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VTOL On Demand Mobility

Grey Havoc

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Airbus is apparently getting in on the act, with a project called the CityAirbus Vahana. Via Gizmodo: http://www.airbusgroup.com/int/en/news-media/corporate-magazine/Forum-88/My-Kind-Of-Flyover.html

A3, the company’s innovation group located in Silicon Valley, said it is working on a project called Vahana—stemming from the Sanskrit word that means “that which carries.” The vehicle, being developed under the title CityAirbus, would have “multiple propellers and also resemble a small drone in its design.” It would be an alternative to regular land-bound taxis, that would cost just as much. The company apparently has been working on this since February of this year and hopes to test its first prototypes by the end of 2017.
 

CammNut

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CityAirbus and Vahana are two separate projects. Vanaha is an A3 (Airbus Silicon Valley) project to develop a single-passenger autonomous VTOL aircraft, CityAirbus is an Airbus Helicopters project for a multi-passenger VTOL air taxi.
 

Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc said:
Airbus is apparently getting in on the act, with a project called the CityAirbus Vahana. Via Gizmodo: http://www.airbusgroup.com/int/en/news-media/corporate-magazine/Forum-88/My-Kind-Of-Flyover.html

A3, the company’s innovation group located in Silicon Valley, said it is working on a project called Vahana—stemming from the Sanskrit word that means “that which carries.” The vehicle, being developed under the title CityAirbus, would have “multiple propellers and also resemble a small drone in its design.” It would be an alternative to regular land-bound taxis, that would cost just as much. The company apparently has been working on this since February of this year and hopes to test its first prototypes by the end of 2017.

VTOLicious said:
R&D for VTOL personal transport seems to be fashionable these days ::)

http://www.businessinsider.sg/airbus-air-taxi-uber-of-skies-2016-11/

https://electrek.co/2016/10/24/airbus-unveils-concept-autonomous-electric-vtol-aircraft/

"The vehicle program is called ‘Vahana’ and it is being developed by Airbus’ subsidiary (pronounced “A-cubed”) based in Silicon Valley. A³’s CEO, Rodin Lyasoff, was formerly a Lead Engineer for Flight Software and Simulation at Zee Aero, one of the electric aircraft startups financed by Page."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-group-tech-idUSKBN1501DM
http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/airbus-test-flying-car/
 

Grey Havoc

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-06/uber-hires-veteran-nasa-engineer-to-develop-flying-cars
 

AeroFranz

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Granted it's a flying taxi, but the Uber concept will not be roadable, so it's not a 'flying car' or 'roadable aircraft'. We should consider a new thread on VTOL On Demand Mobility.

DONE ;)
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/08/airbus-shows-futuristic-flying-car-geneva-motor-show/
 

VTOLicious

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Grey Havoc said:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/08/airbus-shows-futuristic-flying-car-geneva-motor-show/
 

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Motocar

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The most serious thing that has is its origin "Airbus" remains in the concept of "Drone" and there a Chinese model takes them not much advantage the "EHang" shared since:
http://www.segurocoche.com/el-coche-volador-puede-ser-una-realidad-a-finales-de-2017/

coche-volador-chino.jpg
 

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Agreed AeroFranz! ODM shorter range / slower Multicopter & faster / longer range VTOL aircraft.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://nypost.com/2017/04/01/soon-youll-be-able-to-go-to-work-in-a-flying-taxi/
 

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Check the Uber Elevate Summit on live stream: https://www.uber.com/info/elevate/summit/

Highlights so far
Aurora Flight Sciences showed a 1/4 scale Personal Air Vehicle Prototype that they flight tested (incl. transition)
 

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mboeller

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Lilium Jet from Germany:

https://lilium.com/

VTOL, electric, 300kmh, 300km range ... projected


video of the first flight of a 2seat prototype is available on the website

lilium-jet-silver-front-diagonal.jpg
 

sferrin

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Any relation between that Lilium Jet and Aurora's DARPA effort? Are they close enough in design to cause a ruckus re. patent infringement? ???
 

AeroFranz

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The concepts are pretty close, but Lilium carries the fans on the flaps to point them down, Aurora's tilts the entire wing.
One thing that the lilium video on their website does not show is full wingborne transition, which is tricky. I'm also kind of annoyed they call their ducted fans "Jets".
 

Sundog

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AeroFranz said:
I'm also kind of annoyed they call their ducted fans "Jets".

Yeah, that was the first thing I noticed as well. It sure doesn't look like the Brayton Cycle to me. ;)
 

AeroFranz

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They've also gone through several iterations. They've given up on that retractable canard which characterized the early concepts. I guess they realized that with the cg in the middle, and the wing in the back, they still need lift in the nose to make things work. Their latest iteration looks somewhat closer to the XV-24A.
 

Foo Fighter

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It seems to me that uncowled props/rotors in those positions would be a potential hazard, in ground handling terms.
 

VTOLicious

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Foo Fighter said:
It seems to me that uncowled props/rotors in those positions would be a potential hazard, in ground handling terms.

From the video it seems as if the entrance and exit is only planned from the front, requiring some kind of gangway.
 

