A UK-startup unveils VTOL aircraft with an 800-mile range
ARC Aerosystems, a UK-based aviation startup, has unveiled its new VTOL passenger aircraft at an event in Dublin. The nine-seater model, named Linx P9, is pitched as a "cost-effective, low-carbon solution to intercity travel."
The aircraft, which offers vertical take-off and landing capabilities, is touted to have the "flexibility of a helicopter, with the performance of a fixed-wing utility aircraft", according to a news release. With these features, the company plans to address the challenging needs of regional air mobility.
The aircraft is comparatively lightweight and slim at just 4,255 lb (1,930 kg), and the main wing measures 41.3 ft (12.6-m).
An aircraft with superior specifications
The eVTOL is designed as a full-composite structure and offers two variants. One is powered by a hybrid-electric powertrain, while the second is provided with twin turboprop engines. Both these are engineered to support both SAF and hydrogen in the future. The aircraft can achieve a top speed of 230 mph(370 km/h) and maintain a maximum cruising altitude of 3,962m. The standard range of the aircraft is 590 miles (950 km), and it offers an extended range of 807 miles (1300 km) with an additional fuel tank.
The aircraft features a high wing configuration, is unpressurized, and comes equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear. "It’s able to perform a jump take-off and no-roll landing without the need of a runway, making it a highly versatile passenger and cargo craft, fit for a wide range of use cases."
A sustainable effort from the makers
LINX P9 is pitched as an answer to new perspectives on the future of aviation. According to the firm, sustainability and efficient transport are central focus points across the globe. It is high time we address them by "reducing urban traffic, improving safety and reliability, and shifting away from fossil fuels".
The company claims that the aircraft design offers a 40 percent more cost-effective alternative to helicopters (based on the DARPA model) and a 30 percent increased range compared to similar-size helicopters (based on the Roskam method). “It’s a very exciting design concept that is the ultimate solution for the market, that is affordable, safe and practical, whilst providing the right answer to the current environmental concerns," said ARC's CEO, Seyed Mohseni.
The future of LINX P9
What's next for LINK P9? Bringing it to market. For this, test models have to be developed to optimize the design. Currently, ARC has completed a 100 percent scale test for their C-150 craft – "proving their ability to make their designs a reality". Mohseni is confident the LINX P9 meets the needs of the market.
“Development of an air vehicle requires dedication to understand clients’ needs in five to 50 years in the future, and define a road map of a timely certifiable technology to achieve solutions for those needs.”
Scientists propose using dynamic soaring, a flying technique of seabirds, for much faster spacecraft propulsion that could let us reach faraway planets.