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Airflow Plans to Equip Its eSTOL Aircraft With Honeywell's RDR-84K Multi-Role Radar

While eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft promise to revolutionize urban air mobility, being able to use compact spaces located in high-density urban areas, eSTOL (electric short take-off and landing) flying devices come with an equally attractive offer. Airflow and Honeywell teamed up to develop such an aircraft.
Airflow eSTOL 7 photos
Honeywell IntuVue RDR-84K radarHoneywell IntuVue RDR-84K radarHoneywell IntuVue RDR-84K radarHoneywell IntuVue RDR-84K radarAirflow eSTOL aircraftAirflow eSTOL aircraft
Compared to eVTOLs, eSTOLs use a “blown lift” technology and require less thrust force to take off and land. That simplifies things when it comes to making the batteries for them and also leads to a reduction in energy use and lower costs.

Airflow’s advertised eSTOLs claim to be able to use the already existing infrastructure by being able to take off and land on short runways. Its Model 100 would only require 150 ft (45.7 m) to do so, promising a range of up to 250 miles (over 400 km). There’s also a Model 200 presented, which would require 250 ft (76 m) for take-off and landing and would offer up to 500 miles (over 800 km) of range.

The American aerospace company recently announced a partnership with Honeywell which entails using the latter’s IntuVue RDR-84K detect-and-avoid radar for its highly anticipated eSTOL.

Honeywell’s sensors and flight control systems are critical to the successful and safe operation of the eSTOL manned aircraft, according to Marc Ausman, Airflow CEO. The two companies plan to evaluate the applications for the RDR-84K, which is described as a small and light multi-role radar about the size of a paperback book.

The IntuVue radar can detect multiple objects simultaneously, it can detect traffic out to 1.8 miles (3 km) and generates its own avoidance algorithms using an onboard processor. Other notable features of the RDR-84K are its terrain mapping capabilities, its ability to identify landing zones and to act as a radar altimeter. In case your GPS fails, the radar can also be used to provide alternate navigation.

Airflow plans to develop technology demonstrators in the next following years. The target for fully autonomous cargo vehicles is set for the next decade.



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