Ascendance Flight Technologies, which intends to make a foothold in the flying taxi industry, has unveiled the design for its hybrid aircraft. After three years of R&D, the Toulouse start-up revealed on December 1, 2021 the first images of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft called Atea.
“The aircraft that we present today is the result of enormous R&D work, test campaigns for 4 prototypes and a careful consideration of the costs and the ease of operation of said device”, commented Jean-Christophe Lambert, co-founder and CEO of the start-up that has just raised 10 million euros.
Flight duties separation
The VTOL has a cabin that is completely open to the sky with easy access for passengers. It can accommodate up to 5 people. Atea is equipped with 2 horizontal propellers and 8 rotors integrated into two fixed tandem wings. The channeled rotor solution developed by Ascendance Flight Technologies allows “to benefit from greater power during the take-off and landing phases and to reduce noise emissions”, explains the start-up. Toulouse residents added separate vertical flight and horizontal flight functions without developing pivot mechanisms. One is provided by the rotors and the other by the propellers placed under the nose and centerboard.
The aircraft has a range of 400 kilometers and modular hybrid-electric propulsion. The commissioning specifies that this Sterna hybrid motor is based on an electric motor powered by the association of two energy sources: a thermal and an electric one. Ultimately, the thermal source could be replaced by new clean energy sources such as hydrogen or biofuels.
Certification in 2025
With this device, Ascendance Flight Technologies focuses on mobility operations in peri-urban and regional areas. Beyond passenger transport, Ascendance Flight Technologies envisions other departures for your VTOL, be it for health and logistics missions or surveillance flights.
Ascendance Flight Technologies plans to present a full-scale prototype soon, which should enter the testing phase in 2023. Nugget hopes to certify its device in 2025 so that production can begin. Meanwhile, Ascendance Flight Tech could stand out during the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, as urban air mobility demonstrations will take place on this occasion.
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