On July 16, 2018, in conjunction with the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, Rolls-Royce announced that it was developing an eVTOL aircraft (referred to as the “EVTOL”).
Rolls-Royce says that “The initial concept vehicle uses gas turbine technology to generate felectricity to power six electric propulsors specially designed to have a low noise profile. It also has a battery for energy storage. In this hybrid-EVTOL configuration it could carry four or five passengers at speeds up to 250mph [400 km/h] for approximately 500 miles [800 km], would not require re-charging – as the battery is charged by the gas turbine – and would be able to utilise existing infrastructure such as heliports and airports.”
The hybrid-electric system would use the RR Model 250 in the rear of the aircraft to generate electricity to the four propellers on the tilting wing and two on the tilting tail. In cruise flight, the wing propellers could stop and fold, with the aircraft flying solely on the tail propellers to reduce noise and energy consumption.
According to Thomson Reuters, “The company is looking for an airframer and a partner to provide aspects of the electrical system to help commercialise the project.”
The company described featured of its eVTOL concept:
- Search eVTOL news posts
- News release, Blue sky thinking – Rolls-Royce unveils EVTOL concept at Farnborough Airshow, Rolls-Royce website, July 15, 2018.
- News release, Electrifying the future, Rolls-Royce website, July 15, 2018.
- Twitter post, Rolls-Royce, July 15, 2018