With Atea Aircraft, Ascendance Flight Technologies Suggests a Long-Run, Low-Emission Hybrid VTOL Air Taxi

Mar, 2021 - By WMR

With Atea Aircraft, Ascendance Flight Technologies Suggests a Long-Run, Low-Emission Hybrid VTOL Air Taxi

This French company was founded by ex-Airbus employees back in 2015 with aim to build very low-flying aircraft.

In the current era, the entire electric VTOL platform is a house built on the foundation of faith. Both seem to be possible in the end, but the urban air taxi industry continues to operate within five years, and currently there is no powertrain on the market that can keep these energy-intensive vertical-lift birds in the air long enough to operate in a commercial sense. The company was founded by four Airbus employees working on the E-Fan project, which went back in 2015 to becoming the first electric aircraft to cross the English Channel. Now, the team is working on a hybrid system to make a long, very low-flying aircraft even before the battery and hydrogen boys achieved success.

Although most eVTOL designs use wings, none seem to come close to a small standard airplane like this. It is clearly designed to be comfortable and comes with airstrips such as Vertipads. When it’s time for the VTOL to run, it rises vertically on just three medium-sized five-bladed fans, one in each wing and one ducted right through the front of the fuselage. Interestingly, these devices do not seem to have a central hub.

In front of the plane, there is a regular propeller for efficient horizontal flight. However, tilt-rotors are more complex, and static rotary ones like these are simpler. As easy as it is cheap, and since Ascendance cannot rely on batteries, efficiency is not important. So while it is not the future of all electricity that everyone expects, it is still a good move that could bring significant carbon savings in the next decade while the next VTOL taxis offer the right prices between cities with refueling at each stop.

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