The Low-Noise Low-Cost Midnight eVTOL is hoping to make commercial flights as soon as 2025

Drawing inspiration from the golden age of air travel, Archer Aviation has channeled the exhilaration and awe of early flight adventures into a modern commute solution. The experience onboard Midnight is tailored to reignite the thrill of flying, with each design element carefully crafted to enhance passenger experience. Features like panoramic windows offer unobstructed views of the urban expanse, transforming a routine journey into an exploratory adventure.

Designer: Archer Aviation

The core of Midnight’s appeal lies in its operational efficacy. Designed for quick, consecutive trips up to 20 minutes long with minimal recharge times, it embodies efficiency. The aircraft offers an integral component of future urban landscapes, promising a shift from hour-long car commutes to swift, serene air travels. Such a transformation is pivotal, not just for saving time but in reducing urban congestion and environmental impact, aligning with broader sustainability goals.

However, the journey to this innovation was not without its challenges. The integration of advanced aerospace composites, crucial for the aircraft’s lightweight and strength, exemplifies the meticulous attention to technical detail. This synergy of form and function is evident in every aspect of the Midnight, from its distinctive vertical nose light, reminiscent of luxury automotive brands, to its sleek, aerodynamic shape that promises both performance and visual allure.

Originating in Gainesville Florida back in 2018 and subsequently moving its base to Silicon Valley soon after, the folks at Archer Aviation hope to have the Midnight eVTOL begin commercial flights as soon as 2025.

The post The Low-Noise Low-Cost Midnight eVTOL is hoping to make commercial flights as soon as 2025 first appeared on Yanko Design.

Get ready to drive and fly with this modular Chinese flying car debuting at CES

Numerous flying car concepts have come and gone. Some remain in the pipeline after decades and a few have evolved into enticing prototypes. There are just a handful that are slightly near realism and ready to take off. Not that these are iterations of the dream flying car I have, where I would sit in a normal vehicle driving to the office for an urgent meeting and when I hit traffic, I’d just shift from drive mode to flying mode and take to the sky, over the congestion below… Ah!

These ideas of flying cars we are seeing pop up at the mega tech fest in Vegas are VTOLs with electric propulsion, designed to just fly straight up – without a runway – when you need personal mobility of the future to flaunt. After the fruitful sight of the Helix, the first marketable eVTOL aircraft slated to ship in the US starting June 10, 2024; we came across the Xpeng AeroHT eVTOL Flying Car at the ongoing CES.

Designer: Xpeng AeroHT

We learn this eVTOL flying car is designed and developed by AeroHT electric aviation wing of the Chinese auto company XPeng. Unlike traditional ideas, this modular flying car has a different approach. It comes in a two-part design, one part car and other an eVTOL, so it seamlessly switches between land and aerial modes.

Dubbed the land aircraft carrier, it has an all-electric powertrain. Designed in a futuristic form factor – somewhat hinting at the aesthetics of the Cybertruck – this is a 6×6 all-wheel-drive vehicle you would want to drive all day. The car functions as a land aircraft carrier and when you want to reach the destination faster, you can reach out to a tiny two-person eVTOL helicopter called air module from the rear hatch and get going.

We were fascinated by the demonstration of the wonderful act of the land and aerial modes of the enthralling low-altitude aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing. Visioned with safety in mind – both for land and air modes – the eVTOL comes with manual and autonomous flight modes, making it one of the safest personal, electric flying cars. We tried to hold up some conversation with the team at CES, but we do not have information on the battery unit or pricing, we learned it is going into production and should be available for preorder soon. Shipping is likely to begin in China toward the end of 2025.

The post Get ready to drive and fly with this modular Chinese flying car debuting at CES first appeared on Yanko Design.

Helix, the first eVTOL aircraft is at CES and all set to begin flying from June 2024

One day, the future of aviation will be the electric vertical and take-off aircrafts! This is a journey of thought that started over a decade back when the idea of flying cars was in its total frenzy. Manufacturers around the world have since deviated a little, and come up with various concepts/prototypes of eVTOLs aircrafts, with the idea of making short-distance aviation much quieter, with fewer emissions, and potentially safer than helicopters and other forms of flying crafts.

The main reason for the eVTOL lagging behind and not making it into mass production is essentially because of the demands of the Federal Aviation Administration in America. But that hasn’t stopped companies from working through time to prove to regulators that VTOL aircrafts can operate safely. Seems, the reasoning has met sane ears, and the first eVTOL, dubbed Helix, is now at CES 2024, and all set to be produced in larger volumes and shipped starting June 10.

