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Samad Aerospace Starling Cargo S5M (demonstrator)

Starling Cargo S5M sub-scale demonstrator


Starling Cargo S5M (demonstrator)
Samad Aerospace Ltd.
Cranfield, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Founded in 2017, Samad Aerospace is a technology start-up set out to manufacture safe, eco-friendly, scalable, luxury electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and for air cargo. The company is based in the United Kingdom and is financed by venture capital and is looking for additional funding. (All images: Samad Aerospace)

The company has designed multiple models of eVTOL and hybrid-electric VTOL to help shape the future with eco-friendly door-to-door air urban air transportation. The ultimate goal of the aircraft is to give back time to the air traveler compared to lengthy time it takes today to fly with conventional air travel.

The Starling Cargo S5M is a sub-scale (half-size) eVTOL air cargo demonstrator aircraft that can be flown by a pilot or can be remotely flown. The sub-scale demonstrator is used to test the aerodynamics of the aircraft, flight control systems, the handling quality of the aircraft (in VTOL, transition and forward flight) and to validate all of its technology. Using a demonstrator is also very instrumental for setting commercial standards for the aircraft, finalize its design, determine the best materials needed for the production aircraft, help the process of the certification of the aircraft and more.

The Starling Cargo S5M eVTOL has six propellers, two stationary VTOL fan-in-wing and four rear vectored thrust propellers (these propellers rotate for VTOL, forward and backwards flight). The demonstrator has one high main wing, a T-tail and fixed skid type landing gear. The aircraft can also be outfitted with tricycle wheeled fixed landing gear. It is unknown how much payload the sub-scale prototype can carry. As far as we know, the cruise speed, range and flight time of the demonstrator has not been discussed in any articles as of late 2021.

Samad Aerospace plans to market the Starling Cargo aircraft for urban air cargo, critical air cargo for humanitarian aid, the oil and gas industries, the mining industry, rural areas, underdeveloped regions, disaster relief, the medical industry, government use and more.

The company has built and tested multiple prototypes of its eVTOL cargo aircraft and as of 2021 is taking preorders of for the aircraft. Samad Aerospace has also announced in 2021 they have begun the certification process for the aircraft.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement with Aerosud Aviation (based in South Africa) for the development and manufacturing of the Starling Cargo aircraft. The company plans to start serial production in 2022.


  • Aircraft type: eVTOL cargo aircraft demonstrator
  • Piloting: Can be piloted or remotely piloted
  • Capacity: 1 pilot and/or cargo
  • Cruise speed (fully electric): 153 km/h (95 mph)
  • Maximum range (fully electric): 217 km (135 miles)
  • Maximum altitude (fully electric): 3,000 m (9,843 feet)
  • Maximum payload (fully electric): 60 kg (132 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight (fully electric): 600 kg (1,323 lb)
  • Propellers: 6 propellers. 2 ducted fans (2 stationary VTOL ducted fans, 2 vectored thrust ducted fans) and 1 pusher propeller.
  • Electric Motors: 6 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: 1 main high wing
  • Tail: Large T-tail
  • Landing gear: Skid type landing gear or tricycle wheeled fixed 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.