Sky Chaser was founded in 2016 by Dr. William Walker and is headquartered in Fjugesta, Närke, Sweden. The company's goal is to design and manufacture hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles for advanced aerial mobility (AAM). In addition, this vehicle will fly, is also a roadable and is an amphibious craft. The company was originally headquartered in San Diego, California, USA but Walker moved the project to Sweden in 2020 to develop the full scale Sky Chaser prototype with his business partner Dr. Dag Stranneby. The company is currently seeking funding for the Sky Chaser project and estimates $100,000.00 USD will be needed to build and test the current prototype. The company needs further funding of 1 million USD to develop and test a crewed prototype.
The reason the company was started was due to seeing heavy freeway traffic in San Diego, where the traffic can become very slow or even stop for long periods of time. Walker has been following the green VTOL technology industry and decided that now is the time to design and manufacture a practical flying car to help alleviate traffic jams.
The Sky Chaser concept design is a one passenger high performance vehicle which can take off vertically and fly as an aircraft, is a roadable vehicle and is also an amphibious craft. After the production model is successfully sold, a future model will holding two passengers, sitting one behind the other, and will be manufactured by the company. The aircraft will be powered by a hybrid-electric power source, such as fuel cells. The aircraft has the option of being manually piloted or traveling in an autonomous mode. The vehicle looks like a race car but is more inline with a James Bond type chase and escape vehicle.
Cruise speed, range and flight time breakdown:
Flying: For the flying portion of the aircraft, the cruise speed is expected to be 120 mph (193 km/h), have a range of 240 miles (386 km) at 120 mph (193 km/h) and have a flight time of two hours.
Ground: When on the road, the estimated cruise speed at 100 mph (161 km/h) will have a range of 300 miles (482 km) and a driving time of about three hours.
Water: In the water, the vehicle has an estimated cruise speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) in calm water, a range of 240 miles (386 km) at 120 mph (193 km/h) and a flight time of two hours. If the vehicle is flown close to the water in ground effect, the range as an aircraft will double giving the vehicle 400 miles (644 km) of range. When the aircraft flies very close to the water, it barely touches the water and only the rotating wheels will touch the water, according to the inventor.
The current Sky Chaser prototypes have two tilt-propellers for VTOL and forward flight and one rear dedicated VTOL propeller. The vehicle looks very similar to a Formula 1 race car. If you look closely at the vehicle, you can see small stub wings between the cockpit and the outside fuselage were the wheels are housed. There is a canopy over the cockpit providing excellent views for the pilot. There is a rear tail with two vertical stabilizers and with a horizontal stabilizer mounted on the top. There is also a form of winglets on each side of the horizontal stabilizer.
For its safety features, the vehicle will have obstacle avoidance technology, GPS, Lidar, and visual cameras. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft. The aircraft can still fly if two propellers stop working. If all the propellers stop, the aircraft can glide to the ground and land on any road or flat surface.
The company has made and flown many ⅙ scale prototypes which were powered by battery packs. The company has developed and is testing a full scale uncrewed prototype. After this, the company will build and test several crewed full scale prototypes. Once funding is received, the company expects to build and test a crewed prototype within one year.
The goal of making the Sky Chaser, is to make it easy for people to travel on the road, air and water. The company foresees the aircraft to be used for personal use, air taxi service, recreational use, search and rescue, police, military, air cargo, air racing and more.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft, roadable vehicle and an amphibious vehicle
Piloting: 1 pilot (both manual and autonomous)
Capacity: 1 person (a future model will hold 2 passengers in tandem seating, one person behind the other)
Cruise speed (air): 120 mph (193 km/h)
Cruise speed (road): 100 mph (161 km/h)
Cruise speed (water): 100 mph (161 km/h in calm water)
Range (air): 240 miles (386 km) at 120 mph (193 km/h)
Range (road): 300 miles (482 km) or more
Range (water): 240 miles (386 km) at 120 mph (193 km/h) in calm water. If the vehicle is flown close to the water in ground effect, the range as an aircraft will double giving the vehicle 400 miles (644 km) of range.
Flight time (air): 2 hours
Driving time (road): 3 hours
Flight time (water): 2 hours
Cruise altitude: Unknown
Empty weight: Unknown
Maximum payload: Unknown
Propellers: 3 propellers (2 tilt-propellers for VTOL and forward flight, 1 rear dedicated VTOL propeller for VTOL flight.)
Electric motors: 3 electric motors for flight
Power source: Hydrogen fuel cells
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Window: Canopy over cockpit
Wings: Stub wings between the cockpit and outer fuselage
Tail: Has a high boom tail with 2 elevons and 2 rudders
Landing gear: Retractable 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. When in flight, the aircraft has obstacle avoidance technology, GPS, Lidar, and visual cameras. If all propellers stop working, the aircraft can land on any road or flat surface and continue to drive down the road.
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