Founded January 2012, Steve Kozloff is the Head Designer at The Goliath Series Yachts and Nimbl Vehicles and both companies are located in California, USA. While Kozloff is a prolific yacht designer, he has recently spread his wings to designing hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft for ship-to-shore air transportation for seafarers. (Images credit: Steve Kozloff.)
The Ship to Shore Air Limo (SSAL) eVTOL concept design has one pilot and holds five passengers and their luggage. The pilot is seated normally in the front of the aircraft, with two single seats just behind the pilot. A bench seat is in the rear of the aircraft that holds three people. The aircraft has eight propellers, eight electric motors, two stub wings above the fuselage, larger windows than found in conventional aircraft, one vertical stabilizer and fixed skid type landing gear.
The estimated cruise speed of the aircraft is 90 knots (103 mph / 166 kph) and has an estimated maximum speed of 120 knots (138 mph / 222 kph). Kozloff estimates the flight time of the Ship to Shore Air Limo to be 35 minutes of endurance for the aircraft. Kozloff has stated that most one-way flights between ship to shore is five minutes. This means the aircraft would have plenty of charge on one charge and with current battery technology, for a round-trip flight that is fully loaded with passengers and baggage.
The primary mission of the SSAL is to offer luxurious, spacious, comfortable, and quick transport from ship to shore, Kozloff says. In the process, it would also offer a unique experience to those onboard, since the SSAL has excellent visibility for all on board thanks to the stadium seating arrangement.
The Ship to Shore Air Limo has many advantages over a helicopter. The aircraft is safer than any conventional helicopters or airplanes due to its Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP). DEP means there is redundancy in the propulsion system which includes the propellers and electric motors. That is, if one or two propellers stopped working for any reason, the others would continue to work and will land the aircraft safely. In addition, most electric aircraft also have other redundancy in their aircraft including avionics and flight computers.
The aircraft can land on all types of terrain, the aircraft is extremely quiet, the costs for operating the aircraft is extremely low and maintenance costs are very low. In rough sea conditions, the aircraft would probably be the only vehicle that could be used to transport people from a yacht since smaller ship-to-shore boats have a difficult time in bad sea conditions.
While the designer foresees the main use of this aircraft for ship-to-shore duties, it is probably quite obvious to the rest of the novel Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry, that this aircraft could be used for many other types of missions from air taxi service, personal air travel, business travel, emergency medical service, fire fighting, police work, surveying work, tourism, government work, air cargo service and more.
It has been reported in news articles that Kozloff has yet to have much success at selling his yacht designs because the are typically very extravagant ultra-modern yacht designs which would be cost prohibitive to build. With his track record of yacht designs, we don't know if his Ship to Shore Air Limo eVTOL passenger aircraft will ever be sold. But we do know this, eVTOL aircraft are much less complex, lighter and less expensive to build than helicopters or other conventional aircraft. No estimated timeline has been provided by the designer as to if and when a prototype would be built and when serial production might occur.
Capacity: 5 passengers, the aircraft has a bench seat in the rear of the aircraft
Cruise speed: 90 knots (103 mph / 166 kph)
Maximum speed: 120 knots (138 mph / 222 kph)
Estimated rate of climb: 1,500 feet (457 meters) per minute
Flight Time: 35 minutes
Maximum takeoff weight: 4,500 pounds (2,041 kg)
Length: 30 feet (9 meters)
Height: 9.43 feet (2.9 meters)
Wingspan: 19.25 feet (5.8 meters)
Wing area: 44.3 square feet (4.1 square meters)
Propellers: 8 propellers
Electric Motors: 8 electric motors (120 hp for each propeller)
Power source: Battery packs
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Wings: Two stub wings above the fuselage
Tail: 1 vertical stabilizer
Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.
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