Prague-based hybrid-electric VTOL developer Zuri has achieved a true milestone in developing its hybrid VTOL aircraft. Following several ground performance tests, the Zuri team carried out the first hover test using a technology demonstrator in September 2021 at an airport near Zbraslavice.
Zuri’s large-scale demonstrator took off the ground and achieved its first hover flight, hovering up to 3 meters of altitude. The demonstrator has a wingspan of 11 meters, a weight of 500 kg (1100 lbs), and is at a 90% scale.
The company is developing its hybrid VTOL to have a range of 720 km (450 miles), a cruise speed of 320 km/h (200 mph), and to seat 4 passengers. The VTOL aircraft features a fairly classic design, large wings crossed by four long propulsion pods supporting eight vertical lift props. The wings provide lift, which means a much better energy consumption compared to helicopters or multicopters, resulting in a 500-700 km (310-435 miles) range.
Zuri closed its current investment round, securing €1.3 million ($1.5 million) for a total of €2.4 million ($2.7 million) in funding. The company said it would use the funds to purchase additional manufacturing equipment and move on to the next development phase of its hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft.