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Horizon Aircraft Cavorite X5 (concept design)

Cavorite X5


Cavorite X5 (concept design)
Horizon Aircraft
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada

Horizon Aircraft based in Canada, was co-founded in 2013 by Brandon Robinson, CEO and Jason O’Neill, COO. Horizon Aircraft is in the business of designing and building long-range hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOL) focusing on safety, practicality and operational flexibility. The company's aircraft are made for long-range advanced air mobility (AAM). (Image credit: Horizon Aircraft)

The idea for the company's first hybrid-electric aircraft came around 2008 when a client wanted a highly modified amphibious seaplane and Brian Robinson (Brandon's father) said how about building an entirely new seaplane? The company designed the Horizon X3 hybrid-electric seaplane that was made so if the aircraft ran out of gas (or the engine stopped working), an additional power source, a battery, could land the aircraft to safety. For this type of system to work correctly, they designed a combustion engine which could be decoupled, so that batteries could take over to power the electric motor turning the propeller. The Horizon X3 was eventually shelved but it allowed the company to transition into making its new hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft called the Cavorite X5.

As the eVTOL industry began to gain momentum, Horizon Aircraft decided to get into the game. The company wanted to make a useful aircraft which could do the work of a helicopter but could be faster, more efficient and safer. The name of the aircraft was decided to be the Cavorite X5 and the name is taken directly from the 1901 H.G. Wells book, "The First Men in the Moon" Cavorite was the name a fictional metal, made up by H.G. Wells, which would cancel the effects of gravity and make a spaceship fly.

The revolutionary Cavorite platform was selected for the highly competitive AFWERX High-Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) Challenge. In partnership with the United States Air Force (USAF) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) the program that develops innovative HSVTOL concepts.

Cavorite X5 long-range hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft
The Cavorite X5 is a sleek modern designed five passenger long-range hybrid-electric VTOL five passenger concept design aircraft made for advanced air mobility (AAM). The aircraft holds one pilot, four passengers and their luggage. The cockpit has a canopy over the cockpit that slides forward to enter and exit the aircraft. The passenger cabin has gull-wing doors. The aircraft has a patented fan in wing system allowing for VTOL flight and has a pusher propeller forward flight allowing the plane to fly as a conventional airplane.

The maximum cruise speed of the aircraft is 350 km/h (215 mph) and has a range of 500 km (310 miles). The aircraft has 16 fans in-the-wing system with 16 electric motors which are inside tandem wings for VTOL flight. The top and bottom portion of the wings slide open allowing VTOL flight and slide closed during forward flight. For forward flight, there is one pusher propeller in the rear of the aircraft. The aircraft uses a hybrid-electric gasoline engine power source with batteries allowing the aircraft to fly long-range trips.

The aircraft is made from carbon fiber composite for a high strength and low weight ratio. The tail is a modified V tail and the aircraft has retractable wheeled landing gear. The aircraft can takeoff and land normally as a VTOL aircraft. The aircraft can also take off and land on short or long runways like a conventional airplane.

If the engine runs out of fuel or some type of mechanical failure occurs with the engine, there is is a battery pack which can continue to power all the electrical systems on the aircraft to land it safely. Also, the aircraft can land conventionally, if there is not enough power in the battery pack for a vertical landing.

Horizon Aircraft is working on a ⅙ sub-scale prototype to use to test its systems, software and for flight testing. The company then plans on making a ½ sub-scale prototype in late 2020.

The company sees the Cavorite X5 hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft as a normal airplane that's been augmented to provide additional layers of safety and additional operational flexibility. The company has also stated their aircraft could be built as normal airplane with regular wings and will simply be a very modern sleek new aircraft for the consumer.

The company foresees their investment will need to be in the $100 million dollar range before they could make the first sale of a production aircraft. The company's first selling goal is to sell their hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft as an experimental amateur built aircraft in the North American market by 2024. Then the company will go onto to producing a fully-made production aircraft.

The company sees the Cavorite X5 aircraft being used for air taxi service, emergency medical service (EMS), disaster relief and air cargo transportation.


  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 4 passengers
  • Cruise speed: 350 km/h (215 mph)
  • Range: 500 km (310 miles)
  • Ferry range (Extended range with no passengers or cargo): 625 miles (1,000 km)
  • Propellers: 17 propellers. 16 ducted fans for VTOL flight in wings with covers, 1 pusher propeller for forward flight.
  • Electric Motors: 17 or more. There are electric motors for the retractable landing gear, retractable ducted wing covering (possibly some to open/close the canopy and gull-wing doors)
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric gas engine to create electricity for all electrical systems on-board, a back-up motor in case the main gas engine fails and there is also a battery pack system on-board
  • Length: 11.6 m (38 ft)
  • Height: 2.8 m (9.2 ft)
  • Wingspan: 15.3 m (50.3 ft)
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Doors: Gull wing doors for passengers, sliding front canopy for pilot
  • Windows: Panoramic windows with wrap around window design allowing forward, left, right and top visibility, for spectacular views
  • Wings: A rear high forward swept main wing with winglets and a forward swept rearward canard with winglets, there are ducted fans in each wing, with retractable covers on each wing opening for VTOL flight and closing for forward flight
  • Tail: V-tail with a specially designed airfoil shape
  • Landing gear: Wheeled retractable 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. The aircraft can also land like an airplane if some or all VTOL ducted fans become unresponsive. Has one additional back-up engine in case of main engine failure.

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