Designed by Charles Champagne and Jorge Ciprian of Imaginactive, the Onyx would be able to carry two people sitting in a side-by-side configuration. Unlike the competition, it would be able to take off and land in existing parking spaces. For this reason, it would have a maximum width of 90 inches. This specification would make the Onyx much more accessible compared to similar projects that are forced to use helipads.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Intercity VTOL, no fixed wing
Powerplant: Interchangeable battery packs providing electricity to six propulsion units
Range: Unspecified but most likely within intercity range
Top Speed: Unspecified
Propeller Configuration: 12 propellers, two at each propulsion unit; one at the bottom of the nacelle and one on top, rotating in opposite directions (contra-rotating props).
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 2 passengers
Autonomy Level: Fully autonomous
Our Take on Onyx
Although there still exists major regulatory barriers to employing a craft like the Onyx, companies like Uber, Boeing, and more are already working with government entities in multiple countries to set standards and rules for these aircraft. Particularly, NASA has recently set up the Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge series, the first event of which will take place in 2020 and will give companies the opportunity to exhibit the airworthiness of their aircraft and begin laying the benchmarks for regulatory law. The unique versatility of its design to be compatible with typical automobile parking spots does perhaps enhance Onyx's integrability in the commuter lifestyle and requires minimal infrastructure development compared to other eVTOLs. While there has been no news yet from Imaginactive about whether the Onyx will be brought into the prototyping stage, the spread of this kind of design thinking shows the continuing proliferation of the world’s focus on eVTOL transportation.