Urban Aeronautics subsidiary Metro Skyways plans to develop a four-passenger, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) flying car using its parent company's Fancraft technology.
Initially operating with jet fuel, the CityHawk will be designed to convert to liquid hydrogen or compressed hydrogen, once such options become commercially feasible.
"Eventually, the CityHawk will be powered either by hydrogen fed directly into a turboshaft engine or into a fuel cell converting it to electricity powering electric motors," Urban Aeronautics chief executive Rafi Yoeli says.
Established in 2013 to focus exclusively on developing Fancraft applications for the manned, civilian market, Metro Skyways will design the CityHawk to meet the certification standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency and US Federal Aviation Administration. Its developer believes the model will be unique by combining a compact, car-sized design with no exposed rotors or wings.
Metro Skyways says development activity should take five years from a go-ahead decision, and that Urban Aeronautics is talking to potential partners and investors.
The Israeli company's Tactical Robotics unit is currently flight-testing its 1t-class Cormorant unmanned air vehicle (below), with more than 200 flights accumulated, including autonomous operation. Last month, the type made an autonomous precision landing on a marker.
A production-standard version of the Cormorant – which could perform equipment transport, medical evacuation and air taxi tasks – will have a maximum take-off weight of 1.6t and use Safran Helicopter Engines Arriel 2+ powerplants.
Yoeli says the CityHawk will be similar in shape and size to the current system. It will initially be controlled by a human pilot, but its ﬂight control and ﬂight management systems will be capable of providing a high degree of autonomy.
The design will also feature a parachute recovery system to bring the vehicle to the ground safely in case of any ﬂight-critical event.