The American Kelekona Company, based in New York, introduced the ambitious concept of a 40-seater EVTOL-apparatus, which can overcome 531 km between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just one hour. In the cargo version, the device will be able to transport the weight of more than 4.5 tons on the same distance. The developer is already building the first full-scale prototype — pilot tests are assigned to the end of 2021 — the beginning of 2022.
Evtol Kelekona will rise into the air using four groups of two large rotor with a variable steps screws. In the process of take-off, these blades will be arranged horizontally, and when moving to the horizontal flight mode, it will be changed on the vertical position. At the same time, there are no wings in the airbus — it has a smooth reducing-drop-shaped shape of the body, which will be made from aluminum and composite materials. Developers believe that such a case will have sufficient lifting force with small dimensions.
As for the battery, Kelekona and here intends to apply a special approach. Such a large EVTOL device for implementing the stated characteristics of flights needs a lithium high-density battery with a power of several megawatt-hours. Theoretically create such a thing. But on her complete charge will leave days. In Kelekona, this is understood and want to make the body of the apparatus not monolithic, and composite — part of the bottom will be a large removable unit, where the battery will be located. After each flight, the block will be disassembled and put on charging, and its place will occupy another, already charged battery — thus Kelekona will minimize the delay between flights. In case of unforeseen circumstances, a small non-removable backup battery will be installed in the case of the apparatus, the charge will be enough for 100 km of flight and emergency landing.
Startup plans to integrate an EVTOL detection system and automatic collision prevention system. For the development of this and other autopiloting functions, former Engineers Tesla, Hyperloop, Ford, GM and NASA are responsible.
The company does not reveal its investors, but declares that the starting capital has already received the development of the first prototype. In July, Kelekona plans to carry out an additional round of financing, and by the end of the year will begin test flights.
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