Compact VTOL: Urban Aeronautics is developing a family of quiet internal rotor VTOL aircraft to fly almost anywhere.
Imagine a time in the not-too-distant future when unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft stealthily cross urban battlefields, while piloted versions easily navigate crowded cities and quietly touchdown in confined areas inaccessible to conventional helicopters or winged VTOL aircraft.
For the past 20 years, developing internal ducted rotorcraft has been the passion and profession of a team led by Dr. Rafi Yoeli, the founder and CEO of Urban Aeronautics Ltd, an Israeli company based in Yavne, 20 miles (30 km) south of Tel Aviv. UrbanAero is designing, manufacturing and marketing Fancraft, its family of multi-mission VTOL vehicles without external rotors.
Kenneth I. Swartz, Contributing Editor of “Vertiflite,” the AHS International magazine, recently travelled to Israel to interview Dr. Rafi Yoeli and learn more about his company and the emerging Fancraft technology.
The unmanned Cormorant UAS first flew in late 2009. It is designed to fly a 1,100 lb (500 kg) payload on utility and cargo missions and also undertake lifesaving battlefield casualty evacuation missions.
In April 2017, Metro Skyways Ltd, the manned aircraft unit of UrbanAero, announced plans to develop the five-seat CityHawk “flying car” over five years based on the Cormorant’s internal ducted fan system and chassis. It is being designed to accept clean hydrogen power.
Designed for air taxi and aeromedical use, the CityHawk will initially be powered by a gas turbine engine, but will be designed from the outset to convert to liquid hydrogen and eventually to 10,000 psi (700 bar) compressed hydrogen or electric battery power once those options become commercially feasible. Yoeli believes that the utility of a VTOL aircraft will only be fully realized when it has the ability to take off and land anywhere “and has the footprint of a car.”
Read more at www.vtol.org and www.evtol.news
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