Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
The Hermes I is a one passenger co-axial Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle being developed by Delft University.
The Hermes I will use co-axial vertical composite propellers for lift. While cruising and landing these rotors will be in a “controlled auto-gyro” mode (which can also be employed for emergency landings). Propulsion will come from two tilting electric ducted fans on its tail. The Hermes uses a propeller aircraft engine and adjustable power-belts. It will be capable of a 40 km range and 30 minutes of flight with a 90 kg passenger. It currently has an open cockpit and the controls are designed to be simple and intuitive, although the tilt motors will be able to automatically adapt to sudden wind gusts. The bulk of the vehicle is composite and carbon fiber. The noise signature is designed to be extremely low and the team hopes to achieve near zero emissions in the near future. The entire unit is designed for a compact size and radius.
The Hermes would be utilized for urban mobility, single emergency responder transport into difficult to reach areas, and for tourism.
Delft University of Technology started Project Talaria in Noveber 2017 to develop a personal flying device. After a number of options were considered the result was the Hermes I. For its entry into GoFly, The team looked at a wide variety of aircraft configurations before settling on a coaxial rotor configuration for Phase 1. According to an early member of the team, Yash Tambi, “the disk loading is minimum in this configuration, so it gives the maximum propulsive efficiency,”. While this iteration of the craft used a piston engine, the team would later switch to an electric powered design during phase 2. Thus largely due to the relative ease of design native to an electric powered aircraft, and the fact that such a configuration would be more likely to attract sponsors.
Project Talaria is an entry into the GoFly competition, sponsored by Boeing. The competition is to design and develop a personal flying device capable of taking off and landing vertically and to fly at a minimum of 80 km/h for 30 minutes. The Hermes competed in both the first and second phases of the competition. Since Talaria was the second team formed under Delft University, the team had been solely responsible for raising funds for the aircraft's development. After the development and initial flight of the Hermes II prototype in January 2020, the aircraft suffered a crash that damaged the coaxial rotor system. The team lacked the funds needed for a replacement to the system, and has since halted operations.