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 (VTOL) 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. Sky Chaser designs are currently patent pending in the US and world wide via PCT.
The reason Walker started the company was due to seeing heavy freeway traffic in San Diego (California, USA), where the traffic on the freeways can become very slow or even stop for long periods of time. Walker has been following the electric vertical takeoff and landing (or eVTOL) technology industry and decided that now is the time to design and manufacture a practical flying car to help alleviate traffic jams.
Sky Chaser one passenger high-performance hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft, roadable and amphibious craft concept design
The Sky Chaser is a one passenger high-performance hybrid-electric VTOL prototype vehicle, is a roadable vehicle and is also an amphibious craft concept design. The aircraft has the option of being manually piloted or traveling in an autonomous mode. The aircraft will have three propellers. Two front tilting propellers which will be used for forward and VTOL flight. One rear dedicated VTOL propeller. The aircraft will land on its four wheels. The four wheels will be used for ground mode and to help steer the craft when flying above the water. The hybrid-electric power source is planned to be hydrogen fuel cells.
The aircraft has an internal wing with a high boom tail with two ailerons and two rudders that provides superb aerodynamics. There is a canopy over the cockpit providing excellent views for the pilot during flight, ground travel and when over the water. The vehicle looks like a race car but is more inline with a James Bond type chase and escape vehicle or an aircraft from the Hollywood movie Blade Runner.
Cruise speed, range, flight time and other concept information for the production model:
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.
The aircraft can take off in either VTOL mode or Sky Chase can takeoff from the ground like a conventional aircraft.
The aerodynamics of the aircraft allow precision flying with minimal use of its rudders and ailerons. Walker states the aircraft is very maneuverable and will qualify as an acrobatic aircraft that can perform rolls, loops and make VTOL spins in the air.
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. The vehicle can travel well on both paved and dirt roads. Due to the size of the vehicle, it can drive among normally with automobiles in city or rural roads. The vehicle can fit into any parking space or use any parking garage.
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.
The craft has a twin haul catamaran design making it very stable in water. The two front body catamaran panels are sealed creating buoyancy when in water.
When the aircraft flies very close to the water, aircraft barely touches the water and only the rotating wheels will touch the water, according to the inventor. When flying over water, the freely rotating wheels will be riding on its wheels in the water. The two front wheels act as rudders making the craft very maneuverable when over 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. 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.
When floating in water, it will be easy to transition to flight. The aircraft can take off using VTOL flight or the pilot can tilt the front propellers down and use as tractor propellers blowing air over the internal wing. When the takeoff speed is reached, the aircraft lifts out of the water takes off like a conventional plane.
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.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft, roadable and amphibious vehicle
Piloting: 1 pilot (manual piloting and autonomous when artificial intelligence is available commercially)
Capacity: The first model will hold only 1 pilot. After the success of the first 1 passenger model, a future model will hold 1 pilot and 1 passenger, 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
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 ailerons and 2 rudders
Landing gear: 4 wheels used for landing gear, ground travel and to help steer the aircraft in water
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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