Passenger Drones coming to a sky near us.
Passenger Drones, a personal flyer, a flying car, an air taxi, a particular aircraft, and transports. What’s next in line?
The Scorpion 3
Many of us have often wished we could fly through the air when we’re stuck in traffic or hurrying to get to work.
Listed below are some options we may soon have to do just that.
The Zeva ZERO is a personal flyer that transitions from hover mode to forward flight mode. The ZERO has a cruising speed around 100 miles per hour.
Honorable Mention: Zeva Zero
Passenger Drones come in all shapes and sizes.
15. Hoversurf Formula
In early 2018, modeled after the Venturi electric turbine, Hoversurf unveiled Formula, a flying car built with 3D printing technology. The Formula has four folding wings and a sleek build. As a result, eliminating the use of the rotary engines and external propellers that have become popular with drones.
The single seat design allows for take-off and landing in an area the size of a standard parking space. Furthermore, the Hoverbike has an estimated range of 186 miles and a flight time of 75 hours. In addition, a top speed of 155 mph. It’s a safe assumption most people aren’t going to be going that fast. Using the Hoverbike for short trips throughout the day seems the likely scenario.
PopUp.Next is a hybrid air shuttle transport offering the flexibility of a ground vehicle with the freedom of a vertical aircraft.
Composed of a three-part system this aircraft has a two-seat passenger capsule that attaches to either a ground module or air module.
The air module utilizes eight propellers to carry the capsule to and from its destination. The air module then attaches to a ground module and is driven like a standard automobile. Furthermore, in the air, these passenger drones have an approximate range of 31 miles and a top speed of 93 mph. Lastly, on the ground, you’re looking at 81 miles range and a top speed of 62 mph.
Having just come about in 2017, these passenger drones are currently in the prototype stages.
13. Aston Martin Volante Vision
The Volante Vision is designed ideally with the hobbyist flyer in mind. Sporting a style reminiscent of a futuristic jet fighter, you could quickly get the feel of a real pilot in a cockpit using the fly-by-wire flight controls.
The Volante utilizes a hydrogen fuel cell drive, providing power to six propellers. As a result, the Volante can achieve a top speed of 410 mph, a range of 1,150 miles, and a flight ceiling of 5 1/2 miles in about 10 minutes.
Subsequently, there has been no word on when we’ll see a working prototype.
12. Airbus CityAirbus
CityAirbus is an efficient electric-powered air taxi system with a chopper-inspired styling.
Four batteries power eight propellers each with their original motor. As a result, at a cruising speed of 75 mph, the aircraft has an estimated flight time of 15 minutes.
Set to launch by 2023, the CityAirbus features a roomy interior that can carry up to four passengers. In addition, plans to design a more compact self-piloted passenger drone.
11. Aurora XV-24A LightningStrike
First flown in 2018, the LightningStrike is a military version hybrid electric aircraft. The LightnStrike was designed by Aurora Flight Sciences.
This aircraft has a wingspan of 60 feet and measures just over 38 feet from nose to tail. In addition, features tilting wings and tail which contain 24 ducted fans.
In addition, the LightnStrike has a cruising speed of 345 mph and a load capacity just over 1,600 lbs. Considering Aurora’s independent nature and lack of a passenger cabin, it’s a safe assumption the LightningStrike was developed to be a cargo carrier.
More Passenger Drones
10. Pterodynamics Transwing
The Pterodynamics Transwing is a genuinely groundbreaking innovation in the world of VTOL aircraft. The Transwing measures 23 feet in length and is a four-passenger aircraft. Furthermore, transitioning from a rotor-wing configuration during takeoff and landing, to a fixed-wing configuration in forwarding flight.
The design is only 18 feet wide with the wings folded back. As a result, allows easy storage when not in use.
Meanwhile, there are no final numbers on the speed profile. However, the company says it’s in line with traditional fixed-wing aircraft.
9. Hopflyt Venturi
In aircraft control and maintenance, the Hopflyt Venturi offers a unique dynamic to efficient power usage.
In addition to a distributed electrical propulsion, this 24-foot long craft utilizes wave-like wings with eight channels and canards. As a result, reducing its battery consumption while improving ride quality. Most importantly, for trips under 200 miles, Venturi looks to be the leading mobility choice.
