Founded in 2020 by Johannes Garbino-Anton and Dr. Mohamed Attia, NEX Aero GmbH is based in Berlin, Germany and is in the business of designing and manufacturing hybrid-electric long range vertical takeoff and landing aircraft passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility. The company's hybrid-electric power train is powered with hydrogen fuel cells.
The NEX Aero presented its ¼ scale NEX hybrid-electric VTOL flying prototype at the Greentech Festival which took place in June 22-24, 2022 in Germany.
NEX Aero's passenger VTOL aircraft main priorities:
Producing a long range and safe vertical takeoff and landing passenger aircraft
Will manufacture a green vertical takeoff and landing aircraft
The aircraft will be a very quiet passenger air taxi aircraft
There will be no tilting parts (reducing complexity, lower certification time, lowering manufacturing costs, lowering maintenance costs and increasing safety)
The NEX hybrid-electric eVTOL winged aircraft holds a total four people which will be piloted at the start of air taxi commuter service and then in the future, the aircraft will be autonomously piloted. The aircraft has one main high-wing with eight dedicated VTOL propellers mounted on four booms (the booms are mounted underneath the main high-wing) and has a V-tail with two tractor propellers mounted on the front of the V-tail. There are a total of 10 propellers and 10 electric motors on the aircraft. The cruise speed, range and flight time of the NEX eVTOL aircraft is unknown. The range of the aircraft is estimated at 400 km (249 miles).
The passenger aircraft has a futuristic sleek design with its streamlined fuselage, its main high-wing and boom mounted VTOL propellers, and the V-tail with forward propellers. Due to its main high-wing, the aircraft will have a longer range than multicopters typically have. Winged eVTOL aircraft will usually have a useful range to travel from one border of a large urban area to the other border. The aircraft will also be able to travel between two large cities that are fairly close to each other. While the aircraft would not be able to landing in a parking lot space, the aircraft can easily land on rooftop landing pads, airports and any area that is wide enough to land a small or medium sized private plane.
eVTOL aircraft have a distinct advantage over conventional aircraft. The weight reduction from having no engine, transmission and fuel tanks, increases the reliability and safety of the aircraft. Reducing the complexity of any aircraft, machine or theory is always welcomed in the real world of engineering and in science. Lowering the complexity of the aircraft decreases the purchase price and maintenance costs of the aircraft.
On July 5, 2022, NEX Aero announced their first business partners:
Intelligent Energy: A world class fuel-cell stack manufacturer and the first to fly a crewed aircraft powered using fuel cells.
APUS Group: An EASA certified design organization (engineering structures) and a well renowned and experienced partner for ambitious projects in the field of sustainable aviation.
BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung). A German federal institute for materials research and testing. In the research partnership with BAM, NEX Aero will set out to test and validate their hydrogen-powered aircraft on the BAM testing ground and within their dedicated airspace.
The aircraft will be initially used for short to medium distance flights for air taxi service and can be easily configured into an urban cargo aircraft. The company foresees its aircraft for daily air taxi commuting for work, tourism, emergency rescue, geological surveys, air cargo and many other types of air missions needed by a small winged eVTOL aircraft.
Piloting: Piloted at first and autonomous in the future
Capacity: 4 seats
Cruise speed: Unknown
Range: Over 400 km (249 miles)
Flight time: Unknown
Cruise altitude: Unknown
Propellers: 10 propellers (8 dedicated VTOL propellers mounted on booms, 2 tractor propellers mounted on the front of the rear V-tail)
Electric motors: 10 electric motors.
Power source: Hydrogen fuel cells
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: 1 main high-wing with winglets
Tail: 1 V-tail
Landing gear: Tricycle fixed wheeled 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. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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