FUTUR E A I RCR A FT
“5G holds the promise
of further enhancing
luggage. Its design is more like a normal helicopter, with its many rotors
above the passengers and the battery behind the cabin.
Flight tests were carried out in 2017 in Dubai, UAE, and more are
expected in Singapore in the fourth quarter of 2019. The goal is to enter
commercial service by 2021.
The Volocopter is piloted for now, for easier certification, but there
are plans for autonomous operation. Artist impressions of the interior
show a sparse design with two leather or fabric seats. The pilot has a
multifunctional display and analogue flight instruments.
The 216 and Volocopter will both fly low and slow enough – not
much faster than a car on the motorway – that passengers should be able
to use terrestrial cellular networks. By the time these aircraft are in
commercial service, 5G networks are expected to be in place. “5G holds
the promise of further enhancing connectivity,” says Hubbard.
RANGE VERSUS EXPERIENCE
Until batteries become lighter and can store more energy, electric aircraft
developers will navigate a trade-off between range and the cabin
experience. “Larger accessory electrical loads, heating, ventilation and
air-conditioning systems and lighting are going to be a large power draw,”
says Don MacKenzie, a civil and environmental engineering assistant
professor who leads a sustainable transportation laboratory at the
University of Washington.
For the executive who wants to drive part of the way, Hubbard also
sees a role for the flying car. “With flying cars there is potential there
to move quickly between surface and air transport,” he says.
050 OCTOBER 2019
Many companies have
announced efforts to reduce
recently – from those who
demonstrated the potential of
Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel
(SAJF) in flights to EBACE 2019,
to those who are investigating
recycled interior materials, for
Aerion has committed to
making its AS2 carbon neutral.
The supersonic aircraft will
not have an afterburner,
and will be compatible with
Aerion says its
strategies will not
rely completely on
design firm Yasava
has unveiled a carbon-neutral
cabin for large business jets.
Based on its Astral design,
Zen will use a blockchain
platform called Oxï-Zen to
offset emissions. The design
also includes materials from
verified sustainable sources,
new options for recycled and
materials, and large OLED
displays instead of windows.
The carbon footprints of every
supplier, and the completion,
would be monitored and offset.
LEFT AND BELOW: BELL’S NEXUS
BOTTOM RIGHT: YASAVA’S CARBONNEUTRAL
One such development is the
Terrafugia, a flying car with a folding wing
and hybrid propulsion. Although designed
in the USA, the development is now
owned by a Chinese company. In 2018,
it was announced Terrafugia would be
available to buy in 2019.
In Europe, pre-orders are already being
taken for the Personal Air Land Vehicle
(PAL-V), developed by a company based
in the Netherlands. The PAL-V is a
gyroplane; an aircraft for which there is
already a pathway for certification. The
first deliveries are planned for 2021 in
Europe. The vehicle has a price tag of
up to US$599,000 (€543,085), with the
highest specification interior being an
Italian design with heating and handcrafted
If all this comes to fruition, the
executive of tomorrow will be able to pilot
their flying car to their nearest airport,
step aboard a supersonic business jet to
cross the ocean and reach their downtown
meeting place after 20 minutes of comfort
in an eVTOL; all the while retaining the
connectivity they need to be productive
and prepared. Watch this space!
now working with
partners to develop
the infrastructure and
to bring air taxis