Every type of vehicle has been designed to perform specified field of tasks. That makes them superior in particular situations, but compromises their abilities when used out of “comfort zone”. In future we will need more of all-purpose transport that can go anywhere without a need of several transfers. Sounds a bit too optimistic, but looks like SkyCruiser can meet those requirements.
Project is still at its early stage of designing, but the overall concept looks promising. Merging the ability to fly like an aircraft, lift off and land like a helicopter and drive like a car requires a heck of a complicated mechanism. “Airplane mode” utilizes two rear-mounted rotors powered by a couple of 150 hp electrical engines, which can propel SkyCruiser at 500 kph cruising speed. Transformation into quadcopter is done via four rotors with 80 hp of electric power going to each of them. In case of crosswinds there are another four smaller ones with 40 hp of total output to stabilize the craft. After landing the vehicle can be put into “car mode” and drive at speeds up to about 110 kph (just don’t forget about it’s more than 8 m length).
Power for all those electrical engines comes from more conventional 400 hp internal combustion engine. It runs 360 hp generator which provides juice for 12 kW battery. Designers claim the ability to carry 455 kg of payload, seats for five and a range of more than 1600 km in “airplane mode”.
Currently company is working on a much smaller prototype with a bit different configuration called SkyProwler. Looking forward to see a properly functioning full size concept!