Virtually all urban electric aircraft presented to date use the vertical take-off and landing system, known as eVTOL, based on the same operating principle as that of the drones. However, to avoid the enormous energy expenditure involved in a configuration that not silver from an aerodynamic point of view, the company Talyn Air has devised a glider shaped electric plane, very aerodynamic, employing a independent and removable platform what is used to perform take-off and landing maneuvers and that he does not travel the rest of the time with the cabin.
The handicap of eVTOL aircraft is the VTOL system itself
The major problem of most flying electric taxis it is known in precisely the vertical take-off and landing VTOL system that they need to employ to achieve their mission. Energetically, you have to pay a high price by this system since it requires a large amount of power, and therefore requires a lot of battery power, which means that this component must be dimensioned for these needs, increasing the weight of the aircraft.
But the problem with this type of electric aircraft does not stop there. Its drone-type format is also unfriendly to the energy consumed during horizontal flight. The vertical structure of the propellers increases aerodynamic resistance, limiting the maximum range they can achieve and also the cruising speed they can develop.
Talyn’s Lift, an idea that completely changes the concept
In this scenario, the airline Talyn, founded by two former SpaceX engineers who worked on the design of the partially reusable Falcon 9 launch vehicle, proposes a different solution which is a radically new approach to the eVTOL landscape. Its cabin, called Cruise, is similar to that of a simple, high-speed, long-range electric plane that becomes an eVTOL vehicle by adding a removable lifting platform which is responsible for making vertical displacements.
The idea is that the VTOL flight system is only present when needed, eliminating the aerodynamic inconveniences that this system implies. The platform Talyn’s Lift, has eight large rotors mounted two by two on their respective coaxial shafts. At the bottom it has a system that allows the Cruise to literally hang from it. The Talyn’s Lift counts with its own battery that allows you not only to lift the cockpit but to launch it at enough speed so that the propeller that pushes it and its wings allow it to take control of the flight, to later separate and that the Lift returns to the base.
The great advantage of the system is that the Cruise must not consume its own energy to take off or accelerate, so that their autonomy can be significantly increased. With five passengers inside, you can get around more than 480 kilometers (300 miles) at speeds up to 322 km/h (200 mph).
For to land, Talyn’s plane has two options. You can do it in a conventional airport by your own means as if it were a fixed wing plane or resort to another “vertiport” of Talyn where another Talyn’s Lift will return you to the landing point. To chase and connect with the Cruise, Lift vehicles have their own glider-style wings and two vertical electric propellers that propel it horizontally.
In short, it’s a smart way to get an electric plane into flight by keeping its battery fully charged so that you only have to use it during the flight. For their part, the lifting platforms have enough time between operations to recharge your batteries and recovering the large consumption involved in vertical take-off and landing operations.
I challenge you to overcome
The idea must also overcome some challenges. The first and most complicated is to solve the meeting maneuver between both vehicles in the air. The link between them must be simple enough for the operation to take place in the air and robust enough to lift the weight of the aircraft and its five occupants off the ground. In addition, controlling the transitions between the different dynamics of horizontal and vertical flight requires a lot of synchronization work between the two vehicles.
Another of the key obstacles encountered by any eVTOL startup is the process of certification which in Talyn’s case will be even more complicated. Not only will you have to certify two devices, you will also have to do it with the docking and release sequences in the air. In addition, the Lift must be an autonomous vehicle, which will further complicate the operation. Currently, all the companies that are proposing their eVTOL solutions plan to reach the market with a pilot on board their aircraft, leaving the autonomous flight phase for later, when the international aviation authorities establish the homologation systems for this type of aircraft. .
Talyn has chosen a path that, if successful, will offer a combination that will allow functionality of eVTOL devices in movements that go beyond urban areas, since it will be possible to move between cities without resorting to combustion vehicles powered by fossil fuels or hydrogen. In addition, this system could have a potential use in local transport since in the downtime of the lifting platforms, short transports of materials and other goods could be carried out.