Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company with products that reach every corner of people’s everyday lives. The company has an “extensive aviation hardware and software product portfolio, including advanced navigation technologies and fly-by-wire flight controls tailored for the unique needs of UAM aircraft.” Now, Honeywell plans to have their technology aboard the Volocopter, an 18-propellor electric VTOL aircraft based...
Honeywell is a Fortune 100 technology company with products that reach every corner of people’s everyday lives. The company has an “extensive aviation hardware and software product portfolio, including advanced navigation technologies and fly-by-wire flight controls tailored for the unique needs of UAM aircraft.” Now, Honeywell plans to have their technology aboard the Volocopter, an 18-propellor electric VTOL aircraft based in Bruchsal, Germany.
The Volocopter is regarded as one of the safest and most fully-developed eVTOL aircraft in the skies today – it features a two-passenger configuration, a max range of 27 km, and a max velocity of 100 km/h. It has already caught the eyes of many potential customers, especially during an earlier flight demonstration in Dubai:
The Volocopter is currently undergoing various tests in hope of certification by Europe’s regulatory agency, EASA. Whereas many UAM companies are looking abroad for certification in order to more rapidly bridge the gap between prototyping and commercial production, Volocopter has opted to stay local. This comes as a byproduct of the company striving to deliver a new breed of cleaner, safer and smarter air vehicles.
To see more about the technical specifications of the Volocopter 2X, visit the Hangar.
To do this, Volocopter has partnered with Honeywell to implement and test Honeywell’s autonomous sensing and flight technologies, including inertial measurement units, attitude heading reference solutions, and potentially other urban air mobility (UAM) innovations. The testing will include various sensor-based navigation and landing systems, with the goal of flying a “Honeywell inertial measurement-based attitude reference system solution in one of our Volocopters in 2019”, according to Volocopter CTO, Jan Hendrik Boelens.
Fraport recently announced it is partnering with Volocopter for flying taxi infrastructure. Volocopter also plans to initiate demonstrator flights in Singapore later this year.
The president of Electronic Solutions at Honeywell Aerospace, Carl Esposito, recently expressed his excitement regarding the partnership: “Alongside Volocopter, we will be building on our fundamental expertise of navigation sensor solutions plus other landing expertise, moving us closer to the reality of urban air mobility. This collaboration has allowed us to explore the challenges, opportunities and safe integration of technologies and aircraft in civil airspace.”
Why it’s important: Urban air mobility solutions will provide urban areas with a faster and more efficient way of moving people around, simultaneously increasing the safety of transportation and relieving traffic congestion. By adopting automated navigation and landing systems made by Honeywell, Volocopter is advancing the development of autonomous, on-demand air mobility across the world. These solutions will also enable faster turnaround times and the integration of autonomous navigation in civil airspace.
Next Future Transportation co-founders are husband and wife, Guy and Maki Kaplinsky. Together they have assembled a diverse team, headquartered in Mountain View, CA with a center of excellence in Israel. The team is currently developing a multi-modal electric zero emission and advance hybrid system eVTOL capable of piloted or autonomous flight. The passenger flying car, with two or four...
Next Future Transportation co-founders are husband and wife, Guy and Maki Kaplinsky. Together they have assembled a diverse team, headquartered in Mountain View, CA with a center of excellence in Israel. The team is currently developing a multi-modal electric zero emission and advance hybrid system eVTOL capable of piloted or autonomous flight. The passenger flying car, with two or four seats, can carry passengers directly from their starting point to their destination (door-to-door).
Co-founders Guy Kaplinsky (left) and Maki Kaplinsky (right).
Additionally, the vehicle is designed to be powered by electric propulsion and an advance extended system, making it agile and adapted for cities. According to the founders, the NFT eVTOL drives like a comfortable, compact family car and can be easily parked on the street or in a garage, not requiring a sky port or other specialized accommodation. The target drive range is 62 miles | 100km and target fly range is 310 miles | 500km. Other key technologies include an Artificial Intelligence System, EV road driving system, and Blockchain platform.
NFT has a two-pronged approach to the possible applications of the company’s prototype vehicle. First is Guy and Maki Kaplinsky’s vision for an affordable, door-to-door solution to one’s everyday commute that minimizes wasted time spent in city traffic. To achieve this, NFT targets a sale price of $50,000 in order for the vehicle to be “accessible for regular people” as opposed to “a toy for rich guys”. As for the timeline of NFT’s eVTOL reaching the market, the company first plans to roll out the drive-and-fly vehicle as a cargo transporter, then for human transportation by 2025.
The second application of the NFT all-electric prototype is said to be “on-demand aviation” – a network of VTOL craft that would make it possible for users to summon flying transport whenever they’d like to easily mobilize within and between cities. Guy Kaplinsky articulates NFT’s competitive edge to be the need for only one vehicle during the commute – one would simply hail a vehicle and it would transport them from point to point without the need for another car or intermediary transit method.
Why it’s important: Next Future Transportation Inc. represents the increasing competition in the urban aviation industry, specifically those concentrated in Silicon Valley, CA. The company is currently ranked 281 on CrunchBase, with $5M in confirmed seed funding. The company’s international sprawl also demonstrates the worldwide scale at which the industry continues to grow.