Lastly, the speed of 137 mph and a flight range of 115 miles is a testament to its proposition as one of the most efficient aircraft over short distances.
8. JAXA Hornisse
Designed by JAXA Aerospace, the Hornisse is a VTOL aircraft with style close to a Formula One race car. The company’s goal is to develop a prototype that would eventually solve travel problems in mountainous terrains. Especially in the company’s homeland of Japan.
The aircraft measures 7 1/2 feet long with a wingspan just over 6 feet. The configuration features four centrally located vertical fans in a square shape, and with an additional rotating fan at the end of each wingtip.
Initially planned as single-passenger passenger drones, JAXA is looking into the possibility of making a two-seat version as well.
To be in full swing, July of 2020 is the estimated timeline for the Hornisse project.
7. Vickers Wave eVTOL
The Wave is not just another VTOL aircraft. Modeled as an amphibious sports air taxi, it can take off from both land and water. Vickers Wave was built to be sleek, safe and dependable, and it’s configurable as a six-person taxi with a cargo transporter, manned by a pilot.
It features eight fans with two on each end of the four wingtips, On takeoff the rear wing starts in a lowered position, rising as the rotors spin, to its final fixed wing flight position.
Although it’s still in the design stages, the company claims a top speed of 180 miles per hour w/ a range of 580 miles.
6. Starling Jet
Set for full-scale aircraft tests by March 2019 and expected sales by 2024, the Starling Jet could be a cheaper and more efficient flight option for business and luxury travelers.
With a ten-passenger capacity, a top speed of 460 miles per hour, and a range up to 1,500 miles, it’s a practical solution for regional and short-haul flights.
Powered by a gas-electric hybrid system with three jet engines fixed above the wings and tail, it promises to be eco-friendly and faster than a conventional plane while offering the luxury of a private jet all for about half the price.
Passenger Drones may just take over the sky.
Promising yet another option for short distance urban flights is the AirisOne, a 5-passenger autonomous eVTOL aircraft.
Powered by a coaxial lift fan and eight articulating thrusters, the craft boasts a cruising speed of 175 miles per hour w/ a maximum range of 200 miles.
Working toward a scheduled prototype demonstration flight in 2020 and a commercial launch in 2025, it promises standard features such as a ballistic parachute and anti-icing technology as well as accommodations for passengers who need wheelchair access. The company is also set to participate in ride-sharing Air Taxi programs such as Uber Elevate.
4. Ray Civil VTOL Aircraft
The Ray Civil VTOL Aircraft features a blended wing body design and gives the impression of a hovering eagle in the sky. This design, though simple, helps minimize the amount of interference with incoming airflow, allowing the aircraft to fly faster with lesser noise and vibration.
With two turbine engines, the Ray Civil produces 1600 horsepower to the six fans, two on each wing and two ducted fans mounted at the tail. It has an expected cruising speed of 224 miles per hour w/ a range just over 1,100 miles.
3. Autonomous Flight Y6S
The Autonomous Flight Y6S is a 2-passenger electric-powered aircraft designed primarily as a short-range air taxi, which promises flights at prices comparable to that of train tickets.
Scheduled for a prototype test in late 2019 and a projected commercial launch by 2023, it features two fixed forward wings with two tilt-propellers and a vertical propeller at the tail. With a top speed of 70 miles per hour, a range of 80 miles, and a flight ceiling of 1,500 feet, you can expect that the Flight Y6S’s commuting inner-city is most likely.
2. Volerian VTOL
The Volerian is a futuristic VTOL aircraft featuring specially shaped ducts which extend from either side of the aircraft body and attached to two flapping wings that are driven by cams on a rotary shaft. There are several configurations possible w/ the basic design having it functioning like a flying bird.
The flapping action of the wings causes air to flow up through the ducts, lifting the Volerian each time the system loses power. With a plan to launch in 2023, it is still undecided if these passenger drones power source is going to be electric, gas or a hybrid of both.
1. Vimana AAV
A 4-passenger prototype Vimana features eight propellers powered by an electric-hybrid system boasting a maximum cruise speed of 152 mph with a range of 600 miles.
July of 2020 is the estimated timeline for this project to be in full swing.