XTI Aircraft Company, a leader in next-generation VTOL aircraft, has announced the partnership with VerdeGo Aero to build an unmanned diesel-engine hybrid-electric TriFan 200 for cargo and logistics.
XTI Aircraft is developing the TriFan 200, a configuration similar to its larger TriFan 600 VTOL passenger aircraft already under development. According to the preliminary project, the TriFan 200 is sized for transporting 500 lb (227 kg) of cargo on missions of more than 200 nautical miles (370 km). The device will receive an internal cargo compartment loading through the bow.
VerdeGo Aero is applying its high-efficiency, low-emissions diesel (Jet-A) hybrid powertrain to enable the TriFan 200 to offer operators outstanding operating economics. Combining VerdeGo’s highly efficient 180KW generator with VerdeGo’s high-power battery pack enables aircraft like the TriFan 200 to operate profitably for fleet operators. A prototype of such a propulsion system has recently successfully passed the first stage of ground tests.
The XTI TriFan 200 will enable significant time to be removed from both ends of the journey, allowing later pickup times and earlier deliveries. In addition, to express shipping, the VTOL is also applicable to longer-range transportation in remote locations without infrastructure, including military logistics missions.
XTI Aircraft’s conducted the first test flight of its 65% scale prototype of the TriFan 600 VTOL aircraft (unmanned and tethered) last year in Placerville, California, USA. The TriFan 600 is a six-seat fixed-wing aircraft powered by three ducted fans: two pivoting on the wing and one in the aft fuselage, lifting the aircraft in VTOL. It should reach 340 knot (630 km/h) and cross 650 nmi (1,200 km) in VTOL operations or 1,200 nmi (2,200 km) from a runway. The TriFan 200 is similar in size to the 65% scale prototype.