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Kármán XK-1

Kármán Inc.
Scotts Valley, California, USA

The Kármán XK-1 is an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle that will carry two to eight passengers for urban air mobility.

The XK-1 is considered a prototype and will use a Li-polymer battery or batteries for six 30 Kw motors and vertical propellers mounted in two rows above the lift body carbon fiber fuselage. It will lift 450 kg of dry weight and 200 kg of passenger weight. Two rear mounted smaller propellers will supply speeds of up to 450 km/h in vertical flight mode. The ceiling for the vehicle is 2,500 m. No range is given except to call it a short or medium range vehicle of at least 40 km. The automated controls are fly-by-wire with proprietary software that will ensure the XK-1 stays in 3-D corridors and virtual lanes. There are plans so the two passenger vehicle can be scaled upward to accomodate eight passengers.

Initial vehicle uses are focused on urban mobility. Karman plans to have fleets of dispatchable Karman manufactured units responding to passengers using a smartphone app. Cost is expected to be comparable to that of mass transit.

Karman reports “Engineering and fabrication of the XK-1 full-scale passenger transport vehicle is in rapid progress, with alpha testing planned for fall, 2018.”


Kármán XK-1 Characteristics (updated April 2018):

Passenger/cargo weight 200 kg 440 lb
Passengers 2-8 (scalable design)
Dry weight 450 kg 990 lb
Maximum operating speed 450 kmph 240 kts
Maximum operating altitude 2,500 meters 1.5 miles
Number of lift rotors 6
Rotor power 30 kw 40 hp
Number of propulsion propellers 2
Propeller power 30 kw 40 hp
Operation fly-by-wire
Battery li-polymer advanced cell

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