Home AUTO TECHNOLOGY Aston Martin's next likely to be a Jetsons-style aircraft with VTOL capabilities,...

Aston Martin’s next likely to be a Jetsons-style aircraft with VTOL capabilities, Auto News, ET Auto

For short trips — anything less than 35 km — internal combustion engine vehicles outperform flying cars.

Flying cars that are similar to those in animated series ‘The Jetsons’ could be the future for long journeys, a study has found. The 1960s sci-fi cartoon, ‘The Jetsons’ and their community travelled around in family-sized airborne vehicles.

Several aerospace companies, including Airbus and Boeing, as well as the US space agency NASA, are now working towards making flying cars a reality.

Researchers from the Centre for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, US, have investigated how practical electric flying cars would be in terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. They have found that electric vertical take off and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, wouldn’t be suitable for a Jetsons-style short commute.

The researchers analysed energy use and greenhouse gas emissions during five phases of a VTOL flight: take off hover, climb, cruise, descent and landing hover. These aircraft use a lot of energy during take off and climb but are efficient during the cruise phase, travelling at 240 kmph. As a result, VTOLs are most energy efficient on long trips, when the cruise phase dominates the total flight miles.

Luxury automaker Aston Martin is working on Volante Vision, a concept aircraft with VTOL capabilities. Produced in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the concept aircraft aims to bring luxury transportation to the sky. With room for three persons, the concept is a preview of flying autonomous hybrid-electric vehicles for urban and inter-city air travel, providing efficient and congestion-free travel.

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