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ARC Aerosystems Q-Starling (concept design)

ARC Aerosystems Q-Starling hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft


Q-Starling (concept design)
ARC Aerosystems
Cranfield, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Founded in 2017, ARC Aerosystems (formerly Samad Aerospace) is a technology start-up company set out to design and manufacture safe, eco-friendly, scalable, luxury electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM) and for air cargo. Since its founding, the company has generated over 10,000 pages of technical reports as a result of more than 100,000 engineering work hours.The company is based in the United Kingdom and is financed by venture capital and is looking for additional funding. (All images: ARC Aerosystems)

The company has designed multiple models of eVTOL and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft to help shape the future with eco-friendly door-to-door 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.

As of 2023, ARC Aerosystems has acquired the following patent and design rights:

  • Utility: Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) propulsion system on blended wing body (BWB) passenger aircraft (European Patent Corporation Treaty).
  • Design: Vehicle configuration of two-in-one air-and-ground vehicle unit (United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office).
  • Utility: Power management (battery packs) on two-in-one air-and-ground vehicle unit (United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office).

The Q-Starling Sport is a futuristic looking hybrid-electric VTOL luxury passenger concept design fly-by-wire aircraft. The aircraft holds a grand total of two people, one pilot and one passenger. The aircraft's cruise speed is 460 km/h (286 mph). the range of the aircraft is 800 km (500 miles) and the service ceiling is 4,570 m (15,000 ft). Some of the safety features include redundant electronic systems and a whole aircraft emergency ballistic parachute.

For VTOL flight, the aircraft has one main large lifting fan inside the middle of the fuselage. There are also fan-in-wing stabilizing fans, one in each wing and one in each vertical stabilizer on the T-tail. For forward flight, the aircraft has two modified PBS TS100 turboshaft jet engines rated at 180 kilowatts (241 horsepower). The jet engines will be capable of running on bio-diesel/sustainable aviation fuel and are backed-up by batteries during the take-off and landing phases. The aircraft has retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear.

During the 15th Electric Aircraft Symposium held in July 2021, the aircraft was announced and briefly detailed by Dr. Seyed Mohseni, CEO of ARC Aerosystems. The Q-Starling was slated to be available for a demonstration release in the fourth quarter of 2022, with an expected market launch in the second quarter of 2024. The company described the Q-Starling as “the ultimate luxury in personal hybrid-electric flying,” giving passengers “unparalleled point-to-point mobility options” while also being “efficient and sustainable.” The aircraft has been shelved at this point.

Q-Starling flying over the desert, rear view

Q-Starling flying over the desert, rear view

Q-Starling information graphic, bottom view

Q-Starling information graphic, bottom view

Q-Starling flying, side view

Q-Starling flying, side view


  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft
  • Pilots: 1 pilot using fly-by-wire technology
  • Passengers: 1 passenger
  • Cruise speed: 460 km/h (286 mph)
  • Range: 800 km (500 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4,570 m (15,000 ft)
  • Maximum take-off weight: 1,040 kg (2,300 lb)
  • Length: 8 m (26 ft)
  • Wingspan: 7.3 m (24 ft)
  • Ceiling: 4,572 m (15,000 ft)
  • Forward propulsion: 2 modified PBS TS100 turboshaft jet engines rated at 180 kilowatts (241 horsepower)
  • Propellers: 5 fan-in-wing propellers (VTOL flight)
  • Electric motors: 5 electric motors
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wing: 1 main wing
  • Tail assembly: T-tail
  • Landing gear: Tricycle wheeled landing gear
  • Safety features: The aircraft has redundant systems, electric motors and propellers for VTOL flight, back-up batteries, an emergency whole aircraft ballistic parachute and more.

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