Designer: Pivotal

The lightweight electric VTOL aircraft has been in the works by Palo Alto, California-based company Pivotal for over a decade. After numerous phases, the final aircraft is ready to take-off and land vertically without needing a runway or a pilot’s license to go airborne.

The Pivotal Helix, with fixed rotors and tandem wings, is a single-seat aircraft that can be flown without an FAA pilot certification, but the manufacturing company requires prospective fliers to go through hours of simulator and training sessions to fly the 348-pound eVTOL craft in the USA. Before you intend to shell out your savings to be the first Pivotal customer; you must be 18 years and above, have a body weight of fewer than 220 pounds, and you shouldn’t measure more than 6.5 feet tall, else you may not fulfill the company’s buyer requirement for the Helix.

Even though a pilot’s license is not necessary to fly the eVTOL, FAA requires the aircraft to be flown only above non-congested areas and at a considerable distance from airports. There is no other additional requirement as to why you cannot fly the Helix once it becomes available (and you have close to $200K odd to spare).

To make flying easy, the Pivotal Helix features a wide-angle view from the cockpit, and thriving on the electric engine, it guarantees silent operation. The battery renders 20 miles of range to the Helix, which can charge 100 percent in about 75 minutes using a 240V charger.

Helix scheduled for June, will come in three configurations. The base model with a white carbon fiber exterior, a digital flight panel, and an HD camera for landing will start at $190,000. The model with gloss white and striped carbon fiber exterior, 4K camera with landing assist will set you back $240,000, while the third model with a premium flight deck, customizable interior and exterior will cost $260,000. The first production lightweight eVTOL aircraft in the US can now be pre-ordered via $250 nonrefundable application fee, and a $50,000 booking deposit.

The post Helix, the first eVTOL aircraft is at CES and all set to begin flying from June 2024 first appeared on Yanko Design.

This single person electric VTOL aircraft leverages AI assist and dual joysticks for precision control

Yacht owners are known for indulging in luxury and the thrill of the open sea. Over the years, this community has indulged in buying submarines and Jet Skis to satisfy their growing desire for new thrills, and it is no surprise that electric VTOL and jetpacks will be on the list soon. In order to create the demand or perhaps be ready for when the need arises, a French company is making a deal visible.

Enter Acro eVTOL, a cutting-edge creation by Klissarov Design, specifically engineered for the yachting industry. The renowned French design studio is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of innovation in vehicle design. Studio’s portfolio spans boats, automobiles, and even aircraft and the latest addition to their impressive repertoire is the Acro, this electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept.

Designer: Klissarov Design

Acro is classified as an ultralight aircraft, which eliminates the need for a pilot’s license. The aircraft leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in its operation, ensuring a seamless and secure flying experience. This makes it accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts who want to experience the thrill of piloting their own craft.

The Acro eVTOL, designed with a molded seat to ensure the pilot’s comfort during flight, boasts a 3D-printed airframe, setting it apart from traditional aircraft design. With a length of 3.85 meters, a width of 4 meters, and a height of 1.6 meters, it combines compactness with performance and stability, making it a true marvel.

Designed with versatility in mind, Acro can transport a single mariner to and from a yacht or port with minimum noise and max comfort using two joysticks to maneuver the aircraft. Equipped with two screens for enhanced visibility, it offers a range of flight modes, enabling a personalized experience for every pilot.

This futuristic aircraft looks sleek, but it’s quite robust with an empty weight of 200 kilograms and a maximum take-off weight of 280 kg. It’s envisioned to deliver an exceptional experience while maintaining the highest standards of safety. With a cruise speed of 102 kmph (63 mph), Acro ensures a safe and controlled flight. It can touch down on any regular deck, making it the perfect companion for yachts in all kinds of weather conditions. The craft includes an emergency ballistic parachute at the top, a reassuring feature for those moments when all does not go according to plan, providing peace of mind to the thrill-seeking pilot.

The post This single person electric VTOL aircraft leverages AI assist and dual joysticks for precision control first appeared on Yanko Design.