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mboeller

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Cartercopter teamed up with Mooney for their electric "UBER ELEVATE AIR TAXI CONCEPT" VTOL

Press Release:
http://www.cartercopters.com/system/sdocs/27/original/Carter%20Aviation%20Press%20Release%20-%202017-04-25%20-%20Uber%20Elevate.pdf?1493134124

unfortunately the links in the PDF still don't work. Jeff Lewis has sent me The Summit-Presentation. See attachment.

edit: attachment deleted
link to the Cartercopter-Presentation:

http://www.cartercopters.com/system/sdocs/28/original/Carter%20Presentation.2017-04-25.Uber%20Elevate%20Summit%202.pdf?1493651657
 

AeroFranz

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VTOLicious said:
Foo Fighter said:
It seems to me that uncowled props/rotors in those positions would be a potential hazard, in ground handling terms.

From the video it seems as if the entrance and exit is only planned from the front, requiring some kind of gangway.

indeed, the first iteration of Uber vehicles will operate from 'vertiports', which allows you to take advantage of some ground support equipment. Obviously any door-to-door service, which could theoretically land on unprepared surfaces like someone's backyard, would require a different layout. You'd probably want to put the rotors above reach of passengers.

@mboeller: thanks for posting the presentation!
 

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Bell ultra light taxi

http://news.bellhelicopter.com/en-US/162665-bell-helicopter-makes-debut-as-first-major-helicopter-manufacturer-to-exhibit-at-ces
 

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TomS

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

They really went out of their way to conceal any hint of the dynamic systems used in this concept.
 

hesham

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

Nice find RavenOne.
 

Michel Van

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

Video about this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfphonAmww8

Bells Homepage about "Air Taxi"
http://bellhelicopter.com/company/innovation/ces-2018

This let to wild Internet speculation about Air Taxi drive system
going over "Blade Runner" and anti-grav units to oversized quadcopter
some sources like the Video above tell that Air Taxi is electrical power Helicopter
and Video on Bell homepage suggest it also automotive,
There is no pilot in that video and passengers not using the controls.
 

Foo Fighter

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

I can think of more than a few people who many would pay to see moved by this transport system.
 

fredymac

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

I would think an electric helicopter would be more efficient than a giant electric quad/multi-copter. A distributed lift electric hybrid that transitions to wing borne flight would beat that but for short hops across a city an electric helicopter might be adequate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqY0AauzJSY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoRSuiXg-iQ
 

galgot

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

At Bell PR offices some time ago :
"- Boss, I have this genius idea to make a buzz,
We present a helicopter WITHOUT PROPELLERS" , imagine that !!!"
"- Bill, you just got promoted !"
 

fredymac

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

Bell's hybrid electric urban taxi may actually include a tilt rotor configuration (50 second mark) while Airbus is going the quadcopter route.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcLC_ISLOQ
 

TomS

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

Not just tiltrotor. It looks to be a pretty weird multi-rotor configuration -- the foreground aircraft appear to have stowed rotors on the mid-wing pods and along the tailboom. On the aircraft taking off in the background, those rotors seem to be spinning.
 

hesham

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

Nice beast,I never saw it.
 

Moose

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

That Airbus design is basically DARPA's Ares, Son of Transformer, in civilian taxi form.
 

AeroFranz

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Re: Bell ultra light taxi

fredymac said:
Bell's hybrid electric urban taxi may actually include a tilt rotor configuration (50 second mark) while Airbus is going the quadcopter route.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcLC_ISLOQ

That's actually Uber's design. Bell hasn't unveiled its concept.
 

LowObservable

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Has anyone else noticed that in robo-flying-taxi world, the weather is always perfect?

For the last few weeks, where I live, there hasn't been much decent visibility down at the level where these things are going to fly, except for the day of 50-knot winds. Call me a gutless ***** if you want, but the idea of riding a pilotless vehicle through cloud and heavy rain and ascending/descending through building heights, and knowing there's a bunch of other things whizzing around in the same airspace, sounds less than fun.
 

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LowObservable said:
Has anyone else noticed that in robo-flying-taxi world, the weather is always perfect?

Note that a *lot* of these things seem to be funded by/aimed at Abu Dhabi and similar. The likelihood of encountering rain or snow is pretty minimal... but I suspect sand and dust will do entertaining things to the system.
 

GTX

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Orionblamblam said:
Note that a *lot* of these things seem to be funded by/aimed at Abu Dhabi and similar. The likelihood of encountering rain or snow is pretty minimal... but I suspect sand and dust will do entertaining things to the system.

Funnily enough though, my first time in Dubai it was raining quite heavily... ;D :eek:
 

Orionblamblam

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GTX said:
Orionblamblam said:
Note that a *lot* of these things seem to be funded by/aimed at Abu Dhabi and similar. The likelihood of encountering rain or snow is pretty minimal... but I suspect sand and dust will do entertaining things to the system.

Funnily enough though, my first time in Dubai it was raining quite heavily... ;D :eek:

Wait till the atomic firesharknados go storming through town.
 

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