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XTI Aircraft Prototype Begins to Come Together

XTI Aircraft Prototype Begins to Come Together

  • 01 Apr 2018 11:29 AM
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XTI Aircraft announced on Feb. 20 that it was on schedule and on budget as it completed the ducts and fans for its 60% scale flying prototype of the TriFan 600 aircraft, and moved toward ground testing those components (see “XTI Aircraft Refines Its TriFan 600 VTOL BizJet,” Vertiflite March/April 2018).

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EHANG Doubles its 184

EHANG Doubles its 184

  • 01 Apr 2018 11:27 AM
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In February 2018, EHANG — a major player in the quadcopter market — revealed a new version of its 184 eVTOL drone with two-seats and twice as many arms and propellers. The new version can carry a total payload of up to 620 lb (280 kg). The company had unveiled the original 184, whose name means “1 passenger, 8 propellers, 4 arms”, in January 2016 at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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HopFlyt Begins Scale Hover Tests

HopFlyt Begins Scale Hover Tests

  • 01 Apr 2018 11:25 AM
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The American company HopFlyt began hovering tests of its Venturi one-seventh scale model in its hangar in Lusby, Maryland, in December. The Venturi pairs variable incidence, tandem channel wings with eight counter-rotating propellers within the channels that can generate very high levels of static thrust and lift while reducing propeller noise.

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The eVTOL is in the Details

The eVTOL is in the Details

  • 01 Mar 2018 09:56 AM
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A packed house at January’s AHS International Transformative Vertical Flight Technical Meeting and Fifth Annual Workshop learned about bold visions for urban air taxis and the challenges of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL). Four days of presentations hosted by the AHS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter covered aeromechanics, propulsion, acoustics, infrastructure and certification advances aimed largely at airborne mass transit. The new rotorcraft suggested for moving people over clogged streets include multicopters, tiltrotors, tilt wings and ducted fans, nearly all designed around Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP). AHS International executive director and workshop program chair Mike Hirschberg observed, “Really, transformative flight is [largely] about DEP and the design freedom that it enables.”

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A³ Vahana eVTOL Tiltwing

A³ Vahana eVTOL Tiltwing

  • 26 Feb 2018 11:03 AM
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Vahana, the all-electric VTOL aircraft from A³ by Airbus, made its first full-scale flight on Jan. 31, 2018, at the Pendleton UAS Range in Pendleton, Oregon. The first untethered flight of the unmanned, fully self-piloted electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator was a 53-second hover at 16 ft (5 m). A³ completed a second flight of the first demonstrator, dubbed “Alpha One,” the following day with representatives from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Advanced VTOL Demonstrators Accelerate Full Tilt

Advanced VTOL Demonstrators Accelerate Full Tilt

  • 26 Feb 2018 10:58 AM
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Joby Aviation, Inc., which went silent in late 2016 shortly after telling Vertiflite that it would fly in early 2017 (“The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, Jan./Feb. 2017), revealed on Feb. 1, 2018 that it is well advanced in its flight testing of its four-seat S4. Although the company has still not revealed any images of the S4 since the AHS-led 2nd Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop in August 2015 (shown), the company officially announced on Feb. 1 that it has been flying the eVTOL aircraft and that it is “now developing a commercial version of that design and preparing that vehicle for certification.”

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XTI Aircraft Refines its TriFan 600 VTOL BizJet

XTI Aircraft Refines its TriFan 600 VTOL BizJet

  • 26 Feb 2018 10:38 AM
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Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) -capable aircraft other than helicopters are not yet part of business and commercial aviation fleets. But that could change someday. Although there is much work going on right now on fully-electric VTOL aircraft for the Uber Elevate mission and other intra-city applications (see “The eVTOL Is in the Details,” pg. 42), larger aircraft and longer distances will require hybrid-electric propulsion solutions in the foreseeable future.

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Aviation Comes to the Consumer at CES 2018

Aviation Comes to the Consumer at CES 2018

  • 21 Feb 2018 02:47 PM
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The Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2018 (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) took place Jan. 9–12, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Key themes at the largest technology exhibition in the world included the promise of 5G, smart cities, smart homes, vehicle technology, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and technologies for consumers’ increasingly connected lives.

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Commentary: Bringing the Vertical Flight Community Together

Commentary: Bringing the Vertical Flight Community Together

  • 20 Feb 2018 03:38 PM
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Seventy-five years ago, the burgeoning helicopter industry came together to establish the American Helicopter Society, which was legally recognized on June 25, 1943. By that time, development teams at Bell and Piasecki had solved many of the basic problems of helicopter flight, joining Sikorsky to become the first successful American helicopter developers; Hiller made their first flight a year later.

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Airbus Starts Testing CityAirbus Iron Bird

Airbus Starts Testing CityAirbus Iron Bird

  • 01 Feb 2018 02:40 PM
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In mid-December, Airbus Helicopters began testing the “iron bird” for its four-passenger CityAirbus quad-duct eVTOL in Taufkirchen, Germany. The test bench operates the entire electric propulsion system, developed by Airbus’ E-Aircraft Systems unit, from flight controls to the dynamic loads of the propellers, verifying the electrical, mechanical and thermal dynamics.

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