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Transcend Air V-653 (concept design)

V-653 long-range heavy-lift hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo concept design military aircraft


V-653 (concept design)
Transcend Air Corporation
Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA

The Transcend Air Corporation was founded in 2017 to design and manufacture a tilt-wing hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) for efficient and low cost city to city advanced air mobility (AAM) travel for the VIP traveler. As the aircraft can takeoff and land on any landing pad, airport tarmac, parking lot or grassy area, the aircraft will whisk the traveler to the destination faster than traditional airport-to-airport flying. Their aircraft can also fly its passengers to their destinations faster than a helicopter, according to the company.

The U.S. Air Force has supported Transcend Air's work with four research and development contracts a United States Air Force AFWERX program. The AFWERX program started in June 2021. The "AF" stands for U. S. Air Force and "WERX" is shorthand for work project. The company made it through three down-select stages to become one of five final contenders for the Pentagon’s High-Speed VTOL Challenge (HSVTOL Challenge). AFWERX's goal is finding aircraft that have jet-like speed, in-flight transition between hover and cruise, increased range and endurance, in-flight refueling capability, flexible payload and more.

The company advocates for an almost full conventional power train for their aircraft and plans to use turbine engines to power the two main tractor propellers. The aircraft is still a hybrid-electric aircraft as there is one electric VTOL propeller in the rear of the fuselage used primarily used to keep the aircraft stable during VTOL flight in any windy condition.

V-653 long-range heavy-lift hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo concept design military aircraft
The V-653 is a long-range heavy-lift hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo concept design military aircraft that holds 101 people. The aircraft has one pilot and is autonomous capable. The cabin holds 100 people and the intended maximum weight for each person is 365 lb (166 kg). The aircraft can be used for passengers, cargo or both. The V-653 replaces the military Lockheed C-130 Hercules four-engine turboprop military transport airplane.

The planned cruise speed is 529 mph (851 km/h), has a predicted range of 5,824 miles (9,373 km) and has an anticipated maximum operating altitude of 30,000 ft (9,144 m). The cabin volume is approximately 5,000 cubic feet. The empty weight of the aircraft is expected to be 63,000 lb (28,576 kg), with an intended maximum payload of 42,000 lb (19,051 kg) and a proposed maximum takeoff weight of 105,000 lb (47,627 kg).

The aircraft uses five GE turboshaft engines T408 (7,500 shp) to power the entire aircraft including the two tractor propellers and one electric tailfan propeller. The GE turboshaft T408 engines are the engines used for the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter. The aircraft has one high main tilt-wing and one H-tail. The superstructure of the aircraft is made of carbon fiber composite for high strength to low weight ratio. The aircraft has retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear with dual nose wheels and two rear four wheeled bogies on each side near the middle of the fuselage.


  • Aircraft type: Long-range heavy-lift hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo concept design military aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot, autonomous capable
  • Capacity: 100 people, maximum 365 lb (166 kg) each person
  • Cruise speed: 529 mph (851 km/h)
  • Range: 5,824 miles (9,373 km)
  • Maximum operating altitude: 30,000 ft (9,144 m)
  • Empty weight: 63,000 lb (28,576 kg)
  • Maximum payload: 42,000 lb (19,051 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 105,000 lb (47,627 kg)
  • Cabin volume: ~5,000 cubic feet
  • Propellers: 2 turbine powered propellers, 1 electric tailfan propeller
  • Electric motors: 1 electric motor
  • Power source: 5 GE turboshaft engines T408, 7,500 shp
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: The aircraft has typical military windows
  • Wings: 1 high wing
  • Tail: 1 H-tail
  • Landing gear: Retractable wheeled landing gear, dual nose wheels and a 4-wheel truck main on each side of the rear bogies
  • Safety features: The aircraft can land conventionally if there is a power loss in the tractor propellers. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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