e.Sat represents the newest German aviation startup to enter the aerial mobility market. A new project company, e.Sat is working on the “Silent Air Taxi” project, an electric hybrid platform, stemming from the German Council of Science and Humanities (RWTH) Aachen University. The project currently employs 50 people for development and engineering of the electric fixed-wing aircraft. It was first presented at the Paris Air Show, where all parties signed a letter of intent. Currently, the maiden flight is set for mid-late 2020.
In development for over 4 years, the e.SAT is designed to carry 5 occupants, 4 passengers and 1 pilot. The aircraft will have a cruising speed of 300 km/h (186 MPH) with a range of 1000 km range (621 miles). Its take-off distance is 400 meters or 1,312 feet. The powertrain components are to be provided by the Fraunhofer IPT (Institute for Production Technology), and the actual engine will be provided by MTU Aero Engines. It will also feature a connected box wing configuration, an interesting choice as few other aerial mobility companies have attempted a design with one. According to Lars Wagner, MTU Aero Engines COO, the Silent Air Taxi project has a high chance of becoming a reality.
The e.SAT’s main draw is focused on a vital area for eVTOL development: sound. The company states that their intention is to develop the e.SAT with 65 dBA takeoffs, and have the aircraft be completely “inaudible” at 100 meters (328 feet) away.
Dr. Günther Schuh, Managing Director and Dr. Schuh, professor of Production Systematics at the RWTH Aachen University are both the co-founders of the electric vehicle manufacturer Streetscooter and managing director of the electric vehicle manufacturer e.GO Mobile. Additionally, the Transport Ministry is securing 4 million euros for an extension of the project, with an additional 12.7 million euros earmarked for further development of the Aachen-Merzbrück airfield where the aircraft will be tested.
The company hopes to achieve its EASA CS-23 certification in 2024.
Why it’s important: With established companies and early startups already deep into their process of developing their version of aerial mobility, e.SAT looks to make up for their later start with an emphasis on low noise disturbances from their aircraft. Undoubtedly an important factor in getting a quick certification for their design, we are excited to see which direction the e.SAT takes over the course of the next few decades.
Source // electrek