A New Hydrogen-Powered eVTOL Aircraft Can Soar 800 Miles
Aviation firm Paragon has unveiled an eVTOL aircraft called Soar with a staggering 800-mile (1,287-km) range thanks to a powertrain that uses liquid hydrogen to extend its range, a post from Rob Report explains.
The rear two of Soar's eight large ducted turbofans tilt to provide thrust while smaller fans on the aircraft's fixed wings provide control and stability and enable vertical takeoff and landing. Paragon says its eVTOL aircraft will have a range figure of between 300-800 miles depending on the configuration and load.
The company has designed a hybrid system that uses direct hydrogen combustion alongside a battery pack in order to increase range at the same time as significantly reducing emissions. Renders on the company's website show a six-seater vehicle, though the company states that the "final version will be based on an FAA-approved airframe which may alter the commercial ready VTOL". Take a look at the company's current render video below.
Get your time back
On its website, Paragon uses the tagline "get your time back," which is in line with the promise of many firms working in urban air mobility, such as Lilium and Hyundai, which recently partnered with UK startup Urban-Air Port to build over 200 eVTOL vertiports. The airframe for Soar also reminds us a little of the design for the Skybus aircraft developed by GKN Aerospace, which has a massive proposed capacity of 30-50 passengers for urban commutes.
A video on Paragon's website shows how Soar could be used as an incredibly fast aerial ambulance, with enough space inside for medical professionals to check on patients as they are being transported to the hospital. However, Dwight Thanos Smith, Paragon's founder and chief visionary officer, told Robb Report that Soar will primarily be used to deliver cargo and will also eventually be used "for mainstream consumers that want to experience first-class travel at a ride-share rate." Paragon recently announced it had bought 730 acres of land in Brownsville, Texas on which it plans to build its own factory and vertiport. The company hopes to launch a prototype of Soar to the skies in 2022, before officially releasing its finalized aircraft in 2024.