According to an article published on Oct. 30, 2017 in Aerospace America online, “Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky is researching an autonomous vertical takeoff and landing aircraft amid competition in the nascent market for air taxis to ferry people from downtown to the suburbs….” According to the article, the effort draws on the advanced autonomy capabilities developed by Sikorsky, as well as by its parent company, Lockheed Martin.
Sikorsky vice president Chris van Buiten says the goal “is to have autonomous software that makes movement from one rooftop to another feel as simple as pushing a button to travel on an elevator.” According to the interview, when asked if the aircraft would be electric, van Buiten commented, “‘that’s a good bet.” and noted that “advances in electric propulsion make it easier for companies to choose rotorcraft designs for their air taxi concepts.”
Another Sikorsky official referred to the project as “VERT”.
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky website
- Article: “Sikorsky Researching Urban Air Mobility,” Aerospace America, Oct. 30, 2017