Pipistrel Vertical Solutions launches first eVTOL concept
Pipistrel Vertical Solutions – a Pipistrel company – unveiled its first eVTOL model 801 at the Uber Elevate summit, in Washington D.C. this week. This is a five-seater, fully electric air taxi concept.
The flights will be launched with a pilot carrying four passengers and their respective luggage.
The name 801 is inspired by the aircraft’s components: eight lift fans for the takeoff, landing and hovering, zero tilt and one tail-mounted propeller for high-speed cruise.
Pipstrel’s R&D director, Dr. Tine Tomažič, said: “We want our vehicle to be quiet, safe and fast.”
Pipistrel has built electric aircraft for the past 12 years, having launched the world’s first electric two-seater aircraft in 2007. Taurus Electro has been bought by over 60 customers.
Tomažič addressed the current issues facing air taxis with Pipistrel’s original solutions.
• Battery safety – Pipistrel builds batteries in-house and is creating different battery sets to prevent them being “affected by the same potential hidden issue.” This model has four built-in battery packs.
• Passenger safety – The aircraft is fitted with energy absorbing seats and belts.
• Noise levels – Each of its eight fans operates at a different frequency, helping to disperse the noise in a community-friendly way.
The 801 also introduces an all-new lift system, which is completely integrated into the wing. Tomažič added that the team is working to improve the transition from ‘hover’ to ‘forward fly’ – one of the biggest challenges surrounding eVTOL aircraft.
Pipistrel’s concept is armed with Honeywell’s fly-by-wire platform and display and navigation solutions. Its eventual goal is autonomous flight.
“This is our 801. It’s an aeroplane, all battery powered that has vertical takeoff and landing capability flying up to 60 nautical miles, at speeds of 175 mph or faster. It will get you across Los Angeles in 20 minutes.”
To conclude, at the conference Tomažič played an audio recording of a departure power profile of the aircraft.