Aircraft builder also partnering with Elan for composite structures to build the aircraft.
Imagine an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle for urban travel that’s quieter, safer, more affordable and more environmentally friendly than a traditional helicopter. At this week’s Uber Elevate Summit, Pipistrel, an Uber Elevate partner, revealed an aircraft the company thinks might fit that bill. The Pipistrel eVTOL concept uses dedicated propulsion systems for cruising and vertical lift and is part of a proposed family of aircraft capable of carrying between two and six people.
The Pipistrel eVTOL will travel longer distances at higher speeds than previous models. Utilizing a new integrated vertical lift system, the vehicle is designed for scalability while offering lower operating costs and an upgraded rider experience.
Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel’s founder and general manager said: “Pipistrel is not trying to reinvent the helicopter by giving the vehicle many rotors, but is rather embracing dedicated propulsion solutions for cruise and vertical lift with built-in scaling capability.” Pairing an integrated vertical lift system with highly aerodynamic wings results in a new class of eVTOL, according to Boscarol.
Pipistrel’s director of R&D Tine Tomazic said, “We’re also announcing a strategic partnership with Elan, a Slovenian company, that has mastered the production of composite materials and structures in the 50+ years of existence, at massive scales. Together we are developing the design of a eVTOL structure that is scalable while building-in automation, digital manufacturing and high-speed RTM composite construction.”
Mark Moore, Uber’s Director of Engineering, Elevate Vehicle Systems, said: “Pipistrel has been one of the pioneers in electric aircraft development, initiating the age of electric flight. As an Uber Elevate partner, their eVTOL concept is pushing [the industry] toward the next generation of distributed electric propulsion.”