XTI TriFan 600 Project Advances Toward First Prototypes

A prototype for the TriFan 600 VTOL tiltrotor will be powered by the HTS900 engine. XTI Aircraft Company

The TriFan 600, the unusual looking VTOL tiltrotor designed with three rotating engines that was introduced about a year ago by Denver-based XTI, has recently taken a few major steps toward reality. This week, XTI announced it has selected Honeywell’s HTS900 engine to power its first manned prototype. The prototype will be two-thirds the size of the planned final product and is expected to take flight in the next two years.

But before the piloted two-thirds model will fly, an unpiloted 10 percent scale model is expected to fly within six months. XTI has partnered with Fort Collins, Colorado-based Scion Aviation and Scion UAS to build this initial model.

The Fadec-equipped Honeywell engine that will power the first piloted prototype has also been selected for the new Marenco Swiss Helicopter and the Eagle Copter 407HP, an upgraded Bell 407 with greater hot and high-performance capabilities due to the replacement of the engine. Whether the HTS900 engine will be used for the production version of the VTOL remains to be seen. XTI claims the TriFan 600 will have the speed, range and comfort of a business jet, all while providing vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

After collecting around $10 million in a crowdfunding campaign last year, XTI went public earlier this year with a formal stock offering under SEC Regulation A+ for up to 20 million shares.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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