Krossblade Aerospace Systems Presents SkyCruiser Concept

DEC 9 2014 BY MARK KANE 5

SkyCruiser Concept

SkyCruiser Concept

A company called Krossblade Aerospace Systems recently presented an interesting SkyCruiser concept, a hybrid 5-seat transformer airplane with some electric drive elements used both on the ground (to drive it like car for the last mile) and in the air (propellers).

It can take off like helicopter, fly like airplane and drive like a car. At least in the simulation it can.

There are a lot of folding parts, including propellers, wings, and even doors, which will not be easy to implement and achieve reliability with, but who knows what the future will bring to us.

Main motor/generator has power output of 360 hp and the 12 kWh battery pack supplies eight electric motors (four 80 hp and four 10 hp motors) or two 150 hp propulsor motors on the rear.

It seams that there are also two more in-wheel motors for driving on roads (two 75 hp).

Switchblade Mechanism

The patent pending switchblade mechanism forms the basis of the transformation of SkyCruiser and SkyProwler. Airplanes need to fly fast and to fly fast you need to be as aerodynamically clean as possible. That’s why airplanes are long and narrow, somewhat drop-shaped and with as few ‘things’ sticking out as possible.

For vertical take-off and landing on the other hand, you need to be the opposite of aerodynamic. The more things you have sticking out producing lift (think of the extreme of a parachute for example) the easier it is to hover. This is one of the main reasons that helicopters which a great at hover, are not very good at forward flight, being slow as well as needing a lot of fuel.

The switchblade mechanism transforms an aircraft from the aerodynamically clean airplane configuration to the VTOL configuration, which features a number of rotors that together have a large rotor disc area that is ideal for hovering at low power.

The switchblade mechanism is of similar technical complexity as a gear retraction mechanism and in itself adds very little weight to SkyCruiser and SkyProwler.”

Length
8.4 m (27.5 ft)
Height 1.3 m (cabin) / 1.8 m (road drive) / 2.3 m (tail surfaces extended)
Width (hull) 1.5 m (4.9 ft)
Wingspan (full extension) 9.5 m (31 ft) fully extended
Wingarea 8.1 sqm (87 sqft)
Seats 5
Empty Weight 1,055 kg (2,216 lb)
Disc area (VTOL) 70 sqm (754 sqft)
Electric power generation 400 hp combustion engine coupled to 360 hp generator
Battery 12 kWh high discharge
VTOL electric motors 4 x 80 hp electric motors (lift), 4 x 10 hp electric motors (lift + control)
Propulsor electric motors 2 x 150 hp
Cruise speed 505 kph (314 mph)
Stall speed 160 kph (100 mph) fixed wing
145 kph (90 mph) fixed wing + small VTOL rotors
Max take off weight 1,575 kg (3461 lb)
Fuel capacity 250 l (66 g)
Maximum payload 455 kg (1,003 lb)
Payload at full fuel load 380 kg (838 lb)
Fuel efficiency (cruise flight) 15.1 l/100 km (16 mpg)
3 l per passenger per 100 km (1.25 g per passenger per 100 miles)
Range (Cruise flight) 1,620 km (1.006 miles) with 5 passengers
Maximum road speed 112 kph (75mph)
Road: 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) 7.5 s

On the video attached below Krossblade present also small scale drone prototype SkyProwler, which seems to takes off and lands vertically (VTOL) with easy and fly much faster then standard drones (up to 55 mph).

SkyCruiser Concept

SkyCruiser Concept

SkyCruiser Concept

SkyCruiser Concept

We believe that with some tweaks and further iterations it could be viable transportation device. And if you don’t believe that such thing could fly just look on the internal combustion transformer airplane recently unveiled in Slovakia, Europe – the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype.

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5 Comments on "Krossblade Aerospace Systems Presents SkyCruiser Concept"

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Kalle

I am not to imprest of renderings and powerpoints, their have been countless ones like this that never gotten maid.
I find the e-volo vc200 more exciting because they actualy built it and are already doing flight tests.

Miggy

Please update the hp rating with kw rating:
Electric power generation 400 hp combustion engine coupled to 360 hp generator
Battery 12 kWh high discharge
VTOL electric motors 4 x 80 hp electric motors (lift), 4 x 10 hp electric motors (lift + control)

Priusmaniac

That is very good, much more efficient than e-volo vc200 in forward flight and much more practical than the AeroMobil 3.0 that is not capable of vertical take-off.
It is also looks more efficient then the S2.
The folding mechanism will be the tricky point though and why two propellers in the back, go with only one it is more efficient and cheaper, since you have vertical landing capability you don’t need two propellers redundancy. Even less if it is placed on a couple of electric motors.
Folding the wings could be a bridge to far though, I would let that go for simplicity.
Overall very well done, Elon Musk should take a look at this, it deserves it.

Paulie

“There are a lot of folding parts, including propellers, wings, and even doors, which will not be easy to implement and achieve reliability with, but who knows what the future will bring to us.”

All those folding parts (and they forgot about the four wheels) will need stowage—which will compromise the internal storage capacity for critical items, such as batteries and fuel.

And the craft is already 27.5-feet long. Isn’t that like twice the length of a standard road car?

I’m very skeptical that this would make it into human operated vehicle. But as a UAV/drone?? Hmmmm…. 🙂