London, United Kingdom
On July 15, 2018, in conjunction with the Farnborough International Airshow 2018, Rolls-Royce announced (the aerospace power systems manufacturer, not the car manufacturer) that it was developing an eVTOL aircraft (Rolls-Royce refers to their concept aircraft as the “EVTOL” or the “EVTOL Project”).
Rolls-Royce says that “The initial concept vehicle uses gas turbine technology to generate electricity 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 utilize 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 air-framer and a partner to provide aspects of the electrical system to help commercialize the project.”
Rolls-Royce’s description of its “EVTOL” concept aircraft:
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Rolls Royce website
- Rolls Royce social media pages
- News release, Blue sky thinking – Rolls-Royce unveils EVTOL concept at Farnborough Airshow, Rolls-Royce, July 15, 2018
- News release, Electrifying the future, Rolls-Royce, July 15, 2018
- Article: Rolls-Royce Ready to Electrify M250 for Future EVTOL, Rotor & Wing, July 26, 2018
- Article: Rolls-Royce to work with airframe manufacturers, seek partners for EVTOL project, SAE, July 19, 2018
- Article: Rolls-Royce EVTOL flying taxi concept packs electric propulsion, Road Show, July 16, 2018
- Twitter post, Rolls-Royce, July 15, 2018
- Video: Rolls-Royce reveals electric propulsion system for urban mobility aircraft, We Are FINN, August 7, 2018