Israeli VTOL air taxi developer Urban Aeronautics has announced it’s partnering with HyPoint to develop a long range, hydrogen fuel cell-powered, emissions-free version of its remarkable CityHawk aircraft, based on the military Cormorant/AirMule design.
HyPoint’s “turbo air-cooled” fuel cell design radically expands the power and lifespan of traditional designs, making it an ideal lightweight powertrain component for aviation use. Hydrogen is becoming one of the most exciting technologies in the emerging electric aviation market, with exceptional energy density compared to lithium batteries, as well as super-quick refueling as compared to long waits on a battery charger.
The CityHawk airframe looks like no other design in the eVTOL air taxi market. It has no wings or external propeller arms, and isn’t much bigger than a large SUV. Urban Aeronautics calls it a “fancraft,” after the large fans at the front and rear of the aircraft, totally shielded thanks to tiltable vanes at both the inlet and outlet sides, which can be moved to effect yaw and horizontal movements. For such a tiny ground footprint, it offers an impressive capability to seat six people.