Urban Aeronautics has launched full-scale development of its CityHawk hybrid-electric VTOL (see Vertiflite, Jan/Feb 2018). The vehicle will be developed at Urban’s subsidiary, Metro Skyways Ltd, with first manned flights in 2021–22, followed by full certification to US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR Part 27 requirements. The company said CityHawk’s “main advantage over helicopters and currently proposed eVTOL aircraft is its car-sized dimensions, resulting from its wingless, ‘rotorless’ design, combined with its significant payload of up [to] six occupants.”
Initial development and testing will utilize two, 1,000 hp (750 kW)-class turboshaft engines coupled to electric power generators for operating the vehicle’s thruster propellers. “Upon the issuance of an FAA ‘Type Certificate’ for the basic air vehicle (in conjunction with our Canadian partner, Cert Center Canada … ), the company will transition the design of the main power supply for CityHawk to 100% clean, hydrogen propulsion,” the company announced. CityHawk is nearly identical the company’s 1 ton (1 t)-class unmanned variant, Cormorant, which has made more than 250 flights to date.