According to Yogesh Ramanathan, founder and CEO of Vinata Aeromobility, the company hopes to complete flight tests of its hybrid electric flying car by 2023 and make it available for commercial flights by 2025. At present, they have proof of concept for their technology and a scale model is ready. Their drawings show a two-seater vehicle weighing 1 ton that looks like a quadrocopter. The company says its vehicle is designed to carry a payload of 250 kg, at a top speed of 120 km / h, with a flight range of 60 minutes, while being powered by both biofuel and batteries. In a conversation with Zee media, Yogesh explained his company’s plans and the flight path ahead.
The proposed vehicle would be made of carbon fibers and lightweight, high-strength composites and would be completely self-sufficient, while also offering the possibility of a pilot on board. “We are working on this vehicle from 2019, the flying car has fascinated everyone since childhood. We have always wondered how automotive technology is proven and how aircraft technology is tested, but why is there no flying car? I thought about using my experience in industrial automotive engineering and ventured into my entrepreneurial journey, ”Yogesh said.
They are a team of 15 members with engineers from various fields, guided by veterans of the field of aviation and related disciplines. “Our goal is to reduce the transport hours to a few minutes and we design our vehicle with that in mind,” he said. He adds that the vehicle is designed with passenger safety in mind. According to him, the vehicle has Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), which uses multiple propellers and motors, in order to act as a backup in the event of a breakdown. Working engines and propellers could land the flying car safely. This is in addition to the back-up power supply which supplies electricity to the engine, in the event that the generator power (biofuel) is interrupted.
Asked about the investment that went into the project, Yogesh said the initial funding came from his own sources in the family. However, he added that they were considering external funding in order to work on the large-scale model. He considers the market cost of an operational flying car at around Rs 4-5crore. In terms of the business model, Vinata is considering selling the vehicles, in addition to offering them as a service, based on demand. He added that their company was considering setting up a large R&D facility in one of the Indian states and was eagerly awaiting government support for the same.
Regarding when he predicts his technology will be a reality, he said: “We hope to have full-scale flight tests with our model by 2023 and hope to make it available to the common man by then. 2025, when we will also establish Vertiports. for vertical take-off and landing ”. Interestingly, their vehicle isn’t limited to vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). Yogesh says he would also be able to cover short distances on wheels, using his batteries.
Indian Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia recently tweeted that he saw the concept model of the hybrid flying car. “Once that takes off, the flying cars would be used to transport people and goods, as well as to provide emergency medical services,” the tweet read. The team is also traveling to London to unveil their concept in more detail at the Helitech trade fair in London.
– Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) September 20, 2021