A three-engine, hybrid-electric airplane was unveiled by the British aviation startup and will be called the Starling Jet. It will be able to take off and land vertically, and offers 10 seats. A flight range of up to 2,400 km is made possible by burning diesel once airborne.
What differentiates the Samad Aerospace VTOL from competitors is that it is not only designed as a luxury air-ferry for the rich, but may also find use in disaster recover or function as an ambulance, at least according to its developers. Further advantages above conventional helicopters are cited, as a higher range and speed are possible. The aircraft will be able to move up to 720 km/h and boasts a range of up to 2,400 km.
The range and speed are possible due to the hybrid nature of the vehicle. Only the take-off and landing sequences will be conducted using the electric battery system, while the flight will rely on a diesel engine. Plans are underway to produce a fully-electric version of the plane, however even the principal design is still under development.
Rumors state that around 56 million dollars will be required to complete research and development, while yet another 70 million dollars will be needed to complete the project itself.
The model, which was used to reveal the plans, did demonstrate the design choices made by Samad though. Two engines mounted on either side of the upper fuselage, alongside a third engine in between the wings of the V-tail will be powering the craft. The company claims that a working prototype will be available by March next year, while the fully certified aircraft will be ready by 2024.