XTI Aircraft Co. has made several modifications to its TriFan 600, a futuristic VTOL aircraft that is currently in the design phase, announcing it has partnered with Bye Aerospace Inc. to produce a full-scale hybrid/electric prototype of the TriFan.
“First, with the engineering expertise of the team at Bye Aerospace, this first prototype will be powered by a state-of-the-art hybrid-electric propulsion system,” said XTI’s CEO Robert J. LaBelle. “Second, because we’re now able to significantly reduce the weight and cost of producing the TriFan, our first prototype will be a full-size TriFan 600 instead of the 65 percent subscale version.”
The original large, heavy engines, as well as the transmission, gears and other components, will be replaced with two electric motors, batteries, a generator and a single smaller turboshaft engine, LaBelle said.
“Advanced electric power for aircraft makes the hybrid-electric configuration compelling for the TriFan,” said Bye Aerospace founder, chairman and CEO George Bye. “We can now bring together into one extraordinary airplane battery power, electric motors and a light efficient engine in a vertical takeoff and landing platform.”
Design plans will enable vertical take offs and landings, allowing for access into areas that don’t have runways. Once in cruise the wing-mounted fans will rotate forward to bring the airplane to a projected top speed of more than 300 mph. The target for range is 1,200 miles and max altitude 35,000 feet.