This public eVTOL seats up to 6 people at a time for the quickest air-taxi rides in the city

As a species that’s increasingly embracing the idea of space travel, it feels like our cities still depend too much on roads for transport. It isn’t just time for flying personal cars, it’s time for public eVTOLS that allow the masses to travel from one point to another. In comes Linker, a 4-6 seater eVTOL that helps slash commute times by a large fraction, and allows you to travel anywhere within the city in style. The autonomous eVTOL features wings on each side with a spacious cabin in the middle. Large windows on either side of the cabin offer occupants a stunning view of the city as they travel through the air, and the eVTOL also features stowage area for luggage and cargo, allowing it to work as more than just public transport.

Designer: Joowon Lee

Designed as a graduation project during Lee’s time at the Hongik University in Seoul, Linker aims at tackling the problem of over-urbanization that sees a city getting cramped with buildings and roadways not being able to accommodate the influx of the urban population. The eVTOL has the ability to take off and land on the terraces of buildings, offering an A-to-B transport solution that uses the sky rather than adding to the hubbub of crowded roadways.

The eVTOL opts for a plane-like architecture, with two massive wings and three adjustable propellers on each wing. The six propellers face upwards during take-off and landing and then rotate to face forward after the vehicle is airborne, shifting from a helicopter to an airplane format.

The Linker’s interiors propose an interesting shapeshifting setup too. The eVTOL can sit either 4 people in a traditional car/airplane-style seating arrangement, or seat as many as 6 people in an ellipse facing outwards. The former arrangement would come at a premium, while the latter would be more like a public option, akin to traveling by bus.

The post This public eVTOL seats up to 6 people at a time for the quickest air-taxi rides in the city first appeared on Yanko Design.

ASKA showcases fully-functional prototype of its ‘street-legal’ flying car at CES 2023

Although the public demonstration got called off due to dicey weather (thanks, polar vortex), NFT Inc. (not the crypto kind) was all set to reveal a fully-functional prototype of their ASKA eVTOL at CES this year. Armed with FAA and EASA certifications, the ASKA A5 is arguably the world’s first ‘street-legal’ eVTOL that can alternate between driving on a highway or flying in mid-air. I’d argue that given its design, you’d probably do a spit-take if you saw this massive machine cruising right beside you on the road.

“Our unveil at CES represents something that has never been accomplished in the world, but which humans have dreamed of for decades: a fully functional, full-scale prototype of a Drive & Fly electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing, a real flying car. We’re making history with ASKA™ and defining the next 100 years of transportation,” mentioned Guy Kaplinsky, CoFounder/CEO.

Designer: NFT Inc.

For the uninitiated (we wrote about ASKA back in 2021), the ASKA A5 is a car, eVTOL hybrid that can alternate between driving down roads or taking off and gliding through the air. The vehicle, which seats 4, sports a rather unique framework, featuring fold-out wings with rotors mounted on them. In-wheel motors give the ASKA A5 a top speed of 70mph when cruising in ‘car mode’, while offering better traction and aerodynamics, while existing outside the eVTOL’s fuselage for a maximized cockpit. However, if the idea of gridlock doesn’t sit well with you, the ASKA A5 transforms into an aerial vehicle in mere minutes. The ASKA A5’s wings unfold and its propellers arrange themselves in a hexagonal pattern, while the car dashboard inside transforms into an information-rich cockpit with maps, gauges, and meters. Once airborne, it can reach speeds of up to 150mph with a range of 250 miles on a full charge – not to mention built-in safety protocols for safe landings. However, you can’t really decide to take off in the middle of a highway – you still need to abide by FAA regulations by having a piloting license and using helipads or vertiports for taking off and landing. We still live in a civilized society, right?

A few more details have emerged about the ASKA A5, including its proprietary power system that features lithium-ion battery packs and a gasoline engine that acts as an onboard range extender. The ASKA A5 can take off in both ways, in a vertical fashion like a helipad, or even on a runway, which apparently is much more energy efficient. “In the U.S. alone, there are around 15,000 airfields with runways,” explains Maki Kaplinsky, CoFounder & Chair/COO. “Our innovative engineering enables ASKA™ to take off from a runway super fast using our unique in-wheel motor technology. This is a revolution in aviation, enabling ASKA™ to take off in less than 5 sec with a runway of 250 ft which brings the closest experience to an F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier for our customers”

On the timeline front, not much has changed for the ASKA A5. The company is still looking at a 2026 launch, which seems incredibly commendable considering the chip shortage and the looming pandemic that’s somehow still wreaking havoc in countries like China well into its fourth year. The eVTOL is up for preorder if you’ve got $5,000 for a downpayment on the $789,000 vehicle. It has roughly the same footprint as a large SUV, so if you’ve got open-air parking, you could totally have this sitting right beside your home. I’d probably make a risky bet that this will actually begin shipping before the Cybertruck.

