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Rolls-Royce Electric VTOL Unveiled at Farnborough Airshow

Vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or VTOLs, are possibly the transport means of the future when it comes to mobility in crowded urban areas.
Rolls-Royce VTOL 3 photos
Rolls-Royce VTOLRolls-Royce VTOL
There are currently several companies involved in developing such machines, including Uber, for instance. Over the weekend, British company Rolls-Royce joined the bunch for the Farnborough International Airshow.

Rolls-Royce’s proposal is a hybrid VTOL that uses gas turbine technology to generate electricity that powers six electric propulsors. A battery pack is also provided to act as energy storage for the machine.

The turbine being used on the concept is the M250, one of the most successful Rolls-Royce engine for aviation. Since it was first introduced 50 years ago, 31,000 units have been delivered, with more than half of them still in operation.

On the VTOL concept machine, the hybrid M250 is supposed to reach speeds of up to 250 mph (402 km/h) and a range of 500 miles (805 km). Since it is a hybrid, it does not require recharging.

The wings of the model can rotate to 90 degrees to permit vertical take-off and landing. While at cruising height, the propellers on the wing could fold away, allowing for reduced drag and cabin noise. Propulsion, in this case, is ensured by means of the two rear propellers.

The British company says the model they presented over the weekend might become commercially available by the early to mid-2020s. No price range for the production version was announced.

“Rolls-Royce has a strong track record as pioneers in aviation,”
said in a statement Rob Watson, Rolls-Royce head of the electrical team.

“From developing the first turbo-prop and jet engines to creating the world’s most efficient large civil aero-engine and vertical take-off and landing solutions, we have a very strong pedigree. As the third generation of aviation begins to dawn, it’s time to be pioneers yet again.”


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