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Transcend Air Vy 400 (defunct)

Transcend Air Vy 400 hybrid-electric VTOL passenger concept design aircraft

 

Vy 400 (defunct)
Transcend Air Corporation
Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA
www.transcend.aero

The Transcend Air Corporation was founded in 2017 in Carlisle, Massachusetts, USA. The company is in the business to design and manufacture tilt-wing hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft 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.

Prototype flight testing
Since 2009, the company has built and flown 17 prototype electric or hybrid-electric VTOL subscale and full scale aircraft and at least 15 of them have had an all electric power source. All prototypes made up to and including 2023 are uncrewed except for the Elytron subscale prototype which holds two people.

Some history of the Garrow Aircraft, Elyton Aircraft and Transcend prototypes:

  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 1. The first VTOL drone design was a made on a napkin in 2009 of a hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft. The concept design was a delta wing with 3 VTOL propellers.
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 2. VTOL drone aircraft.
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 3. VTOL drone with 2 tilt-props, 1 main wing, 1 vertical stabilizer, fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 4. Delta-wing and canard VTOL with 2 VTOL propellers within the fuselage of the aircraft
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 5. Delta-wing and canard VTOL with 1 VTOL propellers within the fuselage of the aircraft
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 6. VTOL drone with 2 VTOL propellers within the high main wing with 1 pusher propeller in front of the rear conventional tail with fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 7. VTOL flying-wing fuselage with winglets
  • Garrow Aircraft: Proto 8. VTOL box-wing design, fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.
  • Elytron Aircraft: Proto 9. Unknown
  • Elytron Aircraft: Proto 10. Unknown
  • Elytron Aircraft: Proto 11: Elytron 2S Proto 11 crewed aircraft
  • Elytron Aircraft: Proto 12. VTOL 2 propeller tiltwing box-wing with fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear
  • Transcend Air Corporation: Proto 13: VTOL open framed fuselage with 2 propellers at the end of the foward main tiltwing with a rear H-tail
  • Transcend Air Corporation: Proto 14: 1/5 subscale Vy 400 (does not weight 350 lb), VTOL tiltwing with H-tail.
  • Transcend Air Corporation: Proto 15: 1/5 subscale Vy 400, first flight September 5, 2018 (does not weight 350 lb) VTOL tiltwing with H-tail and fixed skid landing gear.
  • Transcend Air Corporation: Proto 16: First flight January 19, 2019
  • Transcend Air Corporation: Proto 17: Risk Reduction Test Vehicle (RRTV), first flight July 31, 2023

Vy 400 hybrid-electric VTOL passenger defunct aircraft
The Vy 400 is a hybrid-electric VTOL passenger aircraft (and now defunct as of August 2023) which has one pilot and can carry up to five passengers. The estimated cruise speed is 410 mph (660 km/h) and a range of 500 miles (804 km). The aircraft has a payload of 2,190 lb (993 kg). The aircraft can have a longer range with fewer passengers and less seating. According to the company, when GE makes the next version of the same turbine engine they plan to use, which will have more horsepower, the range of the aircraft will be increased another 125 miles (161 kg). A safety feature includes an emergency whole aircraft parachute.

The Vy 400 has one main tilting wing with one propeller at the end of each wingtip. Each propeller is turned by electric motors and the electricity made for the entire aircraft is by a 2,500 hp GE CT7-8 turbine engine. The aircraft also employs a collective and a 30 kW electric stationary VTOL propeller prop in the rear of the aircraft. The aircraft uses Geofencing plus sensors to avoid obstacles.

In November 2018 Transcend Air selected VerdeGo Aero to provide the hybrid electric propulsion systems for an expanding family of Vy aircraft after the turbine Vy 400 has matured.

City routes examples
The company plans to establish a short-haul air service in 46 cities and here is an example of some of the city routes: Boston - New York - Washington D.C., San Francisco - Los Angeles – San Diego and/or Montreal – Toronto. The company has stated they plan to land on purpose built sustainable, zero-emission barge-based landing spots, called vertipads, and possibly land and take off from existing helipads.

Prototype flight testing
In September 2018, two electric-powered, one-fifth-scale prototypes began flight tests to evaluate vertical and forward flight transition. These will be followed by a half-scale prototype powered by a smaller PT6A engine to demonstrate the drive train. As of January 2019, assuming a successful Series A round funding round, the first flight of a full-scale manned prototype is expected in 2021.

The Vy 400 is based on a long line of flying VTOL prototypes from as far back as 2009, including the 1,984 lb (900 kg) crewed Elytron Converticopter. Transcend Air Corporation estimates as of September 2021, that the a Vy 400 will be priced between $4.6 to $6 million. At the time, the company hoped to have the Vy 400 passenger aircraft certified by 2025.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft: Hybrid-electric long-range VTOL passenger aircraft (now defunct)
  • Pilot: 1, 200 lb (91 kg) each, with fly-by-wire technology
  • Passengers: 4-5 passengers, 200 lb (91 kg) each
  • Baggage: 4-5 pieces of luggage, 40 lb (22 kg) each
  • Empty weight: 4,800 lb (2,177 kg)
  • Useful load: 2,190 lb (993 kg)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 6,990 lb (3,170 kg)
  • Cruise speed: 410 mph (660 km/h)
  • Estimated range: 500 miles (804 km)
  • Propellers: 3 propellers. 2 main propellers, each at the end of the tilt wing and 1 rear stationary VTOL propeller
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric 2,500 hp GE CT7-8 turbine engine
  • Wings: 1 high main tilt-wing
  • Tail: Twin tail with winglets
  • Landing gear: Retractable tricycle strut-type legs landing gear
  • Safety features: The aircraft has redundant systems, HUMS (health and usage monitoring), flight into known icing (FIKI) mission protection, fly by wire dual channel, triple modular redundant control system, advanced avionics, autopilot, envelope protection geofencing plus sensors (no flight into terrain or obstacles) and an emergency whole aircraft parachute.

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