The post ASKA showcases fully-functional prototype of its ‘street-legal’ flying car at CES 2023 first appeared on Yanko Design.

Volkswagen just announced that they’ve been working on their first eVTOL ‘flying car’

Volkswagen has thrown its cap in the eVTOL game, announcing their first ever ‘air taxi’ named the V.MO (short for Vertical Mobility). Coming from the VW China team, V.MO was created in partnership with London-based studio Tangerine and Sunward, a China-based aviation manufacturer, helped build the first-ever prototype. “In 2020, Volkswagen Group China launched a Vertical Mobility project to explore the next generation of mobility solutions, including the urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace”, said Volkswagen in a press release. “After intensive research, conceptual work, and development, the project team has now developed its first validation model – the V.MO.”

Designers: Tangerine & VW Group China

Internally referred to as the Flying Tiger (to mark its launch in 2022, the year of the tiger), the V.MO is targeted toward China’s elite as a high-end travel concept made for travel between Chinese megacities for business and leisure. Volkswagen and Tangerine interviewed as many as 100 potential clients who fit the V.MO’s target audience description, which helped inform the overall eVTOL’s design.

The prototype concept is based on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology for emission-free mobility. With a luxury X-wing configuration of 11.2m in length and a span width of 10.6m, the model features eight rotors for vertical lift and two rear propellers that enable horizontal flight. In its final future iteration, the fully electric and automated eVTOL could eventually carry four passengers plus luggage over a distance of up to 200km.

Although VW Group’s just unveiled this one concept, the company has also revealed its ambitious plan to ramp up production and build several other prototypes. The Group will conduct several flight tests later this year to optimize the concept and an improved prototype will undergo further advanced test flights by late summer of 2023. For now, this one-off prototype is targeted at “private ownership”, Volkswagen claims, although future prototypes and iterations will explore different use-cases and ownership models.

The post Volkswagen just announced that they’ve been working on their first eVTOL ‘flying car’ first appeared on Yanko Design.

This luxurious flying car basks in uplifting interior comfort for high speed megacity travel

Getting from point A to point B in megacities is going to be the major focus in the next decade or even earlier. Justified enough for concept, as well as prototype flying cars and electric VTOL’s to have gained attention in the recent past. Shanghai-based Pantuo Aviation is yet another bunch of aviation and electric vehicle professionals eyeing the early piece of the pie with thier sustainable human mobility design. The company’s goal is to develop secure, AI-enabled eVTOL passenger aircraft that ease us all into the future of mobility.

The autonomous Pantala Concept H electric VTOL passenger aircraft is capable of ferrying five people from one destination to the other at cruising speeds of 300 km/h. The flying machine has an estimated range of 250 km which falls right in the alley of practical eVTOLs proposed for the end of this decade. The futuristic ride has candard tilt wings – each one of them having large diameter ducted fans with foreplane.

Designer: Pantuo

The front wings have four ducted fans while the rear wing gets seven. So, there are 20 ducted fans in total and 22 electric motors to propel the whole thing forward at impressive speeds. Safety is at the forefront here with the multi-redundant core integrated avionics and power systems at work. The ducted fans will considerably reduce the noise and maintenance costs which is another huge advantage.

The Interior of the Concept H eVTOL is spacious and luxurious – something that can be compared to current-day luxury cars or airliners. The pilot will take command from a single front seat, accompanied by two rows of seats for the four passengers in the back. Focus on the interiors is on user-friendly interface and comfort for demanding customers. The concept resembles the seven-seater Lilium eVTOL flying Taxi having the ducted fans – slated for a 2024 release.

Along the same lines, Pantuo Aviation is targeting the 2027 deadline to get the flying taxi certifications. Tests of the prototype are expected to begin shortly later this year, and we are keenly watching the Concept H and other promising eVTOLs hit the skies for commercial use sooner rather than later.

The post This luxurious flying car basks in uplifting interior comfort for high speed megacity travel first appeared on Yanko Design.

