Aston Martin Volante Vision
Gaydon, United Kingdom
The Volante Vision is a luxury concept design hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) fixed-wing aircraft spearheaded by Aston Martin, based in the United Kingdom. Aston Martin developed partnerships with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and the Rolls-Royce company to design the aircraft. According to the company, the Volante Vision will take full advantage of the latest advances in aerospace, electric propulsion, autonomous technologies and Aston Martin’s signature design.
The aircraft is designed to hold three passengers (one forward and two rear) and the interior will have luxury trappings. The Volante has fixed wings and twin rudders for forward flight. For VTOL flight, there are four tilting front propellers, in a double stack arrangement, and two large vertical stacked propellers aft of the passenger cabin used only for vertical lift. The power source will be hybrid-electric with emphasis on a low carbon footprint capable of cruising speeds of 402 km/h (250 mph) and a range of 805 km (500 m). The Volante Vision will be autonomously flown with stepped levels of pilot interaction depending on experience.
The forward wing has two unique features: 1) The wing is placed on the aircraft and 2) The shape of the wing. The front wing is located in front of the fuselage and is not connected to airframe like most wings of an airplane. There are four struts holding the forward wing in front of the fuselage. The shape of forward wing has a thin hammerhead front (directly in front of the fuselage), then the next third of the thin wing is swept back. At the end of the forward wing is a twice as wide wing, at each end. In addition, the rear wing is a unique modified delta shaped wing. The wing is swept back with two end tips and a rear of the wing is V-shaped. The tail has twin vertical rudders.
Not to be outdone, the landing gear is as unique as its wings. The landing gear is actually at the tips of each wing. During flight, the wing tips are straight but when landing or when landed, the tips of each wing move down vertically (possibly using hydraulics) to form its landing gear.
It is designed as a luxury personal air vehicle for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), flying within the same city or it may easily be used for inter-city travel, traveling between two cities. In 2018, it was reported that Aston Martin expects their aircraft to cost £7 million ($9.2 million). As of 2018, the Volante Vision is expected to undergo testing in 2019. Some articles show that Aston Martin expects production to occur in the mid-2020s while other articles quote the company stating that commercial service will be available by 2030.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL
- Piloting: Autonomous or partially piloted
- Capacity: 3 people (including the pilot)
- Cruise speed: 402 km/h (250 mph)
- Range: 805 km (500 m)
- Propellers: 6 (4 forward propellers, 2 rear propellers)
- Electric Motors: 6
- Power source: Rolls-Royce hybrid-electric
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber
- Windows: Panoramic window canopy allowing forward, left, right and top visibility for spectacular views for its passengers
- Wings: A unique forward modified swept back wing held onto the fuselage with 4 struts. The rear wing is a modified delta wing.
- Tail: Twin vertical rudders
- Landing gear: Unique landing gear as each wing tip turns down vertically to form the 4 point landing gear
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.
- Aston Martin Volante Vision web page
- Aston Martin main website
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- Press Release: Aston Martin Race to the Skies, Aston Martin, July 16, 2018
- Article: Aston Martin Debuts Volante Vision Concept VTOL Aircraft, The Drive, July 17, 2018
- Article: Aston Martin Offers Luxury In The Sky With Volante Vision Concept, Forbes, July 18, 2018
- Article: Aston Martin takes to the skies with first aircraft concept, DeZeen, July 18, 2018
- Video: Volante Vision Concept, Aston Martin, July 19, 2018
- Article: Volante Vision Concept by Aston Martin, Helicomicro, July 19, 2018
- Video: Aston Martin Volante Vision VTOL aircraft, SciNews, Jul 20, 2018
- Article: Aston Martin has unveiled a flying car concept — and it hinted that we might see James Bond flying one soon, Business Insider, Aug. 1, 2018
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