eVTOL (concept design)
Wichita, Kansas, USA
On September 15, 2021, Textron eAviation revealed a passenger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) concept design at a presentation provided by Rob Scholl, senior vice president for Textron eAviation, on Sept. 15, 2021 at the JetNet iQ Summit (held in the USA).
During the 2021 JetNet iQ Summit, Scholl stated that Textron has invested around $100 million to date on electric platforms and also mentioned Bell’s experience developing tiltrotors and Textron Aviation’s experience certifying and producing a range of Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft. As of October 8, 2021, we still have not found a Textron eAviation website or web page but are looking forward to its introduction on the web.
The futurist looking Textron eVTOL aircraft concept design looks like it could hold between four to six passengers, including the pilot. The aircraft has a total of six electric propellers turned by electric motors and powered by batteries. Four propellers are most likely tiltprop propellers (where the base of the propeller is the hinge tilting assembly) and there are two propellers in the rear of the aircraft solely for VTOL flight. There are to booms connected towards the middle portion of the main high wing, each holding propellers on the front of each boom, for forward and VTOL. The other two forward propellers are attached to the outer portion of the high wing. On top of the rear of the booms hold two propellers dedicated for VTOL flight, alone.
The aircraft resembles Uber Elevates eCRM-004 aircraft (eCRM = electric Common Reference Model). The aircraft possibly has larger windows than conventional aircraft which seems to be the overwhelming trend with eVTOL and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
Taking a close look at Textron's artistic rendering of their eVTOL aircraft, one can see the front propellers are quite large and that the two inner propellers are located further in front of the wing, than the two outer propellers which are a significant distance rearward from the two inner propellers. While Textron released very few, if any, specifications (or estimated specifications) for this aircraft, it would seem that all four forward propeller are tilt-propellers and need to be separated by some distance for all propellers to rotate without each hitting the other. The tail on the aircraft is a slightly inverted V-shaped tail, its purpose most likely, for stability of the aircraft during forward flight.
According to Textron's eVTOL graphic representation, the aircraft seems to have retractable wheeled landing gear, as no landing gear can be seem during forward flight. This type of landing gear is essential for optimum aerodynamics, the ability to land like a conventional airplane in case of an emergency, allows for easy movement on the ground during taxing and provides an easy way to move the aircraft by ground crew.
The timetable is unknown for the subscale, full scale test beds will be made or when production aircraft is expected to take place. Scholl did relay that Textron is aware that the timeline is unknown when electric Urban Air Mobility can be made safe for the public to use over urban and rural areas.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger aircraft
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: Unknown (4-6 passengers, including the pilot)
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: Unknown
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Propellers: 6 propellers (4 tilt rotors and 2 dedicated VTOL propellers)
- Electric Motors: 6 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right for spectacular views
- Wings: 1 high wing, twin-boom aircraft
- Tail: Inverted V-tail off the end of the twin-booms
- Landing gear: Retractable wheeled 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. The aircraft can also land like an airplane in case of an emergency.
- Pitchbook https://pitchbook.com/profiles/advisor/10832-23
- Crunchbase https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/textron-aviation
- MarketWatch https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/txt/company-profile
- Tracxn https://tracxn.com/d/acquisitions/acquisitionsbyTextron