The Israeli company Metro Skyways, a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics, has made a six-seater CityHawk out of a military transport drone, which will be launched next year. The VTOL manufacturer has partnered with Singapore-based helicopter charter booking service Ascent to develop urban air mobility (UAM) service in Asia.
The CityHawk is based on the Cormorant; unmanned eVTOL created for military and rescue missions as transport of ammunition and an aircraft for medical evacuation.
“As we continue to advance on our development and look forward to commercial flights within a few years, we are eager to work with Ascent,” said Urban Aeronautics CEO Dr. Rafi Yoeli. “Thanks to Ascent’s unique operational experience, and growing footprint, we are now able to enrich our aircraft design and commercialization approach, based on direct market insights.“
The take-off weight of the CityHawk UAV is 1,930 kg, can accelerate to 270 km/h (167.77 mph), and transports cargo weighing up to 760 kg. It has a maximum range of up to 150 km (93 miles). Unlike many other experimental taxi designs that have been shown in recent years, CityHawk does not use wings to improve long-range flight performance. Instead, the prototype rises into the air thanks to the two horizontal fans in the housing, as well as two push fans in the rear, which will be driven by two 1000-horsepower gas turbine engines.
According to the reports, the CityHawk will be fully electric-powered by electric motors and on-board systems from a hydrogen battery. The first manned flights of this hybrid six-seater will take place in 2021-22. The developers believe that CityHawk will significantly increase the efficiency of heliports and increase air passenger traffic in cities and between the city and the suburbs.
Recently, in January, Urban Aeronautics also announced its partnership with Boeing to develop ducted fan technology, which uses a fan mounted in a cylindrical duct to produce thrust, for both the Cormorant and CityHawk eVTOLs.