The British startup Samad Aerospace, which headquarters is located at Cranfield University, presented project of a hybrid business aircraft with vertical take-off and landing. The project of the device, which was presented at the air show Singapore Airshow 2018, was named Starling Jet.
Today, several companies in the world are engaged in the development of hybrid aircraft. In such devices, usually are installed gas turbine power, which lead to electric generators. From the latter will be powered by electric motors and recharge batteries. The developers believe that the new aircraft will be significantly more economical and environmentally friendly than modern aircraft, in particular, due to cheaper maintenance and less fuel consumption. In addition, it is believed that the hybrid scheme allows the use of new layout solutions in the design of aircraft.
The hybrid business aircraft Starling Jet is planned to be executed under the scheme “mixed wing”. It is a kind of aerodynamic scheme “flying wing”. Unlike the latter in the “mixed wing” the fuselage is clearly pronounced and due to the smooth root influx passes into the wing console. With this scheme, the lift force is created not only by the wing, but also by the flattened fuselage.
A promising British aircraft will receive a V-shaped tail unit, between the keels of which one of the three electric fans will be placed on the swivel suspension. Two more electric fans on swivel suspensions will be installed in the rear parts of the right and left wing consoles.
It is assumed that during takeoff and landing the engines will deflect backward, creating a lift for vertical take-off and landing. After climbing, the electric fans will be moved to a horizontal position, and the aircraft itself will move from vertical to horizontal flight.
It is assumed that Starling Jet will be able to carry up to ten passengers for a range of up to 2,400 km. The plane will be able to reach speeds of up to 740 km/h. Samad Aerospace plans to lift the first airplane technology demonstrator by March 2019 and complete the Starling Jet certification by 2024. Other details about the plane have not yet been revealed.
It is planned that Starling Jet will become part of the Starling family of flying machines. It will also include a light UAV Starling unmanned aerial vehicle and an all-electric e-Starling aircraft. According to the preliminary draft, the drones will be able to carry loads of up to ten kilograms at speeds up to 240 km/h for a distance of up to 480 km.
In turn, the e-Starlng electric aircraft will be designed for the transportation of seven passengers. This aircraft will be able to reach speeds of up to 480 km/h and operate flights up to a distance of 640 km.
In October last year, an American start-up Zunum Aero introduced a project of a prospective hybrid regional passenger aircraft, which shipments are scheduled to begin in 2022. The company will create a whole family of hybrid passenger aircraft, but the first will be a 12-seat aircraft.
According to the project, the first regional hybrid aircraft will be able to fly at speeds of up to 550 km/h, and the range of its flight will be 1,100 km. Later, the aircraft’s flight range is planned to be increased to 1,600 km. To take off the aircraft will require a runway of no more than 670 m.