Starling Jet (concept design)
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 Starling Jet is a very futuristic and sleek looking hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design jet which holds 10 passengers and will at first be a piloted aircraft but in the future, the plan is for the aircraft to fly autonomously. The aircraft has an estimated cruise speed of 740 km/h (460 mph), has a proposed range of 1,450-2,414 km (900-1,500 m) and its maximum altitude is reported to be 9,100 m (29,855 ft). The company plans to have a fly-by-wire system for the jet.
The aircraft has one main wing, a V-tail and retractable wheeled landing gear. The aircraft has a total of three jet engines. Two jet engines are fixed on the top rear of the wing, close to the fuselage and the third jet engine is located the rear of the jet on top of the fuselage and between the V-tail.
For VTOL flight, there are sliding hatches in the fuselage for its two dedicated VTOL fixed propellers which are powered by electric motors. In addition, the two jet engines mounted on the wings will extend their cowlings down to 90 degrees for four points of VTOL thrust. If the jet should slip below stall speed, the aircraft will automatically switch to its hover mode. The jet engines and battery packs will be used during VTOL flight, reducing the amount of noise when hovering. During forward flight, the jet engines will recharge the battery packs.
ARC Aerosystems expects the VTOL jet to be used on short-haul and regional flights for business and luxury travel. A Starling Jet VTOL aircraft will allow VIP travelers to use vertiports, parking lots, roof tops, other small landing areas, airports or any combination of these to greatly reduce the passenger's travel time.
A 20% sub-scale prototype completed testing in June 2018 and a full scale aircraft was planned for March 2019. Sales were expected by 2024 but the aircraft is no longer on the company website as of January 2023.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft
- Piloting: Piloted at first and in the future the aircraft have autonomous piloting
- Capacity: 10 passengers
- Cruise speed: 740 km/h (460 mph)
- Range: 1,450-2,414 km (900-1,500 miles)
- Maximum altitude: 9,100 m (29,855 ft)
- VTOL propellers: 2 propellers (hidden in the fuselage until needed)
- Jet engines: 3 jet engines
- Electric Motors: 2 electric motors (maybe more)
- Power source: Hybrid-electric and battery packs. The batteries will be charged by the jet engines during forward flight.
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Round windows
- Wings: 1 main high wing with winglets
- Tail: V-tail
- Landing gear: Retractable wheeled landing gear
- ARC Aerosystems website
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- ARC Aerosystems LinkedIn
- Article: Samad Aerospace Intros VTOL Business Aircraft Concept, AIN Online, Feb. 5, 2018
- Article: A newly unveiled business jet can take off like a helicopter, CNBC, Feb. 7, 2018
- Video: Starling Jet: 'World's first hybrid-electric VTOL business jet', BBC Three Counties Radio, Feb. 20, 2018
- Article: VTOL Hopeful Makes EBACE Debut, AIN Online, May 30, 2018
- Video: Samad Aerospace's half scaled e-Starling CTOL test, ARC Aerosystems, Nov. 30, 2020