Flying cars have long been the stuff of science fiction, but not for much longer. Urban Aeronautics announced earlier this week it was launching full-scale development of its flying car - CityHawk eVTOL.
Developed by Urban’s subsidiary, Metro Skyways, the first manned flights are expected in 2021-2022, to be followed by full FAA certification. The 170mph six-seater will originally be hybrid-powered but converted to run on hydrogen (H2) fuel cells upon the issuance of the certification.
The company’s flagship Fancraft™️ model, CityHawk can take off and land just about anywhere. The Israel-based company said it offers a true equivalent to a ground taxi or family sedan in both appearance and passenger capacity. Its uniquely compact, “wingless” fuselage and “six-degrees-of-freedom-uncoupled”, flight modes deliver true, unencumbered, three-dimensional access and mobility.
CityHawk is designed to meet the most stringent, current FAA requirements for twin engine helicopters. Its main advantage over helicopters and currently proposed eVTOL aircraft is its car-sized dimensions, resulting from its wingless, “rotorless” design, combined with its significant payload of up six occupants. All of the vehicle’s rotors are internal to the fuselage, achieving unmatched safety to ground personnel and unparalleled noise reduction resulting in an acoustic footprint equivalent to that of a passing by car.
Why H2 and not batteries? “Because today’s batteries are too heavy to power a compact, high occupancy aircraft. Why compromise the performance that’s required to make a commercially viable aircraft by committing to today’s energy technology when it will soon be obsolete?” the company explained.
“Unlike batteries, H2 fuel cells don’t have a limited life cycle and generate zero toxic waste. All this while packing an energy density that is an order of magnitude greater than today’s batteries or even carbon-based fuel. With this technology just around the corner, why would we want to design an aircraft powered by anything else?”
“Today’s innovation needs to anticipate tomorrow’s technology in order to optimise it’s potential. Fancraft™️ are designed in order to accommodate evolving technologies ranging from AI to energy, as they mature. These are aircraft that will be around for decades to come.”
About Metro Skyways
The Isreal-based company has a mission to manufacture the world’s safest, quietest, most compact, high occupancy VTOL aircraft in order to make aerial, mass transportation a reality by making it commercially viable.
Metro Skyways has brought together a group of some of the most experienced engineers in the aerospace industry.