Urban Aeronautics has raised $ 10 million for the company’s next round of funding for its wingless air taxi concept, CityHawk, the company announced on September 14.
The funding follows a successful test flight of the company’s demonstration aircraft in July.
“This is sort of the first step in the fundraising round of $ 100 million that we are raising,” said Haran Ben-Eliahou, vice president of business development. Aviation today. “We are working with financial institutions and banks to be able to raise these funds … The next round of financing on which we have just taken the very first step will not only allow us to accelerate in terms of engineering and marketing and to find the right partners but also to start building the first prototypes.
The CityHawk is a wingless airplane. It uses a fully enclosed fancraft rotor system to fly. Urban Aeronautics is betting that this unique design will lend itself well to the aircraft’s intended use for mass transit or emergency transport.
âThere is a very unique feature to the design as it doesn’t have the exposed fenders or rotors, and in that regard we really think it’s the right tool for flying in cities,â said Ben-Eliahou. âWhen you introduce all the limitations of size and where vehicles could land, if you really want to deliver that promise of saving people time, you have to bring them closer to their final destination … The Small Form Factor With the The safety feature of our vehicle can allow this to bring the promise. This is what goes into this unique design. That’s why it, looks like it looks, and it will fly like nothing else.
The CityHawk will also not follow the route of electric air taxis and will instead be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Urban Aeronautics has partnered with Hypoint to develop this technology. Ben-Eliahou said the decision to switch to hydrogen was made because they believed the batteries would not provide enough power for their weight capacity.
âWhen we look to the future and understand the possibilities of entering an urban environment, we have to move away from combustion engines or jet fuel engines for electric vehicles,â said Ben-Eliahou. âFor us, the batteries are not sufficient in power compared to weight. So the vehicle will simply not take off if you put the necessary batteries for the power requirements. In aviation, as you know, it is about losing weight in turn to gain performance and you are always playing with that challenge. Hydrogen just gives you a bigger promise in terms of range and ease of use … it’s just the next generation of aviation fuel for the big guys and also the little ones.
Urban Aeronautics is currently testing its aircraft with a jet engine but will begin testing with a hydrogen fuel cell in 2022, Ben-Eliahou said. The company plans to have its first prototypes ready for production by 2024.