Horizon Aircraft‘s Cavorite X5 eVTOL is “built to solve real-world problems,” designed to be capable of disaster relief, cargo transport, med-evac, and air taxi services. The impressive canard-style plane with in-wing fan rotors was just unveiled to the public this week, and features a hybrid power system and safety-first design.
Horizon Aircraft was founded by father-and-son team Brian and Brandon Robinson, primarily as an engine conversion company specializing in the task of putting GM LS-series V8 motors into kit planes. The company transitioned to modern aircraft prototypes with its pursuit to create a modern high-lift, hybrid-electric cargo version of the amphibious Republic RC-3 SeaBee sport plane. However, the Robinson team quickly realized that adding a vertical lift system would make for a long-range, high-speed air taxi design that could offer a ton of operational flexibility. Ultimately, this led to the conception of the Cavorite X5 eVTOL, a vehicle designed for short runway or urban landing operations.
The primary objective of the X5 is to deliver unprecedented efficiency and versatility; its patent-pending fan-in-wing design is ultimately expected to support a 350 km/h cruise speed, 500 km range, and 5 passenger capacity. At its lightest payload, Horizon predicts the vehicle will be capable of a maximum range of 625 miles (1,000 km). Low-volume production is slated for 2024, at which point Horizon hopes to sell the X5 first as a kit plane in the amateur-built experimental category. For the time being, Horizon will slowly scale up prototype versions as it iterates and improves upon its design. Below, see a full list of the concept aircraft’s published technical specifications:
Why it’s important: Given its fairly nascent foray in to the aerial mobility industry, Horizon Aircraft must make rapid progress if it’s to catch up and compete for market share with Joby Aviation and other industry trailblazers. When asked about the regulatory process in an interview with New Atlas, Brandon Robinson admitted: “we’ve been in stealth mode until we got our patents locked away and our ideas coalesced a bit. But you’re right, that’s a conversation we want to start sooner rather than later.” However, Horizon does have the fuselage and wings of its 17-percent model all built and assembled, and expects to fly the prototype in the next two months.
Sources // Horizon Aircraft; New Atlas