Abhiyaan (concept design)
VTOL Aviation India Pvt. Ltd.
VTOL Aviation India Pvt. Ltd. was created in 2016 by Kalyan Chowdhury, a pioneer in the Shipping and logistics industry in India. In 2017, the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, and conducted successful testing and launch of the joint solar unmanned air vehicle, the 'Ayaan' — India's first solar powered UAV. In 2018, two years after the initial design had begun, VTOL Aviation unveiled its Abhiyaan air taxi. (And unmanned version is also being studied, under the name "Aaveg".)
In May 2018, the company announced that it had signed a $2.2 million (Rs 15-crore) MoU with IIT Kanpur for feasibility studies and to develop functional prototypes of the VTOL Abhiyaan within the next five years. Prof. Ajoy Kumar Ghosh heads the IIT Kampur aerospace engineering department and the flight laboratory, told The Print, “We will establish proof of concept and identify the key technology areas." He elaborated that "There will be over a 100 students working on this in the coming years.” The aircraft is considering ducted fans powered by electric motors, with an option for a hybrid propulsion system.
The graphic above is one of the first concept designs for the all-electric or a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft named the Abhiyaan. The concept design had a canopy over the entire passenger compartment, five propellers, five electric motors, a high-wing, a T-tail and retractable tricycle wheeled gear. The company hopes the cruise speed of their aircraft will be 450-500 km/h (278-311 mph).
According to The Print: "IIT-K’s aerospace department has one of the country’s leading stating-of-the-art facility when it comes to research in aerospace and propulsion. It contains wind-tunnels and flight labs capable of testing aircraft. The development of such a prototype could be quite revolutionary if realized effectively, bringing in drastic changes to our transportation laws and connectivity." The Print also noted that the effort was far beyond just developing the technology: "This will include working with the aviation authorities in India, at the very least, to lift restrictions on the use of airspace."
Company website description: VTOL AIR TAXI - Abhiyaan
- Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
- Green Product
- All-electric and hybrid-electric Power Options
- Smooth Transition
- Estimated Cruise speed of 450-500 km/h (278-311 mph)
- Economical Mode of Transportation
- Advanced Aerodynamics & Long Endurance
- Unparalleled travel flexibility
- Contra-Landing Properties (Ground, Water, Snow, Helipad, Runway)
- No Airport Necessary
- Highest Safety Features
- VTOL Aviation India website
- VTOL Aviation India Twitter
- VTOL Aviation LinkedIn
- Indian Institute of Technology website
- Article: IIT-Kanpur signs Rs 15 crore deal to develop flying taxis in India, The Print, May 23, 2018
- Article: Forget UberAIR, India could soon have 'Made in India' flying taxis, Business Today, May 28, 2018
- Article: Bringing Flying Taxis to the Masses: India’s VTOL Aviation Redefines the Future of Mobility, Auto Futures, Aug. 4, 2019