One such design is an aircraft dubbed Skybus: an eVTOL capable of transporting 30 to 50 passengers in one go to travel over congested parts of cities. This may be a glimpse of future public transportation.
The challenge is part of the British government’s initiative to move forward with electric aviation, air traffic control, eVTOL air taxis, sensor technologies, and more. Another project under this challenge is the pop-up eVTOL car airport.
Skybus and GKN Aerospace’s other initiatives
Skybus looks to be much more than a small eVTOL air taxi, it’ll be more akin to a flying public bus operating on a fixed schedule to cross towns from above. The plan is to reduce commute-driven traffic while minimizing current ground-based public transport systems.
The render available from GKN Aerospace’s press release depicts a tilt-rotor quadcopter with dual wings. Granted, it has yet to be seen what the Skybus will eventually end up looking like, but for the time being, this is an exciting prospect.
The other two projects the company is assisting with are Safe Flight and NAPKIN. The former addresses technological issues linked to integrating autonomous systems into current airspace. And the latter will pilot a U.K.-wide domestic sustainable aviation network focusing on zero carbon emissions.
Max Brown, VP Technology GKN Aerospace, said: “We are committed to a more sustainable future for aviation and our technologies will keep us at the forefront of this challenge. No one company can achieve this alone and these Future Flight Challenge programs highlight the importance of collaboration in achieving this aim.”
The Future Flight Challenge is a four-year program pushing forward sustainable aviation solutions. GKN Aerospace’s three initiatives are part of the challenge’s phase focusing on the development of integrated aviation systems to enable new classes of electric or autonomous air vehicles.