CityHawk – a flying car with more cabin space than a helicopter and the footprint of a four-door sedan – is set for its first manned flights in 2021.
The vehicle is a hybrid-power, eVTOL Flying Car being developed by Metro Skyways, a subsidiary of Israel’s Urban Aeronautics.
According to the company’s schedule, the first manned flights in 2021-22 will be followed by full FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification.
With a range of 150km and top speed of 270km/h CityHawk will have the potential to carry up to six people – including the pilot – and be configured for emergency response, air taxi, or executive transportation.
CityHawk is based on the Cormorant, an unmanned aerial vehicle that has completed 250 flights and is being developed by Tactical Robotics, a second subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics.
Unlike Cormorant, CityHawk will have a two-engine configuration to help conform with FAA requirements that stipulate the continuation of flight in the event of engine failure. CityHawk will also be able to deploy a ballistic parachute in the event of failure.
Initial development and testing of CityHawk will utilise two 1,000HP turboshaft engines coupled to electric power generators that will operate the vehicle’s horizontal propellers.
Once the FAA has issued a Type Certificate the company will transition the design of the main power supply for CityHawk to hydrogen propulsion. According to Urban Aeronautics, CityHawk will utilise hydrogen as current batteries are too heavy to power a compact, high occupancy aircraft.
Metro Skyways’ CityHawk is the first of two, hybrid powered, manned Fancraft planned for development. The second, Falcon XP, is the company’s jumbo-sized Fancraft that will have room for 14 occupants, including the pilot.
In both variants, the vehicle’s rotors are internal to the fuselage, achieving what Urban Aeronautics claims is ‘unmatched safety to ground personnel and unparalleled noise reduction resulting in an acoustic footprint equivalent to that of a passing by car.’