This pelican-shaped eVTOL car wants to ace air mobility needs of our dystopian future

A technologically advanced birdoplane concept relying on its propulsion system, mechanical legs and landing tracks. Seems like a pretty ambitious idea that’ll need more than just Elon Musk’s intellect to pull off!

The African region has its own set of challenges when it comes to delivering quick aid to remote locations. Hence comes into the equation the wave of eVTOL aircrafts that are capable of take-off and landing without the need of an airstrip or even level ground for that matter. This prompted a team of visionary thinkers to create an African tailored solution for the lingering African predicament. PHRACTYL, as the start-up is known is working on developing a personal aerial vehicle christened Macrobat. It’s named so because bats are the only flying mammals on the planet, and this pelican-shaped air mobility solution is also unique in its own rights.

As weird as the name of the eVTOL aircraft sounds, it’s nothing like you’ve seen so far, I bet. The tracks at the feet, the bird-like legs and the piloting/passenger cabin – all carry an element of the eerily cool. The Macrobat looks to have landed straight out of a sci-fi flick that’s mashed up a eVTOL and a technologically evolved robotic bird with enhanced consciousness. Multi-tracked feet of the mythical-looking bird means it can land on any terrain without hitch. The designers have taken a bold leap to give the flying machine a set of strong legs with hip, knee and ankle joints actuated by pretty strong motors. Once in the air, these legs will fold up to minimize any aerodynamic interference.

While landing down and taking off, the Macrobat will tilt back by around 45 degrees – just like most birds do. How the developers will address the weight distribution of the aircraft given all the different sets of variables like – weather conditions, wind speeds, the weight of the passenger/cargo or pilot error – is a question for another day. According to PHRACTYL, they can swap the design of the propellers seen here for a smaller form factor in future prototype designs. For the initial concept design, they claim the single-seater eVTOL to go at a speed of 112 mph and an average range of 93 miles. It will be able to carry a maximum load of 150 kg – be it the pilot, passenger or cargo. Yes, it can be piloted remotely too, so a passenger can sit back and enjoy the ride!

So far, the PHRACTYL team has not delved deep into the details of the Macrobat birdoplane, beyond these few renders and a scaled-down carved wooden model. They’re also working on some propulsion tests of the prototype, and the future will make the picture clearer on this bird’s influence on the transportation dominated by aerial vehicles.

Designer: PHRACYTL 

The post This pelican-shaped eVTOL car wants to ace air mobility needs of our dystopian future first appeared on Yanko Design.

This jet-inspired VTOL is propelled forward by two powerful bladeless fans

While VTOLs are futuristic as it is, Jetoptera’s J-2000 pushes that definition further by looking futuristic even for the year 2050. Most VTOLs are characterized by massive propellers or thrusters that allow liftoff, travel, and landing, but Jetoptera’s J2000 and J4000 vehicles avoid that distinction. Instead, they come with Dyson’s bladeless-fan-inspired hoops on the front and the back. The hoops act as thrusters, relying on a proprietary “fluidic propulsion system (FPS).”

The bladeless thrusters look as well as function quite similarly to how the bladeless fans do, “multiplying” the air to generate more thrust. Both devices rely on fluid dynamics to take a relatively small flow of compressed air, and use it to suck a much greater volume of ambient air through at speed, New Atlas adeptly mentions. Jetoptera’s VTOLs come in two variants. A smaller, consumer-friendly J-2000 that comfortably seats 2 people, while a larger J-4000 works like a town car, seating 4. They work just as VTOLs and eVTOLs would work, lifting off and landing vertically like a helicopter, but traveling forward like a miniature plane.

Interestingly enough, the J-2000 and J-4000 are just proof-of-concepts. Jetoptera doesn’t intend on producing these vehicles for use, and wants to avoid going down the arduous path of certifications and aircraft development. Rather, the eVTOLs we see here are proof-of-concepts for Jetoptera’s secret sauce, its bladeless propulsion system. Unlike most VTOLs that run using propellers, Jetoptera’s propellers aren’t limited to a circular shape due to the rotating fan. Given that the fan is located somewhere within the aircraft, the bladeless propellers themselves can pretty much be any shape Jetoptera likes. I personally think the long, flat, almost-rectangular thrusters lend a uniquely futuristic touch to the aircraft. Jetoptera hopes to perfect this propulsion system and build it for other aircraft manufacturers. It’s currently in talks with the US Air Force that’s really interested in the technology.

Designer: Jetoptera