On the other hand, the Canadian manufacturer was able to make this considerable design change due to the positive results of the first flight tests. It has been testing a 50%-scale prototype with great success so far. Based on this, together with a complex analysis of structural and aerodynamic parameters, the in-house team concluded that the fundamental technology is powerful enough to support a bigger platform.
The Cavorite X7 would have room for a pilot and six passengers while maintaining the high-level performance of a hybrid-electric propulsion system. It will combine an estimated gross weight of 5,500 pounds (just under 2,500 kg) with a projected load of 1,500 pounds (680 kg). Performance-wise, its range would average around 500 miles (804 km) with fuel reserves, and its maximum speed could equal 250 mph (402 kph).
Here's how the Cavorite eVTOL is designed to operate: it would take off vertically, then switch to flying like a fixed-wing aircraft. This very low-drag configuration is supposed to make it considerably safer compared to radical eVTOLs and also easier to certify because it’s similar to conventional aircraft.
During flight, the aircraft's hybrid system will recharge the batteries. Once it lands, Cavorite will recharge its batteries once again. This means that it will be ready for its next assignment in less than 30 minutes.
This Canadian concept is also designed to be flexible. First of all, it can carry people or cargo just as efficiently. Secondly, it can prove its efficiency in a wide variety of sectors, from business aviation to defense. Horizon has even obtained an R&D contract award from the US Department of Defense (DoD) in addition to other grants.
Although the hybrid propulsion configuration comes with obvious benefits, Horizon Aircraft hopes to one day make its flagship aircraft emission-free. It's only a matter of time, it says, before the advancements in battery technology and dedicated infrastructure will allow this to happen.
In the meantime, the Canadian startup is continuing its flight test campaign using a half-scale prototype. The campaign included wind tunnel testing at one of the country's top facilities, the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel (CWT) in Oshawa, Ontario.