How many stories have we written this year on flying taxis and vertical take-off landing (VTOL) aircrafts? Needless to count, 2017 has been the year of VTOLs and other flying vehicles. The Lindbergh’s VerdeGo Aero flying taxi is the latest to join the airbound fray.
Th Lindbergh VerdeGo Aero VTOL is a hybrid-electric aircraft the company calls the Personal Air Taxi 200 or PAT200. Accordingly, the PAT200 will seat two passengers and have a useful load of about 500 pounds (227 kg) with a maximum cruising speed of 150 mph (241 kph). It will have eight electric motors driving independent rotors. We can just hear the comments now on that configuration. The rotors will be positioned on a dual tilt-wings system and will balance the VTOL with one wing tilting in the front and one in the back.
This new generation of VTOLs is designed to alleviate road traffic jams and the VerdeGo Aero PAT200 will be autonomous but will be piloted manually if need be. We particularly like this approach for a few reasons. As the autonomous VTOL technology matures, it makes sense to have the first aircrafts be manually piloted and not just autonomous. Should anything happen, a human being could take control. And yes, not everyone can fly but modern flying systems can make it easy to operate. We also assume most people by then will have played a game or two and have familiarized themselves with the rudiments of flying. We won’t dive into this theory yet since each company seems to be approaching it differently.
The Lindbergh VerdeGo Aero, A Tilting Experience
What is interesting is that the company seems to have a few variations to the aircraft for various VTOL operations as you can see from the pictures.
Just who is behind the Lindbergh VerdeGo Aero flying taxi? You might have recognized the last name by now. Erik Lindbergh is Charles Lindbergh’s grandson. He has been working on building a team to make this short range VTOL an efficient long-distance air traveling aircraft. Erik says the company is making the dream of “Flying Car” transportation a reality.
See the video below for more.
Technically speaking, the Lindberg Aero Verde PAT200 is optimized for commercial flight in urban transportation networks. What this means is that the PAT200 VTOL can operate out of vertiports, which are the size of helicopter pads, but optimized for better efficiency with less noise.
Its hybrid electric drivetrain will be clean, quieter than jet engines and helicopter rotors, and will be quicker to refuel for rapid turnaround between flights. The company hopes to get you over traffic congestions for the same cost as premium surface transportation at higher speed. In other words, it estimates it would be more affordable than an airplane or helicopter, the same price as a limo service, but faster than on the road. The flights should last a typical 10 to 20 minutes.
The specs are as follows:
- Capacity 2 passengers
- Useful load 500 pounds (227 kg)
- Typical flight 20 to 40 miles (30 to 60 km)
- Max cruise speed Greater than 150 mph (241 kph)
- Configuration Dual tilt-wing
- Propulsion 8 electric motors driving independent rotors
- Energy storage Onboard generator–liquid fuel
- Capable of multiple revenue flights between refueling stops
Unfortunately, the site doesn’t say much more about the drivetrain or battery it will have onboard. We look forward to finding out more in the near future.
The Lindbergh VerdeGo Aero Flying Taxi Wants You Up
90 years ago, Charles Lindberg at age of 25 flew from Long Island, New York, to Paris, France. Flying for 33 and 1/2 hour the 3,600 miles (5,800 km) alone in his Ryan monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis single-engine purpose-built plane, today his grandchild is hoping to continue the family tradition.
We’ve pretty much exhausted the various configurations of flying taxis and VTOLs by now. From single seaters with ducted inner turbines to external drone like blades, those flying vehicles have opened up a new means of short transportation which will further our mobility potential.
And anyway, what’s not to like about a Lindberg VerdeGo Aero flying taxi?
Original source: Plane & Pilot.
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