karem Butterfly KARI PAV Kármán XK-1 Leap Vantage Napoleon Aero VTOL NASA Puffin Neoptera eOpter Neva Aerospace AirQuadOne PAV-UL Ultralight PAV-X Penn State University Blue Sparrow PFV Personal Flying Device Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel (unnamed) Pop.Up Next Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 Scoop Pegasus 1 Sikorsky VERT Silverwing S1 Skypod Aerospace Skypod Supervolant Pegasus Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X teTra 3 Texas A&M University Harmony University of Kansas Mamba Varon V200 Vickers WAVE eVTOL Volerian Voyzon Aerospace e-VOTO VRCO NeoXCraft Vision VTOL VTOL Aviation Abhiyaan XTI Aircraft Trifan 600 Zenith Altitude EOPA View all pages with the tag “Initial Design”