Based in Germany, Weslax is in the business of building hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Regional Air Mobility (RAM) and for air cargo. The company has successfully flown a full scale proof of concept aircraft on October, 26, 2020 in Germany. The historic crewed flight was about six minutes long, providing real world evidence their one passenger hybrid-electric multicopter aircraft can fly.
The Hylift is an uncrewed multicopter hybrid-electric VTOL cargo aircraft with a maximum cruise speed is 70 km/h (43 mph), has a range of 60 km (37 m) and its flight time is 10 minutes. The aircraft has 16 propellers, 16 electric motors and is powered by a gas engine.
The aircraft has four vertically long landing legs. There are two vertical downward facing cargo attachment legs with an L shape at the bottom (and apparently movable) which are located in the middle of the aircraft to hold the middle of a cargo container. Each of the four landing legs have an L shape moveable retainer to hold the ends of a rectangular cargo container. There are six points which hold the cargo container in place during flight.
The powertrain produces 110KW electric power continuously for all the electric motors and all other aircraft systems. The Hylift can land safely due to a backup battery, if a powertrain failure occurs. The single failure tolerant architecture ensures safety.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Maximum cruise speed: 70 km/h (43 mph)
- Range: 60 km (37 m)
- Flight Time: 60 minutes
- Maximum payload: 100 kg (220 lb)
- Propellers: 16 propellers
- Electric Motors: 16 electric motors
- Power source: Hybrid-electric
- Refueling time: 10 minutes
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Landing gear: 4 fixed landing legs
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft. The aircraft has battery backup to land the aircraft safely, in case of an engine failure.