British luxury sports car company, Aston Martin, is already anticipating increased road congestion in towns and cities and planning accordingly — with an extravagant personal aircraft concept it’s calling The Volante Vision Concept. After all, Aston Martin already conquered land and sea (have you seen the new submarine?).
“Vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy,” says Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.
The three-person, insect-like helicopter that is the Volante Vision Concept is the automaker’s big push into the realm of personal air mobility. Because land-based cars are so 2018.
“Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation,” says Aston Martin CEO and president Dr. Andy Palmer. “We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution, and improve mobility.”
The Volante Vision Concept means more than opening up airways to commuter traffic, but a complete shift in the affluent mindset of where we are able to work and domesticate. Palmer says the Volante can “enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work. Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.”
What does all this mean? More freedom. (With an expectedly high price.)
The Volante Vision Concept, is an autonomous, hybrid-electric, three-seater vehicle for urban and inter-city travel, with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Design-wise, it pulls from the elongated curves of Aston Martin supercars while the technology is the lovechild of partnerships between Aston Martin, Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and Rolls-Royce. With some of the world’s best aerospace experts, propulsion specialists, and designers on this team, we’re understandably stoked to see the metamorphosis of Volante from concept to real flying car.
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions CEO Paul Hutton says, “The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging, and as the UK’s leading aircraft design and production SME we are excited to be playing this key role in the Volante.”
Similarly, the director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, Rob Watson, expresses, “Rolls-Royce has already delivered hybrid-electric systems for other applications including ships and trains, and we’re very excited about the potential of the technology in aerospace.”
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